Friday, May 18, 2012

Letterland at Tweetsie

Over the last two days, Patrick and I spent both days at Tweetsie Railroad in their celebration of Letterland.  Letterland is the phonics system the local elementary schools use to teach the kids how to read.  Each letter in Letterland has a character.  Through stories about each character, they learn how letters come together to make sounds.

 He got to meet Quarrelsome Queen,  who is rarely without her umbrella.

 He also got to meet Kicking King, and got a key to the Kingdom.

 Dippy Duck and Eddy Elephant were awesome.  Eddy Elephant gave Patrick an emerald.
Annie Apple was very willing to give him a hug.
 Clever Cat was also there, but where was her car?

 Bouncy Ben was bigger then life.

 Of course, no trip to Tweetsie is complete without a ride on the train.

As we leave, Patrick had to watch the train cross the Trestle.  I think watching the train is more fun to Patrick then riding it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I made a difference

I got some really amazing news a few nights ago.

 There are three boys I worked with every single Monday morning this year. As third graders, math was not their subject, to say the least. There were tears, frustrations and laughter along the way. There were Mondays that I walked out of my sessions that I wondered if I really was going to make a difference with them. 

 I remember one Monday that one of the boys hit that "wall."  I could tell he wanted to give up, but I knew he was so close to getting it.  I got down on his level and saw tears in his eyes and the wanting to walk away in his eyes.  I told him that I had been there too and told him my story of that moment.  I told him I believed in him and I did not want him to give up.

I saw their teacher a few nights ago after they took their end of year exams.   All three of them passed their Math EOG's. I was amazed. The teacher said it was because of my help that they passed.  I walked away with a smile on my face.  But once I told my husband, I could not believe it.  I felt silly emailing the teacher to confirm it.

I decided I needed to reward the boys for their hard work.  I wanted to make them a treat, but my husband reminded me that I can't take in homemade treats.  So, I bought each a candy bar.

I walked into school on this Monday and saw one of the boys and he asked me if I wanted him to get the other boys and I told him "no."  I could tell there was a look of confusion in his eyes.  I told him that he did not need me anymore and the look in his eyes did not change.  I told him he passed the math test and I could tell he did not believe me.  I thought this was weird as my son knew his scores on Friday, so I told him again.  At that point, my eyes started to tear up.  I  told him how proud of him I was and how excited I was for him.  I think he was still confused until I handed him the candy bar and he got it.  A big smile came over his face.  I gave him a big hug and asked him not to get me in trouble for giving him the candy bar.  

That was one of the best moments in my life.

I am so glad that I made a difference to those three boys.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My last Kindergarten Orientation

Last Thursday, Hardin Park had orientation for its incoming Kindergarten Class.  It's a day where the new parents and students get to meet each other, the teachers at the school and the support personal.  This being my third child, I was there for Patrick has it had not changed much since Mark went through Kindergarten Orientation.

Patrick was, as you can imagined, beyond excited.  He had been counting down the days since the sign appeared at school.  He woke up that morning, ready to go.  Patrick was so excited about it, he had to call his Nana and tell her all about it.  He couldn't wait to meet the new people coming in and ride the bus.  He had been helping out at Hardin Park for four years now, but he was excited that it was his time to start the journey and be able to ride a school bus.

For me, it was very emotional as it means that I won't have a little one at home next year.  For the last two times, I had a little one with me as I went through it to distract me from the emotions.  This year, I did not .It was a morning of reflection as I have been a "stay at home" mom for 9 years now.  (by the way, I hate the term "stay at home." I wish I could spend a full day at home.)

I will treasure these last 15 days of just me and Patrick at home and cuddle him a little tighter.  He has grown so much in the last few months and I really need to savor it before it is over.  I know other people have told me that they still need me, and I know that is true.  But, I won't have the time or the freedom I am used to having to watch Patrick chase a butterfly across a field.