Everyday when Samuel would come home from kindergarten we would clean out his folder and put all his treasures in this box. Most of the papers would have some kind of note or picture he wrote to his teacher about how much he loved her. There was always a few pictures he drew, and of course worksheets he didn’t want to finish. “Mommy, do I really need to still finish all these worksheets?” Me, “Uhmm NO!” I laughed again at how he’d sign his papers Captain Color and she would write him a note not to do that which did not phase him at all.
If you followed my previous blog: http://yourinnerlayer.wordpress.com you know that this box holds a lot of emotion for both Samuel and I. Well, on this day we decided it was time to get First Grade ready and put this box in the past. I plopped it on the desk and he started going through it inspecting every piece of paper with great care. Then the questions started coming as if this experienced happened years ago and he couldn’t remember. “Mommy, why did I get in so much trouble?” Me, “What do you remember?” Flip through more papers, “Mommy, why did they always send these notes home from the office?” Me, “To make sure I remembered why they called me that day.” Flip through more, “Mommy, I really did love Mrs. Mills even when she didn’t want me in her classroom. I just think you’re a better a teacher for me.” Me, “I’m so glad you have fond memories of Mrs. Mills. Samuel, I’m certain you planted a seed in her mind that will grow forever.” Flip flip flip, “Mommy, can we please never do handwriting worksheets again?” Me, “worksheets, yes.” Flip flip flip, “Mommy, can’t you just decide what I keep? This is making me frustrated again.” And there you have it. I didn’t let him just walk away, I took the tougher route of walking down this road beside him and finding memories tucked beneath the feelings of frustrations that were happy. My flesh wanted to bring the box out back, light it on fire and roast S’mores, but there were great times of rejoicing that were buried under these feelings. Like this one hugging Mrs. Mills so tight.
Or the class parties when I got to spend time in his room with him.
Samuel had a lot of successes in Kindergarten. He learned to be away from me for 8 hours a day for the first time in his life. He learned to be in a classroom with other peers, even if he wasn’t always perfect at it. He learned to wait, to take turns and that life throws you curve balls. He may not have done it all within the box the school system would like him to have done it, but he did it. He learned the importance of learning others names and he learned some really neat educational things to. He learned to stand on stage in front of full auditorium and speak into a microphone alone with confidence.
He has a bigger respect for the benefits of homeschool, but he’ll also miss Mrs. Mills, his friends and class time. But the Blue Folder his performance report came in each day:
THAT is history! So what were the big things Samuel wanted to keep out of this overflowing box? All of his “free draw” papers he did while he in “recovery” and this Super Hero vest he made for the Thanksgiving Feast.
We got rid of two bags full of worksheets
And ended up saving these drawings with a few of his handwriting journals tucked in there that I think he’ll laugh at later.
I’ll eventually pull it all out one more time and let him arrange it all in a binder. But for now, Kindergarten is officially behind us and First Grade, WE are ready for YOU!