Last week, two members of my family passed some major academic milestones — my baby sister graduated from high school, and my son started his very first big boy school. Although minor in the grand scheme of world history, they were nevertheless tremendously important in our lives.
My sister’s graduation, I must admit, was very simple and calm (and long) affair. She graduated from the same high school as my brother and I did over a decade earlier, and she graduated with honors. There was no nail-biting over whether she would be walking the stage last week. In fact, with my sister the biggest angst has been whether or not she would actually bother to apply to college, not whether or not she would graduate and get in.
And then my son (who as a member of the class of 2027 isn’t graduating for a loooong time) started at his very first honest-to-goodness school. He’s gone to preschools at daycare centers and at his speech therapy practice in the past, but this has been his first real experience in a classroom with very structured learning times. Sure, it’s a special school for kids with speech pathologies (his teacher is a speech therapist not just an educator), but it’s also a real school with schedules, lunch, and PE. It’s been a little bit of an adjustment for Castle. He’s not real sure he likes this whole stopping interesting activities to do less engaging activities (yes, my kid is already bored in school, sigh). However, it turns out that he’ll transition better if you ask him to help some transitional object from the previous activity (like block, dinosaur, cow, marble, etc) participate in the activity. I think he then feels he is choosing to participate (as a favor to block) instead of being forced to join in (because Teacher told him to). It’s a technique we’ve used at home for quite some time for things like bedtime and bath time with reasonable success, so it was nice to see it translated to school as well.