"What grade is your daughter in?" A simple question with a slightly complicated answer. Avery is six and technically in grade one. However, we have been blessed to work with such dedicated educators who have come up with a brilliant scenario.
Avery is registered for grade one with a goal for her to complete full-days in the grade one classroom by the end of the school year. For now, there are times throughout the day that even with modifications to the curriculum, Avery is left behind. This is where the creative planning and organization comes in. The team has put together a schedule that allows Avery to spend part of the day with her age appropriate peers, participating in circle time, group work, as well as independent tasks assisted by her amazing E.A.s.
Then she is taken to her kindergarten room where she can join in on language and math lessons and more hands-on activities to help further develop her phonics, numeracy and fine motor skills.
As a teacher, I know how much effort this detailed schedule took to put together. But the team did it without complaint and with my child's best interests in mind.
One of our biggest concerns about Avery moving up to grade one was literally her moving up...the stairs. Holy Himalaya they're steep. And busy. For a child with dicey balancing skills, this is a legitimate worry. This is why the schedule has Avery travelling up and down the stairs after the crowds have dispersed and always under careful supervision. See why we feel so fortunate?
Friends and family often ask how Avery fairs socially in the grade one classroom. "Does she have friends? Is she happy?"
Avery is 100% happy. Social skills and the ability to draw people in is one of her strongest assets. She is honestly one of the most polite children you'll ever meet. She doles out sincere please and thank-yous for the littlest nicety and makes even the grumpiest stranger smile with a "Thank yooooo!" said in her sweet voice.
For a child whom we feared may never attend a mainstream school, to be thriving in such a way is incredible. Last week when our girl was called up in front of the school to receive an award for "super manners and polite attitude" my husband and I couldn't have been more proud. The only person more touched was her brother, smiling broadly and clapping wildly from the audience as she received her certificate.
"She looked so happy," he told us. And of course she said, "Thank you" when she accepted the award.
Parenting is wrought with challenges, but sweet milestones like these make all it worth it and we look forward to celebrating many more amazing milestones to come.
What milestones are you excited about your child meeting this year?
Disclosure: I am part of the Fisher-Price Play Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”
*Addendum: We ordered Chinese food to celebrate the Year of the Snake. This is the fortune Avery got in her cookie. Confucius was correct. She lives to help.