Today Alan attended the first birthday party of the summer, as his best friend Joshua (wearing red) turned 5. Other classmates who made it out to the party – which was held outdoors at the Highland Heights Park – included Ryleigh, Armando, and Meredith. This park is one of Alan’s favorite parks because of the tall ladders and slides!
Happy Birthday Joshua!
Alan ended his preschool career today on a high note with a fun ceremony in Mrs. Jones’ classroom!
The day started off on a normal schedule for the kids, with the ceremony beginning at 10:00. Parents arrived while the kids were at recess, so we watched a year-in-review slideshow while we waited for them. When the kids returned from the playground, they marched in to the graduation song and took their seats.
After the kids sang three songs – one of which the parents were asked to sing along with (the “Head, shoulders, knees, and toes” song) — it was time to present certificates. The younger students went first, followed by the five kids moving on to kindergarten. Fortunately all five, which includes Alan, Natalee, Joshua, Ryleigh, and Meredith, will be back at Millridge together for kindergarten in the fall!
Once the ceremony was over, the parents of the five kids moving on to kindergarten were given 8 x 10 photos of their child wearing a cap and gown. I thought Alan’s photo turned out great!
It was so nice to watch Alan interact with his friends today. He gets along so well with his classmates and it’s a joy to see.
Can’t wait for kindergarten in the fall!
Today Alan met up with his class — including Ella and Almas (pictured with Alan) — at Preston’s Hope Community Park to celebrate a great school year. They had a blast!
Two more weeks of preschool and then it’s on to Kindergarten!!
Alan and Tyler have been hanging out and having fun during Tyler’s recent two week visit!
In this picture Alan is wearing his Gecko necklace. It was a gift from Ella, and Alan loves it!
As the school year draws to a close, here are the latest developments from preschool:
-Alan’s favorite classroom topic has been learning about the 3 R’s – Recycle, Reduce, and Reuse. Together we went out and bought a recycle bin for home so that Alan could do his part to preserve the environment. Speaking of which, he also told me that littering is bad for the earth and puts animals in danger because “they could eat something they’re not supposed to.”
-To Alan’s delight, the bird feeder he made this year (pictured in the March 20th post) has been feeding the birds at Grandma Debbie’s house for the past month! Alan has taken pride in checking on it and refilling it each week.
-Alan continues to play “PJ Masks” with Joshua and Ella every day at school. Joshua plays Catboy, Ella plays Owelette, and Alan plays Gecko, while the other kids take turns playing the villains Romeo and Luna Girl. Alan’s been known to use Gecko’s “super strength” power at home to lift heavy things from time to time too. 🙂
-Alan’s best friend at school has been Joshua ever since he joined the class midway through the year. They’ve had several playdates already this spring.
-Last month Alan was registered for kindergarten and he’s now officially ready to go in the fall!
This week Alan did the following:
Built a wooden airplane (below) with highschoolers visiting Millridge on Monday.
Went to a real voting site for the Ohio Primary – and asked great questions about voting – on Tuesday.
Had me read all of his favorite books before bed on Wednesday.
Celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at school on Thursday.
Did an early easter egg hunt at Grandma Debbie’s house on Friday.
Made a bird feeder (below) and attended Chinese class and martial arts (where he also won this race) on Saturday.
Had a playdate with Joshua from preschool on Sunday.
What a great week!
Pictured is a recent entry to Alan’s Newsbook for preschool. He enjoys practicing his Chinese characters and music notes every night. The inspiration for his “auto-sled” invention came earlier this week when Alan and his classmates went sledding outside the school!
The school year has continued to go well for Alan. He’s strengthening his communication skills and being a good leader in the classroom. He particularly enjoyed pajama day at school on the day before his two-week winter vacation. That day he also came home with the holiday gift to Mom & Dad pictured above.
Alan has become good friends with two boys named Taran and Almas lately. Alan always has a story to tell me about them, which usually involves the chasing games that they play at recess.
Speaking of recess, when three girls in Alan’s class, Natalee, Ella, and Ryleigh, want to play “family,” they turn to Alan to play the dad while the girls play the mom and two babies. Once after coming home from school, Alan came to me and said…
“It’s hard being a dad!”
I, of course, told Alan I could relate!
Two months into the school year now, Alan has had a chance to experience some fun activities. The highlights include a field trip to Patterson Farm, making applesauce from scratch, carving pumpkins, and participating in Fall Fun Day.
Alan loves going to school and gets a lot of attention from the teacher and her assistants in the 9-student class. According to the teacher’s report at the last parent-teacher conference, Alan’s ready for kindergarten right now.
He’s gotten into a good homework routine with his nightly “Newsbook” assignments and has made nice strides in writing neat letters in a straight line.
Alan shares a cubby (pictured above) with Ella and is best friends with Natalee. It’s a great group of kids.
Today Mrs. Jones’ Pre-K class traveled to Patterson Farm for the first Friday field trip of the school year! Alan and his friend Natalee (pictured above) had a blast on haystacks, in a corn maze, on slides, in a tree house, and on hayrides. 🙂
My favorite preschooler and little buddy turns 5 today!!
Alan had an action-packed weekend leading up to his big day today. On Friday, the family got together for a birthday party at Great-Grandma’s apartment. The living room looked great decked out in Paw Patrol-themed decorations! Alan loved opening his gifts, blowing out candles, and running around and laughing with his cousin Brenton. He was acting silly when I tried to take a picture of him with his Paw Patrol balloon (video).
On Saturday, Alan opened up gifts from Mommy and Daddy (and got a package from Luke!) after getting home from Chinese culture class. We also hit baseballs at the Oakville park earlier in the day – a new favorite weekend activity for us.
On Sunday, Alan began the day at the Beachwood Municipal Service Center for the 16th annual “Hands-on Trucks” event, where Alan got to see many different transportation vehicles – and a traffic light – up close. His favorite part was talking with rescue personnel while sitting inside an ambulance!
Then of course Sunday continued with an Indians game! We met Aunt Jill at the ballpark and also saw Uncle Robbie and Uncle David after they walked over from the Browns’ home opening win.
All of it was an exciting lead-up to today, when I joined Alan at school for his class party. I read his favorite books (Red Truck and Road Work) to the class while Alan sat next to me at the front of the class wearing his birthday crown and holding his toy red tow truck. Afterwards the class sang happy birthday (video) to Alan! Next we sang songs that Alan chose for the class – one of which involved signing all 26 letters of the alphabet (I learned that Alan really enjoys sign language!). Finally, we passed out Paw Patrol gift bags, which the kids loved.
In the afternoon Alan received his birthday call from the Paw Patrol (a perk of the Nick Jr. Birthday Club). And in the evening he attended a program at the Richmond Heights library with both Mommy & Daddy. It was a perfect day. 🙂
Alan thanks everyone for the gifts and attention he received this week!!
Preschool is off to a great start for Alan! He enjoys his teacher and classmates and has gotten into a good routine after the first two weeks of the school year.
This year Alan has nightly homework. He has to write an entry in his “Newsbook” every night after school, describing his activities, interests, or thoughts for the day. Pictured above are Alan’s first six entries.
Year two of preschool is underway for Alan, as he kicked off the new school year today!
After a great year at St. Clare, Alan has moved on to be a part of a special program that he interviewed for last fall. Alan was accepted for the role of peer mentor at Millridge, where he will partner with a special needs classmate to learn and grow together this school year.
Alan did great today, as he’s a cool and collected preschool veteran now. When I asked him if he liked his new school, he said yes, because “it has good toys.” 🙂
Today Alan and his class graduated from Mrs. Davisson’s 4-year old Pre-K class at St. Clare!
It was a beautiful day to cap off a great school year. A picnic at Oakville Park (Alan’s favorite park) followed a very nice ceremony at the St. Clare Church. Alan shared his special day with 9 family members, including his parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and aunt and uncle.
I commend Alan for the progress he made this year. Going into the school year I was worried about Alan having separation anxiety and using the school bathroom alone. But he definitely exceeded my expectations, not only by clearing those two hurdles, but also through the friendships he made and the personal growth he demonstrated in areas such as listening, sharing, coloring, cutting, and writing.
Alan ended up loving school and being a part of a great group of kids. I loved having the opportunity to drive Alan to school and pick him up every Friday that I worked from home. I was greeted with a running hug, a shout of “Daddy!,” and a big smile each and every time Alan saw me after school. I looked forward to that special moment every week in the “large motor room.”
Overall Alan made great strides towards becoming more independent this school year. Hopefully the summer passes by fast so Alan can get started on his second year of preschool!
As the school year wound to a close, Alan finished the year on a high note.
In May he went on his first class field trip, to the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, and had a teddy bear picnic in the St. Clare Library. At the Botanical Gardens, Alan visited the Glasshouse, Woodlands Garden, and the Hershey’s Children’s Garden. He fell and scraped his knees on the field trip, but he was brave and otherwise had a great time. For the teddy bear picnic, he brought in the teddy bear that I brought back from Thailand in 2006.
The learning themes of May included butterflies, insects, and summer. Alan took a liking to butterflies and included some in his classroom artwork and drawings. He also learned his address this month.
For his final show-and-tell, Alan brought in Zuma from “Paw Patrol” for the letter Z. At the start of the year, I picked out Alan’s toys for show-and-tell for him. But by the end of the year, Alan was able to look at the schedule himself and pick out show-and-tell toys on his own. Another sign of his increasing independence.
Since the last preschool update, Alan has continued to roll along at school. In fact Mrs. Davisson even told me one day that he’s “really taking off” in the classroom!
Nowadays the class is divided into teams of four that are competing to finish daily assignments first. Alan has really gotten into the spirit, and so have his teammates. One of the daily tasks involves using scissors to cut out letters of the alphabet. Alan likes to get to school early to be the first one to the cutting box, and after he’s done cutting, he encourages his teammates to cut their letters too. Alan says the kids celebrate with high fives once they’re all finished. 🙂
In March some of the special learning units for the kids included classroom demonstrations on musical instruments, spring, and the history of Easter. In April the class had an Easter party and learned about water, rain, fish, and flowers.
Alan’s artwork, including the umbrella pictured below, took on a spring theme as well. The little guy, despite the silly picture he took in front of his cubby (above), doesn’t shy away from having fun at school!
Today Alan went to a birthday party for Anthony (next to Alan above) at Zero Gravity Space Station in Eastlake. Alan enjoyed the day with his preschool classmates and had a blast on the inflatable slides. Alan was very happy Grady and Lilly (seated to his left and right below) were there too!
Alan in action on the inflatable slide (click for video).
Over the last couple months Alan has really taken off at school. He loves it so much that he was disappointed by two snow days this winter. His ability to color inside the lines has improved considerably, and he’s getting better at writing the letters of the alphabet. Both improvements led to a very positive progress report from the teacher at the midway point of the year in January!
Some new activities for Alan’s class have included an introduction to technology (focused around iPad learning sessions), a post office simulation exercise, and a diversity/nationality lesson. Alan declared himself to be an American (note the American flag in the picture above) because in his words, “I speak English.” But he still honored his Chinese background by presenting three sentences on the Chinese New Year during Heritage Day, with two Chinese lanterns as visual aids.
Earlier this month, Alan also had his first Valentine’s party! We bought “Cars” themed valentines and Alan wrote his name on all 21 cards by himself.
The month of February ended with Alan demonstrating the strides he’s made towards becoming more independent. Today he walked over to the show-and-tell calendar on the kitchen table, identified that next week’s letter is “K,” went to his room to get a key, and told me that he’s ready for show-and-tell. I was very proud watching him during that sequence of events!
Today Alan got the first admissions acceptance letter of his life! I’m happy to announce that this fall he will be attending the Preschool Peer Mentoring Program at Millridge Elementary School! He interviewed at the school in January during the application process. As part of the program, Alan will be paired with a hearing impaired student and serve as his/her learning partner. So proud of him!
Over the last two months, Alan turned in his first homework assignment (creating a disguise for a turkey), had a Thanksgiving feast with the Kindergarteners, and had a Christmas party with his class! He’s learned about shapes, eating healthy, and acts of kindness.
Perhaps Alan’s biggest accomplishment is learning to write his name all by himself! He’s so good at it that he’ll be signing all of our holiday cards this year. He also did a name-writing demonstration at my office today, when he came in for his annual visit. 🙂
Today Alan’s class put on a Christmas program for their parents. The kids sang 3 songs and presented their parents with a card and gift they made themselves. The program lasted about 15 minutes. That was all the kids could handle preparing for at their young age, but it was still a lot of fun. I definitely felt proud to see Alan performing!
Pictured below is Alan signing our card, as well as a close up of the gift he made.
Now over two months into his school career, Alan is off to a great start. He’s made a friend named Grady, loves circle time, loves the music room even more, and has mastered finding toys to bring in for his weekly letter-themed show-and-tell sessions. He’s working on learning to name body parts, how to use scissors, how to hold a pencil, and how to color inside the lines. And he took his first school pictures, had a “silly dress day,” and had his first school party for Halloween!
Outside of school, Alan went to his first birthday party for a classmate. It’s good to be 4!
Mrs. Davisson’s Pre-K class was the most well-protected class in the world today, as several superheroes–led by SuperAlan–showed up for the Halloween party. The superheroes huddled up before breaking for a parade around the classrooms of St . Clare!
This little guy turns 4 today!! Love him so much!!
We had such a nice family celebration yesterday at Great-Grandma’s apartment. Alan thanks everyone for the thoughtful gifts!!
9/26/14 update: Today Alan’s “birthday week” continued, as he celebrated his birthday with his class. Alan brought in treats to share (goldfish crackers) and got to wear the birthday crown the whole day. He loved it!
Today was a huge milestone in Alan’s young life: The first day of preschool!
He wore his favorite “super shirt” (as he calls it) to the one hour parent & child orientation day. After an hour of playing and meeting new friends, Alan declared that “preschool is fun!” He especially enjoyed meeting the teacher’s dog puppet and proudly wearing his Pre-K sticker. 🙂
The big test will come tomorrow, when Alan and the other kids will have class for an hour while parents wait in another room. Then on Friday the normal preschool schedule gets underway!
In order to get ready for preschool, Alan spent the summer reading 30+ preschool books from the library to learn about the fun aspects of school. And we spent a significant amount of time on potty-training. He’s got the hang of it and he’s ready to take on the preschool world!
9/4/14 Update: Today Alan had another great day at school! He excitedly got ready for school in the morning and was eager to arrive early. Then, to my relief, Alan did not mind spending the hour alone, and the teacher even used Alan’s behavior as an example of how to share toys nicely. When Grandma Debbie picked him up, he told the teacher and her that he loves preschool!
9/5/14 Update: Today Alan successfully finished his first week of preschool! He wanted to go right to school as soon as I woke him up at 6:30am. He had a great time at school and didn’t seem to notice or mind the school day lasted a bit longer. When I picked him up, he continued his tradition of proudly declaring that he loves preschool!
The countdown is on to the first day of Preschool! Two months from today Alan will be walking through the doors of St Clare for the first day of his school career.
We’ve begun to prepare for school, including buying the necessary supplies. Pictured above is the new Cars backpack that Alan picked out for himself!
P.S. Alan wants everyone to know the backpack has lights that light up when the backpack is tapped!