My daughter, A, started kindergarten at the end of August. As I wrote on her first day of school, she is in the first of a two-year kindergarten. My school district offers this two-year kindergarten to children who were born in June through November, who would otherwise be the youngest kids in the class. This is not a special ed class; it's 100% mainstream, with all typically-developing kids. Most of the kids in there, including my daughter, can benefit from the extra year in order to develop more social, language and other developmental skills. Although she is in a mainstream class, she does get pulled out for 5 different therapies during the week (30 minutes of physical therapy, 30 minutes of speech therapy, 30 minutes of occupational therapy, 60 minutes of deaf/hard-of-hearing therapy, and 60 minutes of adapted P.E.). I'm so happy that they are giving her all of her services even without being in a special ed class.
School has now been in session for seven weeks. My son, D, is doing great in second grade, as I expected. But my daughter? She's thriving!
- Academically she is exploding. She went to school being able to read a few 3-letter word here or there. Today she can read most 3-letter words without help. She can even spell! We have lots of magnetic letters on our refrigerator that she loves to play with. I can ask her to spell a 3-letter word, like "hat" or "fox" or "bed" and 9/10 times she gets the correct letters and spells the word! Today she came home from school being able to read the words "the", "my" and "see". Being as she is only 7 weeks into her first year of kindergarten, I am very hopeful that she will be a good reader one day.
- On the potty training front, she is mostly trained. I wrote in mid-July that she wasn't potty trained at all. Soon after that, she started to get it. Now, she is accident-free most days, although there are a few days here and there that she comes home from school in new shorts and underwear (I keep a backpack of extra clothes for her in the health aide's office). She also sometimes has accidents at home. But I know many kids in kindergarten have accidents at school, so I'm not worried; I mean, she only trained two months ago!
- She has friends! She seems to be well-liked in the class (as she always was in preschool, too) and has a little group of friends. I've even heard kids say "Oh, there's A, let's go play with her" while we're on the playground in the morning before the bell rings. My heart melts each time I see her walking hand-in-hand with a friend. Of course, her language seems to be way below that of most (but not all) of her peers, but she's obviously able to keep up with them.
- She is getting a bit better with writing some letters and using scissors. This will be an ongoing struggle for her, particularly with her vision issues.
- She is getting so independent! She's been wanting to pick out her own clothes and get dressed by herself; help set the table; help unload the dishwasher; and assist me with various other household chores.