Thursday, August 4, 2011

Starting School

Sorry it's been awhile, it's been a long hectic summer. But we are getting ready for school and hopefully getting back into a routine. I still can't believe this tiny little girl who I feel like was born yesterday will be starting Kindergarten in 2 weeks. I know she's ready, she loves school and has really missed her friends. After school supply shopping this weekend she wore her new school shoes and backpack around the house for hours asking if she could go to school. This year will be different as she will be pulled out of her regular kindergarten classroom to go to special ed for an hour for math, and reading each day. She will continue to receive her speach, ape, ot, and pt therapies, and because she attended pre k at the same school she already knows her therapist and has bonded with them which makes her perform better for them. I hope that she does well and countinues to love school and learning. I'm confident that she will do her best! And as a parent there is nothing more I can ask of her. It is my goal to update the blog on a regular basis this year as we start this new journey into elementary. If there are any parents with tips, tricks, suggestions, on how to make this year successful, please comment. I love hearing from other parents! Also we signed up for the "Dream Team" a cheerleading team for kids with special needs, it starts in September and I can't wait to see her in her little uniform. I promise I will post pics. Have a great day and Always remember "the only disability in life is a bad attitude!"- Scott Hamilton


Alex's Mom said...

Wow - Riley did get big! And she is beautiful.

Since you asked for tips....and this is my experience only as I am a big proponent of inclusive classrooms...It looks like she will be pulled from the classroom at least two hours a day, plus extra for therapies. I hope this is a full day kindergarten, if not Riley does not have much of an opportunity to bond with her peers.

I am sure she will do well - but in my experience Alex learns best when she is with her peers and can model their behaviors and they can learn from her. So we always asked for an aide to help in the classroom for math and reading. She was not pulled out until about third grade when her delays become harder to work with in the regular classroom.

Schools are all different - some great, some not so great. And if your school is pulling out at the age of five, I would make sure she is getting one on one instruction and not with three or more kids. Riley will know she is being pulled out and may not cooperate as she realizes that she is the only one, or few that have to leave the fun classroom.

And all kids learn differently - so it is about what you think is right for Riley.

Please this is not advice, rather my experience...Good luck and Congrats - this is a big stage in your life!!!!!

Alex's Mom said...

Hi there - Riley is so big and beautiful. Kindergarten - what a milestone! Since you asked...

I am a big proponent of inclusive classrooms - I believe Alex learns better when she is with her peers and they learn from her. Alex had a aide in the classroom ever year until at least 4th grade and thene she began to be pulled out. The teacher loved the extra hands (as the aides were instructed not to assist Alex when she did not need it). The lessons were modified as needed and Alex only left for therapies. It worked very well for us and Alex - who started to recognize she was different from her peers as she got pulled out for speech etc...She learned well in the classroom and I now know she would have acted out and not learned in a one on one pull-out classroom. She would have acted out and demanded to stay in the classroom. Alex's delays in kindergarten were minimial - as all kids are learning to learn.

So - please do not think I am dispensing advice - because I only have Alex to base this on...but I would suggest you make sure that the pull-out model - and it looks like it is two or more hours a day - does not make Riley feel different from her peers, and does not prevent her peers for recognizing who she is - instead of "the girl that gets pulled-out".

We all have gofts to share - and Riley is no exception, let others learn form her - She is setiing her future in place - and the school is your partner, not the boss. Only Moms know what is best...and Riley has a great one!!!

Jim said...

Time does fly. Aubrey will be starting kindergarten at Legacy this year. You're right, seems like only yesterday!
I look forward to the updates.

punkymama said...

Thanks for the comments. @ Jim, can't beleive we both have big Kindergarteners. @ Alex's mom, Thanks so much for the input. Riley will be in a mainstream class the majority of the day and as in Pre K, most of her therapist will work with her in the classroom, she will only be pulled out for Special Ed, for reading and math, as needed. This will be new so I hope all goes well. I will keep ya posted. It is awesome to hear from a mom who has already been there! Thanks so much. PS love the posting about Alex's boyfriend, too cute!