Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Book About Me!

As I mentioned, Simon brought home this cool book that he helped make, all about him!

Apparently his teacher mixed up mom and dad here, according to Simon. :) And if you look closely, you can see where he tried to write our names too. I love that he included Leia in our family picture!

Matt and I both think his astronaut is pretty ingenious, showing the whole body inside a puffy suit!

We are so proud and excited about all that he is learning at his new school!

Monday, September 22, 2014

YCA daily reports

Here are some of the daily notes and pictures from Simon's new school.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pre-K at YCA

With Simon turning 5 not even a week before the cutoff for kindergarten, we had a hard decision to make--whether or not to send him this year or wait. After talking with his daycare teachers, his occupational therapist and thinking long and hard, we decided to wait the year. With his sensory processing issues, we were concerned that he would be way overstimulated by 20+ kids and one teacher in a classroom. He is also still catching up with some of his fine motor skills, and still struggles to self-regulate in a chaotic atmosphere. So why not give him an extra year, and make sure he gets the best start to school that he can?

Once we decided to hold off on kindergarten, we quickly made the decision to look for a new school for the year. As much as we have appreciated the boys' experiences at ELDC, we wanted to find him something new rather than just have him spend another year in the oldest classroom. We found a school called Young Child Academy down closer to downtown, right near the Space Needle, and it has a Pre-K 2 room. It's for 5 year olds who attend full time only, and it has a max of 10 kids and 1 teacher. So we enrolled him and he started the day after Labor Day weekend. And...so far so good!

His teacher is Sarah and there are 7 kids in the room at this point, Their schedule and activities feel more like kindergarten than pre-k--they have their own handwriting books, they do a lot with letters and numbers and even spend time every day learning Spanish! They focus on a letter each week, and the kids are encouraged to bring an item from home that starts with that letter. And once a month, each child has a sharing day, where they can bring something special from home to share with the class. Simon's day is this coming Tuesday, and he can't wait to bring a Transformer (surprise surprise!)

One of my favorite things about the new routine is that he has a notebook, and each day we get some notes from Sarah about his day, plus there is usually a drawing from Simon. Tomorrow I'll post a bunch of the daily "reports", they are really special. He also brought home an amazing book that he made, called "A Book About Me!" I'll share that soon too.

Overall, we have been really happy so far, and Simon has adapted wonderfully. Our understanding is that he has been pretty relaxed and happy, with significantly less reported trouble with acting out and struggling to self-regulate. We think it's the small class plus just a new environment, and we couldn't be happier about his start at YCA.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Simon Turns 5!!!

We had a ton of fun celebrating Simon's 5th birthday over the last couple of weeks, including gifts and an ice cream cake on his actual birthday.

But the real party was this past weekend. We had about 12 kids join us for Simon's robot party at a space called The Moonpaper Tent. They do custom themed parties, and really went all out for our 5 year old robot boy! They had the kids dress up, choosing their costumes from all kinds of cool options, did some facepainting, and then the adventure began. Two people led the kids through an immersive experience, inviting them to shape the story by doing things like choose their robot names and super powers and power moves.

They spent an hour running all over the place, traveling to "Moontropolis" in order to find all of the energon crystals. Part of their adventure was creating a craft, they all had to make their own "gadget" to help with their energon hunt.

We had coordinated with them ahead of time to include details that Simon usually mentions when he pretends to be a robot, and he was so into it!

Once the robot adventure was over, we had some snacks and then cupcakes! The kids got to take home bags of treasure that the venue put together for them, plus the robot rings from the cupcakes. Overall, we had a great time with Simon and his robot friends!

Robot cupcakes

The costume and facepainting room

Front room

I made the kids robot antennae headbands (thanks Pinterest)

Kids getting ready for the adventure!

Simon's (current) robot name is "Etch-a-sketch Cyclonotron"

Listening to the start of the story and announcing their robot names and powers

Finding the first of the energon deposits.

Powering Up! Each of the kids showed their power up move and they all tried them!

Making their "gadgets"

After the adventure, time for candles and cupcakes!

Cup Holder

It just so happens that Simon's car seat has two built in cup holders, while Nate's does not. And Nate has a serious case of cup holder envy. So rather than buy him a new $300 car seat, we bought him a $20 cup holder that attaches onto the side of his seat. He was SO excited, he even made up a cup holder song!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Boys at play

A quick video of the boys being themselves in the playroom one recent morning.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Twinkle Twinkle variations

Twinkle, Solo.

Twinkle, Duet.