I'm so impressed with myself for nailing this post topic two years in a row. BOOM!
Our kids are 4-year-olds now, so this is their last year of preschool. They are all still in blended classrooms that include SPED students, which we really like. And we really like their teachers again this year as well! We are actually one week into the school year, and I have to say, the teachers and paras are what make it worth taking the kids to this school. They totally pour into our kids, and fully love them. They are truly amazing women!
The official first day of school photo:
Abby, Elijah, Caleb, and Ellie
Take a look at Caleb's face. LOL! The kids have to get out of bed at 6:30am every morning for a 7:30am start time. Who schedules preschool to start that early?! Oh my stars. I feel his pain!
Mrs. Rachel and Caleb
See the photo above? He was laughing so hard he couldn't keep his eyes open! :)
Abby and Mrs. Bruns
Our sweet Abby is with Mrs. Bruns this year. Mrs. Bruns seems to be a really good match for Abby's personality and told me that Abby is "showing the new kids in preschool the ropes." Hahaha!! Sean and I are both hoping that's a good thing! Abby's main SPED issues are related to social/emotional coping skills, but Mrs. Bruns told me that so far, her transitions during the day are going well.
While I was working on this post yesterday, I asked Abby what her para's name was. She told me it was Mrs. Bird. When I dropped her off at school today, I asked her teacher. Apparently the para's name is Mrs. Linda and no birds are involved, but, I had already made the graphic, so....sorry, Mrs. Linda! Sometimes Abby is a little slow on the uptake. ;)
Mrs. Brittany and Elijah
Elijah is back with Mrs. Brittany and Mrs. Dee this year, and he could not possibly be more delighted! He actually has a little crush on Mrs. Brittany that started last year. It totally cracks us both up when Elijah walks up to her and says, "You have nice shoes!" Oh, they start early! And Mrs. Dee is just a riot! On the second day of school, Elijah walked in with bug bites all over his legs because I let him go outside to play and forgot to spray him down. She took one look at him and said, "You let my baby get all eaten up by BUGS?!" I apologized profusely, but love that she keeps such a close eye on him.
Sean and I are really happy that Elijah has his same teacher and para from last year. They are really awesome ladies, and know how to handle him well. We have a lot of trust in them, and appreciate the huge progress Elijah made last year. They've already reported that he is more settled and focused this year....they aren't sure if it's because he grew up a little bit over the summer or if it's the essential oils I slather him in before he leaves the house, but something changed. Granted, we still have a long. long way to go with the focusing, but everyone has high hopes for even more progress this year!
Mrs. Kesley and Ellie
Ellie is back with one of her most favorite people in the whole world: Mrs. Kelsey! She could hardly stand being away from her this summer, because she looks up to her so much. I'm routinely told, "Well, Mrs. Kelsey says...." Honestly though, Mrs. Kelsey is a wonderful role model for Ellie and she simply blossomed being in her classroom last year. This is such a perfect pairing!
Right now, Ellie's para, Mrs. Liz, is a sub while her regular para is out. We haven't met the regular para yet, but hope she is a lot like Mrs. Liz who seems to be very attentive to the kids and their needs. I'll have to update on that down the road!
Each of the kids will be tested before kindergarten to decide whether or not they need continuing special education services. In preschool, they give SPED kids a general school diagnosis of "Child with a Developmental Delay". In kindergarten, they make that much more specific and that is when labels start coming into play. We are praying that several of our kids will not qualify for services anymore after the progress they have made. We know that at least one or two will probably need continuing help, and we will fight tooth and nail for that, but it shouldn't be a thing that they deal with for their entire school career. The developmental pediatrician told us last year that he hopes to "un-diagnose" Caleb's autism in the next few years as he continues to adapt. I think my biggest fear is having Caleb go all the way through school with a label that will limit him. We actually don't see his autism as a limitation, but rather as just a different set of wiring that contributes to how smart he is. It's just a matter of unlocking his brain in a way that makes sense to him. Anyway, now I'm just rambling. Long story short, we have big hopes for this year for all of our kids, and we know that God will take care of their kindergarten year and testing as we work toward that goal.
This post may contain affiliate links. For more info, please see my disclaimer page.