Sunday, September 21, 2014

Finally Back to School

 Kanyon's mystery virus bought him another week of summer, but after the Labor Day weekend he was all set to go to his first day of school.  We worked on his little sign the night before.  He's done really well with his name lately....even though this time he tried to make his "n" look like a "k".

It will forever bother me that his hair was all messed up in the front for these pictures.  It looks like I fluffed his bangs...which I did not.  His hair was long and out of control at the time, but he had not grown 80's bangs.  Oh well.

As usual it was a "journey" to get a picture where he was looking and smiling.

The sign was a little tricky.  "Hold it up!" "No, not that high" "Higher" "Not in front of your face".......

SUCCESS!!!!! (props to Daddy for acting the fool behind me to get him to smile and look)

Here is the school boy at his new 1st grade desk!  The teacher on the left is the aid that they hired for him last year when we moved here. She stays with him all day.  She's his sidekick...or is he her sidekick??? Either way, she gets him through his day and we love her.  She truly loves Kanyon and wants him to do well. She is diligent and works so hard to get the most out of his days.  He loves "Mrs. Shelley" and we count her as one of our greatest blessings right now.  The school experience would be a totally different story without her.  Kanyon's classroom teacher is Ms. Armstrong on the right.  She is great and once we knew who his teacher was and would tell people around town, we heard so many wonderful things about her.  She was prepared and excited to have Kanyon in her class and does a great job including him and also pushing him to learn more and more.  He also has a recourse teacher where he goes a couple of times a day. She is young, energetic, and focused so we think she's going to be really good too.  She's new to the school this year but some of his therapists at school had worked with her before and had lots of wonderful things to say about her.  We feel like his school takes great care of him with nothing but the best in mind for him. I know a lot of people have to fight for their kids in school and thankfully that has not been our experience in Longview or here in Lewistown. I am so grateful for the people we have working with him and for their willingness to make it work for everyone.  

And y'all, the boy is LEARNING! 
His first week (he only goes to school Tuesday Wednesday and Thursdays) was a little rough. He was super tired and spending a lot of time walking back and forth to all of the different places.  But by the end of those first 3 days, they had made his schedule more efficient and he was rocking and rolling! A lot of his struggle is how much he cries and gets upset.  He is not anywhere near the developmental level of his classmates, so he has a much harder time coping with things throughout the day that most of the other kids just move right on through without a thought.  Not to mention his physical disabilities that make lots of things more challenging.  Even something as simple as holding his paper in place while he writes can be challenging when you've only got one "good hand" and you're using it to write! Shelley is there to navigate through the ups and downs of his emotions as well as provide physical support and assistance when he needs it.  There is NO WAY he could make it through a day without her. And anyone around him would have a hard time making it through the day if Shelley wasn't there with Kanyon!  I hear very little from him about his days, but Mrs. Shelley write a recap of his days every day for me.  It gives me things to ask him about and gives me a glimpse into his day that I can't get from him.  I LOVE that she does that for me! They knew he loved to swing and the school didn't have any swings that worked for him so the school ordered a new swing for the playground just for him so he is loving his recess time.  He loves his new green swing! 

He continues to learn new things little by little. He can recognize almost the whole alphabet and is learning more and more letters that he can write on his own.  Letter sounds mean nothing to him, so at this point in the game, sounding things out and learning phonics isn't going to be his thing.  We think he will be able to learn sight words, so that is where we are going to start.  Numbers are a mystery and he has a hard time counting to 10.... usually he gets stuck at 6.  He's totally in to patterns now which is funny because EVERYTHING is a pattern to him! As with most things, the unfolding of his learning and how he can show us what he knows is a bit of a mystery so we are all learning and adjusting as we go.  But the bottom line is we know that he is learning and getting new things! He is taking it all in and we are just trying to figure out the most efficient way for him to be able to express what he knows.  A lot of times, just the act of having to say something out loud causes his wires to get crossed so that he isn't able to express what he knows even when its things we know he knows.  When everything is overwhelming and so hard for him, there has to be a way to streamline and simplify his assessment or "proof" that he knows something. It is and might always be a constant search for the best way to do that, but I am confident in his teachers and I look forward to seeing what this boy is gonna do.  And equally excited to see HOW he's gonna do it! He finds a way! 


erin f. said...

I love reading about Kanyon and his progress at school. What an amazing blessing to have teachers who are so wonderful. I am already dreading Ellie entering the public school system not knowing or having any control over who will be taking my baby for so many hours a week. So glad that God has provided good schools for Kanyon! He looks very grown up and cool - fluffy bangs and all!

The Speck family said...

Go Kanyon!!!!!! You are one handsome boy and what a brave boy you are!!! So happy that you guys have such a strong team to walk with him in the school journey~ the peace that brings to mama is worth its weight in gold :). Hugs to you all!!!

Marianne said...

Looks like the school has got it figured out!! Love, love, love seeing him with his teachers and helpers who obviously love him. Good story!!