It’s the start of a new school year for many families, and I too have some exciting family news to report!
This week was Kj’s first week of preschool!
We went into this new experience worried that Kj would have a lot of separation anxiety, but the school does a very good job of making the transition easy. There were a few open events for families to attend late in the summer, to allow the youngest students a chance to get acclimated to the school itself. Then, on the first day of actual class time, parents stay in the room with their children. On the second day, parents leave the room but not the building. The parents got to wait in a room together down the hall, in case any were needed by their children. (That’s it for the first week for us, because we could financially only afford to enroll Kj in a two-day-per-week program.) Next week, parents will leave the building, but class sessions will be shortened, allowing the students to ease into the longer time they’ll be at school the week after that.
Kj went to preschool on Tuesday and Thursday, but on Wednesday, he asked over and over again, “Go to school? Go to school now?” I think school is a big hit with him! 🙂
You may be wondering what business a 2.5 year old has going to preschool. I’ve been asked more than a few times already why we would bother, when some kids wait until age 3 or 4. Well, you can rest assured knowing Josh and I discussed this decision at great length, and we did determine it was the best thing for Kj, for a number of reasons. Perhaps the biggest one being that Kj could learn some social skills by interacting with the other kids in his class. Many of the kids who wait to start preschool (or who don’t go at all) don’t need to worry about socialization because they’ve already been going to daycare since birth. We haven’t had that luxury, so preschool is the place we hope to give Kj the opportunity to grow verbally. He may know words, but he has a difficult time putting them into sentences, or expressing opinions or abstract ideas, or even participating in a conversation as well as many other kids his age already can. Sure, there may eventually be an academic side to school, too, but dry information dumping and flashcards are things we can do at home (and we do!). The social skills are very unlikely to be learned at home (Josh and I are simply not socially-skilled).
Speaking of flashcards at home, there has been another milestone in Kj’s education. As you may know, Kj has been reviewing letters and their sounds for quite some time already. Since my last update, a new thing I decided to try to teach Kj is the concept that the letters should be looked at from left to right across the page. I used a few basic words as examples. While I was trying to show him how to read the letters from left to right, something else suddenly clicked in his mind: He noticed that he can string the letter sounds together to make words! He began reading a few basic words out loud.
To encourage his new skill, I made several basic word flashcards, and taught him how to read them. That first, small set of words, he learned too fast! So, I began to add more and more words, as he has been catching on faster and faster, and it’s important to me to keep him challenged. Now, we have a stack of 91 words, 87 of which Kj is able read consistently.
While I am very proud of Kj’s interest in learning, I also have my own hobbies and interests I try to make time for.
I am still occasionally painting and crocheting. Unfortunately, I’m finding it not very economical to keep buying supplies for these projects, and it sometimes becomes an issue of where to store completed projects. We only have so much wall space for paintings to be hung, and there are only so many crocheted items I can wear or use. I am considering starting an Etsy shop for one or the other (maybe even both?), so that I can continue doing these crafts I love, knowing that I’m not wasting space or material because the end product will go to someone else, and to bring in a little extra money for replenishing my yarn or paint stocks. These ideas are purely theoretical at the moment. I will give further updates if I decide to pursue this path.
And obviously, I am also still writing. It isn’t easy, with nearly constant distractions available to me at all times.
I am so thankful to my husband for giving me relief from one of the biggest distractions for a bit so that I can focus. We have an arrangement where one evening per week, Josh takes over sole care of Kj, so that I can use those few hours work on things like deep cleaning or writing.
As I am writing this, I can hear Josh down the hall barking at Kj, imitating the neighbors’ many dogs. He’s doing a very good impersonation of those dogs. It never ceases to amaze me how many creative ways Josh can come up with to keep Kj entertained.
About an hour ago, Kj was standing outside the office door, saying, “Mom’s working?” It’s always strange to hear, because most of the time, it’s “Dad’s working.”
My wonderful husband answered him by saying, “Yes, mom is working. She likes to use this time to focus. Mom works very hard taking care of you, but she has other things she wants to work on, too, and this is usually the only time she gets to do it.”
Thank you, Josh! ❤
Also on the subject of writing: Josh and I have begun to collaborate on a couple of writing projects together, which we are really excited about! It’s not the time yet to disclose any more details than that, but please know that I am bouncing with the anticipation of being able to share what we come up with. Hopefully, I’ll be able to say more in my next update!