Friday, September 10, 2010

First Day of 1st Grade

Wednesday, September 8, was Zahra's first day of 1st Grade. This "first day" was very different than last year. I just looked at the blog entry from the first day of kindergarten and saw how happy and excited she was to start a new school year. This time around, every time you would ask her how she felt about starting first grade, her reply was always: "I'm nervous." I would ask, "But aren't you a little excited, too?" and she'd just shake her head and say, "I'm nervous." When I woke her up on the first day at 6:45, the first thing she said was "My heart is beating really fast." And it was. I put my hand up to her chest and I could feel her heart was pounding. Perhaps mentioning "It's the first day of school!" the minute I woke her up was not the best idea. I wanted to take another picture of her in front of the school sign, but she refused to let me take one without Max in the shot. She was really excited about her new Scooby Doo lunch box. (It's fun to me that she likes one of my favorite childhood cartoons. Maybe she'll grow up to love reading mysteries, too.)
We got Zahra some new school clothes and she picked out this skirt at Old Navy by herself. (I put the rest of the outfit together and she didn't seem to care as long as she got to wear this skirt on the first day.) I wanted her to wear the black patent leather Mary Janes with this but I couldn't find them that morning. (Turns out, they were in my trunk, which I discovered when I went to take the umbrella stroller out.)
A brother-sister tete-a-tete before school. (I wanted to cut and paste with the correct accents, but it won't let me. Grrr...)
Zahra did this for a long time after Mrs. Gibson asked the kids to line up. She kept telling me she didn't want to go inside. Typical first-day jitters, I think. I had an appointment with the dentist at the exact time she was getting out of school (my crown was finally cemented after a month's worth of back and forth appointments). I called Bessie's phone when I was on my way back to work and asked to talk to Zahra to see how her first day went. She seemed upbeat and happy. The adjective she used to describe how the day went was "good." Nothing to worry about so that made me happy. I think she just didn't know what to expect and that's what was making her nervous. When she realized it would be a similar experience as last year, I think she felt right at home. Being at a school that was familiar and seeing kids she knew probably made things even better. She only has two or three kids in her class this year that were with her last year. But she gets to see her friends at recess so I think that makes her happy.
Walking in the door to 1st Grade. Somehow in my mind, kindergarten felt like an extension of her as a "little girl." Like, oh... she's just a kindergartener. Something about 1st Grade makes me feel like I have a "big kid" now. While I understand there was definitely a lot happening in kindergarten academically, in retrospect, it seems like a big practice year to get ready for what's happening now. Sometimes I think it wasn't that long ago that she was a super tiny little baby in an isolette, wrapped up in blankets, hooked up to machines and monitors in the hospital, and here she is, starting 1st Grade. It feels both fast and slow at the same time. I feel that I have been very lucky to spend so much time with her and experience so much of her life with her. (Working full time for the month of August made me really realize the difference of my usual part-time schedule.) And on the other hand, time seems to have sped by, how she was in physical therapy as a baby, speech and PT as a toddler, then preschool, kindergarten flew by, and now a whole new grade already.
While we read a lot together over the summer, Zahra still has a long way to go to catch up academically. Both of us were excited to do worksheets in the beginning of the summer, practicing her alphabet and writing 1-30. As the summer went by and our daily schedule got mixed up with vacations and swimming practice and work changes, our enthusiasm started to wane. By the end of the summer, I couldn't get her to do practice school work at all. Every day at bedtime, though, we picked up the Easy Readers we had borrowed and continued to work on those. Reading those "sight words" helped reinforce what she had learned and I saw a lot of progress in her continuing to pick up words and remember them the next time we read the story.
I asked her about her first three days of school and she described some of the assessments they were doing. She said she had trouble with the alphabet and number drills. I'm interested to see where her placement is and what her new teacher recommends to further her progress. I talked to her kindergarten teacher a little after school today and she said that she has already discussed Zahra with Mrs. Gibson and explained where things were left off. But that's all we know about 1st Grade for now. Until later...

1 comment:

  1. My how time has passed. I remember very vividly the time Zahra spent in NICU as if it was just yesterday. And then, I remember going over the 'sight words' this past July and thinking how she has grown & matured. What a blessing! Keep up the good work're a great Mom! -- Nana-Mommy