This is the first time I’ve been late on one of these reflections posts. It’s been a really crazy past few months and I just didn’t get it together to write this post by December 1st, when Caelan turned 4 1/2. But he’s still 4 1/2 now in January and things have settled down some and taken a good turn, so let’s see about this recap :)
The most significant part of the last 6 (or 7) months for Caelan has been his experience in school. He finished out the summer in the 3’s classroom. At the end of August, he moved up to the pre-K classroom. Leah also started in the 2’s classroom at the same time and Caelan seemed happy to have Leah there and was also very protective of her!
In October, I went with the kids on a field trip to a local farm. It was a lot of fun for the kids to go together and I always enjoy getting to spend time with the teachers and other parents.
In November, we had a conference with Caelan’s teacher. She (and he) showed us all of the things he had been learning, and we were blown away. His writing had improved dramatically. He was learning to skip count by 2’s and 10’s. He was even sounding out letters and constructing words. The following week, he started reading to us from his Level 1 readers. I was so proud!! My 4 year old was reading!!
It was around that same time that we started hearing about problems at school. It’s a terribly long story that is difficult to tell because it’s made up of so many incidents that eventually led us to pull Caelan and Leah out of their school and find a new place for them. We felt that Caelan’s environment had become unfriendly and that those responsible for him there did not have his best interests at heart. I’m purposely being extremely vague, but suffice it to say out of a class of 12 children, Caelan became the 6th to leave since the beginning of the school year.
It was a really difficult situation, and we struggled with the decision to move both kids to a new school. We had trouble finding a school with mid-year openings for our kids, but we lucked out and managed to move them to a new school just 3 days after pulling them from their old school. I worried about the transition. Caelan would miss his friends, especially one little boy to whom he had become very close over the past year.
It’s only been a week, but they are doing wonderfully!!! Caelan LOVES his new school and teacher. He was even reunited with another child who also left his old school earlier this year. He doesn’t seem to miss his old school at all (which has been very telling) though he does ask about his friend and I really hope I can arrange a playdate for them. But overall, I think this was the best thing we could have done for Caelan. It’s only been a week, but I’m really hopeful that this change in environment is exactly what he needed.
This past holiday season, we spent lots of time with family! First there was Halloween. This may have been the only year where Caelan and Leah were willing to get on board with my suggestion of coordinating costumes. Although, I’m still holding out a little hope for next year :) This year, they went as Batman and Robin.
There was Thanksgiving with both sides of the family at Grammy and Pappy’s house this year.
We made cookies with both Grandma (and Aunt Jen) and Grammy (and Aunts Rachel and Nancy) and the kids really participated this year!! Caelan has been asking more frequently now to help me prepare meals, so I need to start getting him involved in that.
We went and saw Santa this year and both kids sat with him for the first time. Caelan asked for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie, which he did receive :)
Caelan also did some of his own Christmas shopping this year. Bill took him shopping and they picked out gifts for me and Leah. Caelan did a great job keeping his purchases a secret! Last year, he had no concept of keeping a secret.
Caelan and Leah are best friends. Since Leah has moved out of her crib, these two wake up in the morning and go into each other’s rooms to play. There’s plenty of fighting too, but overall, they get along really well. They make up games to play together, they scheme together, and they beg to have a sleepover. I will sometimes sit and watch them play and I’m SO glad they have each other.
Caelan stopped gymnastics class at the beginning of the summer and started up with swimming lessons. It was the first time he’d been in a swim class without me, and he did get off to a rough start. But he improved greatly over the course of 2 sessions. He is willing to swim on his own (with flotation) now. We took a break from swim lessons over the holidays, but hopefully we will start up again this Spring.
Back in August, Caelan started karate. He goes to class once a week and he seems to enjoy it. I can’t tell if he LOVES it or not, but he certainly likes it. He was very excited to earn his first new belt back in November.
Caelan has had a growth spurt these past few months! He was sort of stalled out for a couple years there but in the past year, he has shot up! I’m starting to shop for him some in the Boys’ section now :o He’s very, very independent at this point. There is little he needs help with in terms of self-care, though he does still ask for help often.
In just a couple months we will register Caelan for kindergarten!!!! I can’t believe it, but at the same time, I’m excited for him!! We drive through the crowded bus stop most mornings and Caelan talks about when he will get to ride the school bus with our neighbor, McKenzie. It will be a whole new world for all of us.
The last couple of months have been busy and difficult. I’m hopeful that Caelan’s new school environment will help him finish out his pre-K year on a good note!
Caelan’s 4 1/2 Year Stats
- Wearing 5T and XS tops, 4T pants, size 11 shoes
- Weight: 36.5 lbs
- Height: 41 inches (3′ 6″)
- Loves Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Super Heroes, Legos, trains, cars, watching movies, playing board/card games