It took some cajoling, but we finally got some details out of Connor about his first few days of Kindergarten.
On Preview Day, he got to attend with just 7 kids out of the 20-some in his full class, to start getting the hang of things. It sounds like he went to three out of his five “special” classes: Computers, Gym, and Music. He’s certainly my boy: after telling me that, in Computers, he got to use a mouse and wear headphones, he admitted that he just kinda looked around for the first minute at what everyone else was doing, to make sure he was doing the right thing.
I sent him 50¢ for milk that first day, before I put money on his charge account. It turns out that he was the only one in his Preview group who bought anything; everyone else packed and brought a juice box. (The lunch monitor helped him open his milk.) He and his new friend A really hit it off at lunch; Connor says A is as silly as he is. 🙂 They even had almost identical lunches: bologna sandwich, gogurt, and applesauce, although A had cookies for dessert and a juice box, and Connor had cherry tomatoes and a chocolate milk. For the rest of the week, Connor packed lunch and bought milk (rotating through chocolate, strawberry, and plain), and bought lunch on Pizza Friday. He even got to have a slushie with his pizza!
Since we live in the future, we’ve been able to get feedback on how Connor’s adjusting to the classroom. The ClassDojo app lets us see when Connor gets credit for raising his hand or following directions quickly, and the teacher can message parents privately (and vise versa). The “points” Connor gets can spur conversations about the day, which is honestly my favorite part so far. It makes me feel less helicoptery and more able to engage him about what happened at school that day. For example, one day, he got a point for Making Smart Choices because he told on a kid who kept throwing mulch in the toilet, even after Connor told him to stop.
The school bus route has been interesting, since a.) all the buses were overcrowded at first, and b.) we live on a busy two-lane road, so the bus driver straight-up told us that he couldn’t have Connor crossing in front of the bus by himself in the afternoon. (In the morning, Connor’s the first one on the bus, on our side of the street, so no worries there.) On that first day, Dad and I crossed the street to escort Connor off the bus. On the morning of the second day, the bus driver told me he had an idea of how to adjust the route to put him on the right side of the street, but we’d have to pick him up in the yard instead of the driveway, so the bus could turn left onto the road in front of our house. That would work, as long as the yard isn’t soggy or full of snow. The third day, the bus driver told me that Connor would be riding a different bus home in the afternoon, which started a flurry of phone calls and ClassDojo messages to confirm bus number and drop-off time. Since then, Dad has reported that the afternoon bus driver started out a little flustered, but she’s since figured out her bus route and has been getting Connor home a bit earlier (nearly a half hour sooner than that first day).
Overall, Connor has been seriously loving Kindergarten so far. He’s met new friends (and even remembered some of their names), gotten used to a new schedule and routine, tried new things (like buying lunch and riding the school bus), and even had some homework (retelling a story to Dad to confirm his reading comprehension).
His only blip so far was last night. I showed him a Facebook video of his preschool teacher’s toddler taking his first steps, and that made him remember how much he missed his friends at his old school.
“I’m sure James really misses me,” he lamented while I was massaging his feet last night. (James was one of his BFFs.)
Apart from that one moment of sadness, though, he’s been bubbling over with excitement every day. Granted, it’s only been a week… but I think this is going to be a good year.