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Kindergarten assessment

Well, it’s done. We had kindergarten assessment for Ryley yesterday. I was nervous going in. You know how you feel when your preemie has those follow-up developmental checks? The ones that take a couple of hours? That’s exactly how I felt. I KNOW what he’s capable of, but would he perform for the person reviewing him? Would he show his skills, or sit there, uncooperative? He’s been through similar evaluations four times in the past year and a half – three at his preschool, and one when I was trying to figure out whether to start him in kindergarten last year, or hold him out. I’ve seen the results, and I’ve seen the massive improvements, but I had no idea how he would do yesterday. It was a new person, a new environment, which can amount to catastrophe.

We walked into the kindergarten classroom where the evaluation was going to be done, and my jaw just dropped. I got so excited. This is where my children are going to go to school! The room was awesome….full of color and light, art projects all over the walls, bright letters and numbers, a bird, three frogs, tiny tables and chairs, books everywhere…..so beautiful. We met the reviewer, one of the kindergarten teachers, Debi, and the assessment began. Ryley was a champ. He wrote his own name, and didn’t forget the L like he usually does. He recognized almost all of the capitol letters, and some of the lower case letters. He got every sound of the letters except for three (something to work on – THANK YOU Darcy for suggesting the Letter Factory!!!!!!!!!!), and could count to 29. He recognized all his numbers to 10 and then from 21 – 29, and of course 44 which is the number on his t-ball jersey. He could recognize and draw all his shapes, and knew all of his colors. My heart was in my throat with every new question. The anticipation was strangling me. With each right answer, I could feel the joy spread, and some of the tension release. We did get quite a laugh at one point……cutting skills are part of the assessment. I already know that Ryley knows how to cut with scissors very well, and he quickly showed those skills off. Debi was very impressed, and I shared his haircutting adventures over the past year and a half. She laughed and asked Ryley how much trouble he’d gotten into. At the end, she announced that Ryley is “very ready” for kindergarten. My son is “very ready”………..for kindergarten.

I am so thankful I held him out this year. For those of you who were with me as I struggled with this decision last year, thank you for your support and your patience, and for your words of wisdom and encouragement. It was the best thing for Ryley. I still can’t believe…he is very ready for kindergarten. We couldn’t have made a better decision for him.

There was one thing that got me yesterday. Maybe you all could tell me how you would answer this question. On one of the parent questionnaires for kindergarten, they ask about health problems, languages spoken at home, preschools attended and for how long, etc. The very last question is if there is anything else we want them to know about our child that may affect his day to day life in school. I hesitated. We had advised them of his asthma, but I wavered on whether his prematurity was something they needed to know. Should I write it down or not? I ended up leaving that line blank, but it has bothered me since. Ryley has very few physical challenges, outside of his asthma, that result from his prematurity. He seems to be okay, but I still worry, and I want to keep a close eye on anything else that might arise. The simple fact of the matter is we don’t know all the long-term outcomes of prematurity. I am always fearful of what may show up “down the road”. Do I make his teachers in kindergarten aware of his prematurity so they can help keep that close eye for any potential problems? Do I want him labeled that way? Or do I just let it go, and stay vigilant for any signs of trouble? Or do I PROUDLY let them know his beginnings so they can see how far he’s come and really care about what issues might show up as he grows up? Right now, a blank line is on that form. And I honestly don’t know what to do about it. I am tearfully beyond proud of Ryley. He is amazing to me. Yesterday brought back memories of his beginnings, and the fears that he would never reach this point in his life. I would shout that out to the world if I could.

Thanks for the encouragement over the past few days as the assessment approached. I’m glad it’s done, and so excited about Ryley starting this educational adventure called Kindergarten……

7 thoughts on “Kindergarten assessment

  1. BRILLIANT I tell you… that kid is BRILLIANT!!! Donna, I’m so happy that the assessment went so well. I can almost see the smile on your face, as it grew with each task he completed. As for that line on the questionnaire. Our’s has a section for surgeries, extended hospital stays, illnesses. I have attached a sheet to provide all this info for the school, it doesn’t all fit in that teeny, tiny box they allow. Does it make a difference today.. next year? I don’t know.. but I do feel it’s who our children are. I don’t know it that helps or not.. as I struggled with the same issue. Hugs, and Congrats on having a big boy…. “very ready” for Kindergarten!
    Karri

  2. Donna –
    Congrats! And a Wooohooo to Ryley! When I enrolled Leighton in preschool – I, too, attached a sheet to the questionairre. I couldn’t ignore her prematurity – as her social “issues” – and her behavior – are largely shaped by never leaving the house. I know our situations aren’t the same….but maybe that helps? I would do whatever you feel comfortable with. I can’t wait to hear about all of Ryleys new adventures at school! And I’ll pray that he doesn’t do any snipping on unsuspecting classmates!! Denise

  3. What a relief to hear those words…that Ryley is *very ready* for kintergarden!!! Now you KNOW without question that you made the right decision for him….because you are an awesome parent. The questionairre….I’ve never dealt with this issue, but I say proudly let them know….maybe ask one of the teachers about it so you know for sure…and what you need to put. He is a preemie, and with that comes issues they may need to know about, and that may come up, and that could explain things about Ryley. So proud of your little man…he’s getting so big…and acheiving things beyond your dreams!! Way to go Ryley!! Funny about the scissors…he may be the next Edward Scissorhands… Hugs!! On to new adventures and great school stories!!
    Sharlene

  4. Aw man, I had actually gotten through almost the entire day without crying on Share. But this made the tears well up… but they are tears of pride, tears that you get when a child touches your heart and warms your soul. I am *so* proud of him. He has come SO FAR from October when we first talked about his skills. He is oh so very ready for this… and I am so glad he got an extra year to shine up those skills. Now he can be a leader in his class, and not play catch up. He can show off that shining personality and never have to wonder!
    As for that last line. Leave it blank. If issues comes up, cross that bridge then. I say if they don’t need to know, don’t label him unnecessarily. That’s my $.02.
    Hurray for Ryley! *throws confetti and releases streamers* *beams like a proud auntie*
    Darcy

  5. Way to go Ryley!! He is such an awesome kid. I agree with Darcy–leave that line blank and if something comes up you can address it than but not to start with. I wish I could be there with you when you drop him off for his first day of kindergarten. It is unlike any other first they will have in their lives. I still cry when I think about the girls’ first day of kindergarten. I am so proud of you and my wonderful nephew!! What he has accomplished over the last year is because of you and the support you give him.
    Amy

  6. Donna…. As a mom and as a teacher…I would inform the school about everything….I would rather have them know it all then not enough….
    I feel it is always better for them to know too much information instead of not enough. That way they will best know Ryley from the first day of school.
    I am so excited to hear that Ryley is going to K in the fall….Way to go!!!
    Cathy

  7. I am so happy that it went well. I didn’t expect anything less. I don’t know how I would have answered that question either. That is a hard one. On one hand, would they hold it against him or would they pass somethings off because he was a preemie? I don’t know there. Angi “Phoenix’s MoM’

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