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Posts tagged ‘pre-k’

Family Friday: Pre-K Graduation

Hayleigh’s last day of school was on this past Wednesday. But, the pre-K classes did their graduation on Monday. And even though she will be staying back for another year of pre-k, she was not left out of the celebration. It was a cute ceremony. There was a slideshow playing when we first got there of pictures taken of the kids throughout the year. One of the first ones I saw was of Hayleigh climbing up to one of the slides, and she was looking over her shoulder at the camera. And the look on her face was totally one of her looks. Then, the kids came marching into the room singing a song and wearing caps they had made. They sang a few songs then got their diplomas. And seeing Hayleigh beside all the other kids, I could see just how much smaller she really is than the other kids. Which makes sense considering some of them are almost a full year older than her(since some turned 5 as early as last September).

walking to the front

getting her diploma from her teachers

with the diploma back at her cubby

She’s now on summer vacation. and on the first day of that, she kept asking me when she was going back to school. This girl definitely likes school. Hope that continues for a long time.

Family Friday: Making Progress and Meeting Goals

Usually when I talk about making progress and meeting goals, I’m talking about my own writing. Not this time. Yesterday, I had a meeting at Hayleigh’s school with her speech and occupational therapists and one of her teachers. We went over the evaluation report and her IEP for next year. Both of the therapists(the physical therapist wasn’t able to make it but her report was in with the evaluation) said she has made dramatic progress over the school year. and even the teacher is seeing her gain some more confidence although she still has trouble interacting with the other kids.

On her second trimester report card, she really only needed improvement in social interaction. She had mastered all the math expectations though. Her teachers say she is often hesitant to participate in classroom task even though her abilities show strength there. Her areas of academic strength are literacy and math skills. At home, she’s been asking me what 1+1+1+1=. Or what 10+10+10=. So since she was showing some interest in math, I printed out a worksheet that has addition problems with sums up to 5. We went through it, and she was able to figure most of them out(some with some rewording from me. From straight problems to word problems). When I mentioned this to the teacher yesterday, she said that’s what her daughter is just starting to do in Kindergarten. So, she certainly isn’t lacking in academic skills.

On her speech evaluation, the speech therapist at the school said she demonstrated receptive and expressive language abilities at and well above age-expectations but didn’t carry that over into her conversational speech. She also doesn’t share her needs, wants, ideas, and /or opinions with peers/adults without encouragement. She has made a lot of progress, but the speech therapist she’s been seeing since her 3rd birthday said her speech pattern “continues to be somewhat choppy, suggesting limited control of breath support for speech.”

For her actual evaluation results, she scored in the second percentile for gross motor skills over all. For stationary, she was equivalent to a 46 month old(so just under 4 years). For locomotion it was 25 months(which the physical therapist says she has “hypermobility of the lower extremity joints with decreased balance, coordination, strength and delay with her gross motor skills”). And on object manipulation she scored at an equivalency to 27 months. For her fine motor skills, she is equivalent to 49 months on grasping and 59 months for visual motor integration. According to the occupational therapist, she is now using the tripod grasp on her crayon about 75% of the time, but isn’t transferring that to a pencil. And she has been consistently independent with her scissor grasp and bale to cut out all the preschool shapes while staying withing 1/8 of an inch of the lines. These are great gains for her.

On a early academic and language skills survey given to her by the school psychologist, she scored 105 in vocabulary, 77 is expressive skills, 123 in receptive skills and 124 in numbers, letters, and words. On the CIRCLES assessment(evaluates knowledge of letters, vocabulary, rhyming, etc) given in the middle of the year, she scored satisfactory in rhyming 2, alliteration, words in a sentence, syllabication, and onset rime. She scored as emerging in listening and rhyming 1.

For next year, the therapists set up new goals since she has pretty much met the ones they had set for this year. For her gross motor skills, the physical therapist wants her to improve ability for jumping forward 24 inches, balance on one foot for 8 seconds, and participate in gross motor activities within the class. As well as catch an 8 inch ball 4/5 times when thrown from a 5 foot distance and kick a rolling ball a 7 foot distance. Right now she is able to jump forward 8 inches with a two foot take off and landing. She can jump 15 inches with a slight lead with one foot. She can jump down from a 7 inch height but is unable to jump a 2 inch hurdle. She can catch the ball 2/5 times by trapping it against her body and can throw it a 5 foot distance. She can throw a tennis ball overhand 3 feet and attempts to throw it underhand by using two hands. She’s been able to kick a stationary ball with the right foot 10 feet but has more difficulty kicking a rolling ball.

Her fine motor goals for next year are to: hold her crayon with a tripod grasp 100% of the time, hold her scissors correctly 100% of the time and cut out shapes independently,  copy the letters(upper and lower case) with 75% accuracy, and color within the lines 90% of the time.As I said, she’s already holding the crayon the right way 75% of the time. And the OT did give me some fun activities we can do over the summer with her that will help strengthen her fine motor skills.

For her speech goals, there’s really just one. She wants her to “demonstrate ability to use developmentally appropriate final consonants in words in sentences when answering teacher questions after class story or during class discussion.” Right now she is speaking with grammatically appropriate sentence of 4-11 words in length. She continues to be very quiet with a choppy speech pattern. She has shown improved articulation though. She can ask and answer a variety of questions, recite songs/rhymes with the class group, and use language for a variety of purposes.

Like I said, she has made great improvements in just the last year. And especially since we got her into the early intervention program just after she turned 2(when she said maybe half a dozen words and barely communicated at all). There were some people that questioned my decision to do that, thinking she would just do it on her own. But, I think it’s the best decision we ever made. And her therapists are convinced by this time next year, she won’t qualify for services any more(and wouldn’t need them anyway). Which would be a great thing!


Family Friday: School Meeting

I had a meeting at Hayleigh’s school this morning. It was me, one of her teachers, the school psychologist,  the speech/language therapist(the one through the school, not the one we’ve worked with since she turned 3), and the occupational therapist that’s been working with her through the school year. The physical therapist couldn’t make it though. The meeting went well. They went over all of the evaluation reports. And she scored above average(and even well above average) for all of the academic type stuff. And even with her fine motor skills, she’s made gains of about 20+ months(since the last time she was evaluated 10 months ago). she’s made smaller gains with her gross motor skills but is still improving. They even said that if we send her on to Kindergarten, they could just get her eligible for services. With just her scores, she wouldn’t be, but by using “clinical judgment”, they could still get services for her.

But, we really think(and her teachers and the therapists agree) that if she stays in K-4 for another year, she’ll be even stronger going into Kindergarten. And we’re afraid that by sending her on, she’ll struggle and we’ll have to end up holding her back anyway. So, we feel it would be better to keep her back now instead of waiting. And really, she only misses the age cutoff by about 3 weeks. So, she is one of the youngest kids in her class. So, she’ll actually be closer in age to the ones coming into K-4 next year.

They did suggest trying to get her into the Early Connections program, which is right across the street from the school. So, I called them after the meeting, but since she’s all ready enrolled at the school, she can’t get into the state’s “Pre-K Counts” program. So, she would be in their child care program and on one paycheck, that just isn’t in our budget right now.


Family Friday: Happy Easter and 3rd Quarter Progress Report

I hope everyone that celebrates had a wonderful Easter last weekend. Ours was pretty good. We ended up not coloring eggs this year. We didn’t have any in the house at the end of the week and didn’t feel like running to the store for just eggs. Neither of the kids seemed to know the difference and the Easter bunny was going to be hiding plastic eggs around the house anyway(so he didn’t have to worry about the early rising kids in the house waking up before he got here;)), so I didn’t worry about it too much.

We had to put out a snack of carrots and water(since Hayleigh thought he would need a drink to go with his snack). And he left the Easter baskets sitting right out on their coloring table. Sunday morning, Hayleigh comes running into our room, “Mommy, come see what’s on the coloring table. What the Easter bunny brought me.” It was so cute seeing how excited she was.

Easter baskets for the kids

The Easter bunny was pretty nice about hiding the eggs as well. Most were “hidden” in plain sight. Must have been thinking about Nathan when they were hidden. Although he was more interested in opening the first one he found and seeing what was in it than finding any other eggs.

Checking out his Easter basket

Carrying an egg around

Showing off her new sunglasses

Sunday afternoon we went to Cory’s aunt’s for Easter dinner. Ham, scalloped potatoes, corn, carrots, and strawberry pretzel dessert(YUM!). And an egg hunt for the kids a little later. It was a good time.

All dressed up for Easter

Finding some eggs

Standing in front of a large inflatable Easter Bunny


Last Tuesday, before starting their Easter break, Hayleigh brought home her third quarter report card. The only thing she “needs improvement” with, other than interacting with others, is recognizing words that rhyme, producing rhyming words, and writing her name with proper formation, all of which has improved over the last month or so.

Academically, she’s doing great though. She can identify all 8 colors, 6 out of 6 shapes, recognizes 11/11 numbers and can point and count at least 15 objects. And she counts up to 100 even though the end of the year goal is only 20.

She identifies 52/52 letters and recognizes 25 out of 26 letter sounds. She also recognizes name in print, can sing ABC song, Repeats rhymes/poems, can hear and combine letter sounds, and can count the number of syllables in a word(she is always having us clap the parts of words at home).

Family Friday: Do We Stay or Go?

We had parent-teacher conferences at Hayleigh’s school on Tuesday. Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook will know about this all ready. Her teachers expressed some concerns about her development, most her social development and some of her motor skill delays. We were all set on sending her on to Kindergarten next year, but after this meeting, we’re torn between keeping her back and sending her on.

There are no concerns from any of us about her academic progress. She is right where she needs to be there. She counts to 100(they only expect 30 by the end of the year), she knows all of her shapes, colors, letters, and letter sounds. She’s even starting to recognize words when we’re reading books. We were reading Fox in Socks the other night and she read the first few pages, only needing help with the name “Knox”. Once I explained to her that the K was silent, she didn’t have a problem. Now, once the sentences got more complex, I did more of the reading, but still I was impressed with what she could do.

But, even though the school year is about three-quarters of the way through, she is not adjusting, especially socially. It’s not just that she won’t talk or play with the other kids either. She won’t interact with them. If there’s something she wants or wants to do, and another kid is in her way, she’ll go do something else. She won’t try to push her way through or even ask for them to get out of her way. If she needs help with something, she won’t ask. She just sits there until someone notices she needs help.

I was discussing some of these issues with my mom on Wednesday and her response? “Hmmm. That sounds like someone else.” Yes, she takes after me. And that’s the problem. I don’t want her to be like me. I don’t want her to have the same issues when it comes to dealing with people. Everyone thinks I’m just shy, but it goes even deeper than that. And there’s the guilt I feel because I feel like at least some of why she is this way is because of me. And not just that I may have passed my personality on to her. But, because of my own social issues, she never really socialized with other kids when she was younger. So, I wonder if she would have, would she be at least a little more outgoing? Or if even not outgoing, at least be able to adjust to being around other kids and interact with them. But, then I look at Nathaniel, and he’s had the exact same early environment, but the exact opposite personality. So it may have not made any difference. And I know it doesn’t make any difference to question myself now. There’s no way to go back and change it.

And if we move her on to Kindergarten, she will likely not receive her speech therapy services anymore. Which in a way is good. It means she’s come far enough that they don’t feel she needs them anymore. But, the requirements are different once they consider a kid school age, so they have to be further delayed than when they were younger. If we keep her in the pre-k program, she’ll still receive those services. And if she loses the speech therapy, she likely won’t qualify for the physical and occupational therapy services anymore either. And she does still need them. She especially struggles with the fine motor skills, like cutting and writing. It’s not that she can’t do it, just that it takes her longer. It takes her longer to do just about everything it seems. Even eating snack. And when she goes to Kindergarten, she’ll have half an hour to get her lunch, her seat, eat, and throw everything away. And if she has trouble opening something, she doesn’t ask for help. The last thing we want is for her to go hungry because she didn’t have enough time to eat because she wouldn’t ask for help with something.

And another concern her teachers had is that she seems to need to be walked through every step of a routine. And this is something we’ve seen at home too. It’s a long process to get her ready for school. We have to tell her to put her shirt on. Then put her pants on. Then get her shoes on and her coat. We can’t just say, “Hayleigh, get dressed” or “get ready to go.” It’s like we have to walk her through every step of it. And we’ve been hearing a lot of “I can’t”s lately, even when it’s something we know she can do perfectly fine.

And there’s her level of frustration when she doesn’t do something exactly right. The other day she was practicing writing her name and while writing her last name made an M instead of W. I just made a comment that it wasn’t quite a W, and suddenly she couldn’t do it anymore. She does this with everything. She’s always been a perfectionist. I honestly think that’s part of why it took her longer to walk and talk.

There are plenty of pros and cons on both sides of this decision, which is why we are so torn over it. Right now though, I think we’re leaning more toward keeping her back for another year in Pre-K. We don’t have to make a final decision yet though.

In other news, Nathaniel had his 18 month check-up yesterday. He now weighs 25 lbs, 4 oz(60%). I really thought he was going to weigh more than that. He is almost 32 inches long(25%). So, he’s kind of short and chunky. 😉 I think he may be about to go through a growth spurt though, so if his appointment had been in another week or two, those stats could have been different.

Family Friday: Second Pre-K Progress Report

Last Friday, Hayleigh brought home her second report card(or K-4 Progress Report as they call it). She’s made some improvements since the last one in November. In social development, she went from Needs Improvement to satisfactory in follows classroom routines and follows directions to complete a task. Which makes me feel she’s at least warming up to the teachers if not the other students, since she still scored Needs Improvement in interacts with others. This doesn’t surprise me at all since she is so my daughter. She remained satisfactory in follows classroom rules and demonstrates self-help skills.

She scored really well under the math section(so maybe not so much my daughter). She can identify 8/8 colors, 6/6 shapes, 11/11 numbers, can point and count 15/15 objects(does more than that at home), and can count to 35(does more at home but they only expect 20 by the end of the year).

She can identify 50/52 letters, which has not changed since the last report. I know she has trouble sometimes with lowercase b,d, and p. She can identify 17/26 letter sounds, but could only do 6 last time. She’s satisfactory in everything except for recognizing words that rhyme(seems to think they rhyme if they start with the same sound), but can produce rhyming words. She also needs improvement in writing her name using proper formation(although she does okay, if she can see the letters).

She did pretty good when she could see it all ready written out

The teachers left a comment on the back of the report card that they “really enjoy having Hayleigh in our class! She seems to really enjoy school.” She really does. And she enjoys doing her homework(strange, I know). In fact, she gets upset when I tell her she doesn’t have any. Now, if only we can keep up that attitude for the rest of her schooling years.

Growing Up

Nathaniel will be 10 months on July 3, but he just had his nine month well visit on Wednesday. He is growing very well. When he was born, he weighed 8 lbs, 9 oz. At 9.5 months, he weighs just a little less than 21 pounds. In comparison, his sister did not weigh 20 pounds until she turned 1. And now she’s still only weighing in at 30 pounds. He is 29 inches long(she was still 28.5 at 1 year). So apparently I’m going to have a little peanut and a bruiser. He’s developing right on track: crawling, pulling up on everything, babbling, and everything else that’s expected of an infant his age. He had to get three shots, and as it was nap time and he was already cranky, this did not go over too well. He did sleep on the way home and didn’t seem to be any crankier than normal although he did not nap as well as normal yesterday. He did rip off his own Band-aid after we got home though. We have to get some blood work closer to his first birthday to check his iron and lead levels then he’ll have his next appointment after he turns one.

Some background on Hayleigh(for those who don’t know): When she was two, she was only saying maybe a dozen words. Since we were concerned, we called Early Intervention. After doing an evaluation, she was found to be eligible for services through the birth to three program. A speech therapist came out to the house once a week to work with her until she turned three. At that time, she was saying about 4 dozen words and a few phrases, but was still behind where she should be. So we were able to get her into a preschool type program that focused on language/communication skills. It was only one day a week, but in the last nine months, she has made so much progress. She’ll be going to the pre-k program at the elementary school next year, and we just had a meeting yesterday with one of her teachers from this past year to go over her IEP(Individualized Educational Program ) for next year.

Her teacher also had some concerns because she was showing some difficulty with certain fine and gross motor skills. So, she was evaluated by physical and occupational therapists and was found to have delays in both areas as well. Her development in these areas was put at between 20 months and 39 months(and she’ll be 4, or 48 months, in less than seven weeks). So, she’ll be seen by both physical and occupational therapists during the rest of the summer session(she goes twice a week once a month during the summer) and during the next school year.

This is something I say all the time, but it is very true: they are just growing up too fast. I just made their 1 year and 4 year appointments yesterday. And I almost got choked up thinking how she can’t be almost 4 because sometimes it feels like she was just born. How does the time fly by so fast?

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