Back to School 2016

Thursday, December 29, 2016

This year was a hard one for me.  Anna Claire moved to the intermediate building, Ava moved to 1st grade, and Alli started kindergarten.  If you know me in real life, you know Kindergarten was a struggle for me.  I went back and forth over whether or not to send her this year and was even directed by one of her doctor's to wait a year.  The reality is, she would not have started close to grade level if we waited out another year so the best thing for her developmentally was to start this year.

And I am so, so thankful we did.  Academic growth will be slow for her, I dare say always because Jesus and this girl have and will continue to do amazing things.  But socially....this.girl.has.grown.  The last week of school before Christmas, I caught a glimpse of her on the playground.  I was delivering doughnuts to Ava's class and saw Alli and her para walking to recess.  

Her para said, "She's come so far already this year."

I smiled and nodded, "Mmmhhh, she has.  I'm so proud of her."  

Her para responded, "Just on the playground alone.  At the beginning of the year she only wanted to swing.  And then she discovered the playground equipment and learned to navigate that and the slide.  Now, she's right in the middle of the kids playing ball."

I smiled and hugged my girl telling her how proud of her I was.  I told her to play and work hard and then I was off to Ava's class and Alli was off to recess.  I delivered Ava's class her doughnuts and then as I was leaving decided to sneak a peak at the playground.  

I saw a typically developing kindergarten girl running towards Alli arms stretched wide for a hug yelling, "ALLLLIIIIIII."  Alli bent over giggling received that hug in delight.  I saw a few other boys and girls, all typical kindergartners, play catch with her.  I stood in a closed door frame with tears streaming down my face.  

Kindergarten is so good for this girl of ours.  So, so good.

But before all of that growth, we had to start somewhere.  The first week of August we had to register Alli (see how uncertain I still was about Kindergarten).  I had already met with her team prior to summer break so we knew who and what services were needed, I just still needed to time to wrap my head and heart around it all.  We got her registered and went to meet her teacher!

Alli has a general education teacher and a special education teacher.  She is in the general ed class very little, but we were SOOOOO thankful to find out that Mrs. H was Alli's general ed. teacher.  She was Ava's kindergarten teacher and is just precious.  She knows our family, know Alli's story, so the history there is just so helpful.  

 

 One of my favorite things to find out was seeing how included Alli would still be in the general ed classroom, even though she would only begin by spending 5-10 minutes there each morning.  Now I know it's all part of inclusion, but I was still surprised.  She has a locker, a desk, and her name is on everything just like it would be if she were spending 100% of her day.  And I know I say it should be, that's inclusion, but it's still oh.so.good for the mama heart to see.



Ava getting to snag a hug from her favorite Kindergarten teacher!





 We ran to Fayetteville one Sunday after church for lunch with this crew and some back to school shopping.  Love Phil and Teri so much!



Seeing Bad Moms with 2 of my favorites.  Y'all.  I haven't laughed that hard in some time.


With Back to School shopping complete it was time to get meet the teacher in full swing!  We were super excited to have Mrs. R for 4th grade.  She seems super sweet and hopefully will help rekindle AC's love for math that was lost during that 3rd grade year (ack to some common core).
 


Mrs. B was in kindergarten last year, but moved up to 1st.  She is the salt of the earth, this woman.  I wish she could move up every year.  #hinthint



 

 
And Alli was finally able to meet her special education teacher, Mrs. D.  She won Alli over fairly fast, which is a hard job.
 



 The rest of the day was spent selling (and modeling spirit wear) and meeting up with old friends.  It was an incredible summer to remember, but there is still something so fun about going back to school.






 





First Day of School 2016







Ava E, first grader, at last!!  I don't think there has ever been another more excited about 1st grade (except Junie B.)     

Here's to a great year (which is already half way through at this point...ha)! 



Jackie
 







 

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