Wednesday, June 18, 2014

End of an Era: 2013/2014 School Year Comes to a Close

Friday the 13th was the last day of school for our children. We're diving full on into summer and boy, oh boy, is it hot! Today we're expected to see a heat index of 105 degrees. I feel like it was just yesterday that we moved into our current house and there were several feet of snow on the ground...

This school year brought a lot of change for our children and I am so very proud of just how adaptable they have been.

 Clara's first day of pre-k.

Clara started the school year in preschool at just 3 years old. She was one of the youngest kids in her class and experienced some major separation anxiety on her first day. In fact, that lasted several weeks! We eventually struck a compromise with her teacher that allowed her to take her blankie to school with her. I was still working in DC as the kids were starting their first day in Pennsylvania and got a call from my husband saying that he didn't think that Clara was ready to go after all. He hung out at the school almost all day in fear that they would send her home. She made it through the day and over the next couple of weeks began to love visiting her "hundreds of friends" at school.

 Clara's after her second day of school.

After a while, she was even able to leave blankie in her backpack at school. Unfortunately, when we moved back to Maryland, she was no longer eligible to attend the pre-k program since she wasn't yet 4. However, she has loved every minute of staying home with her baby brother.

Skylar's kindergarten orientation.

Skylar enjoyed every second of her first year of school in Kindergarten. She didn't get to attend preschool when we lived in Annapolis, so we were afraid that she would have a difficult time in school. her teachers have had nothing but wonderful things to say about her. We hated having to move the kids to a different school in the middle of the year, but Skylar continued to thrive at the new school. In fact, she made even more friends and enjoys walking to school instead of riding the bus. The trip to school when we lived in PA took over 40 minutes each way for the kids. They were grumpy and exhausted when they got home from school. She has made huge progress towards reading and writing this year.

Bus stop picture one chilly fall morning.

I am particularly proud of Oaken for making all of the transitions that have been required of him this last year. He has been such a trooper and has excelled through it all. At the beginning of Kindergarten last year, we began an IEP with the school for speech therapy. He had such a difficult time communicating with adults that even his teacher relied on his friends to relay message to her throughout the day. He made wonderful progress while at that school in Annapolis. We also have Oaken to thank for helping US to make wonderful friends with his buddy Elaine's family. We miss them very much these days as it was so nice to have friends within walking distance!

Skylar and Oaken on the first day of the 2013/2014 school year.

When we moved from Annapolis to PA, Oaken had only a few weeks left in school. Little did we know that the blue ribbon school that he attended in PA for two weeks would be merged with several other schools in the district the following year. This change required that attend yet another new school during the 2013/2014 year. He never once complained and always looked forward to making new friends. At the end of 1st grade this year, he no longer needs his IEP, or speech help, is reading at a 2nd grade level and brings home wonderful test scores in Math.

Oaken and Skylar waiting for the bell to ring on a fall morning we drove them to school.

Through all of the moves, the kids gained a new sibling this year as well! They all adore Cullen more than words and are wonderful big siblings. I didn't think to include Cullen in the end of year sibling picture, but here's one of him now! (As compared to the one of him up above, you know, before he was born :) )

Cheers to summertime!

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