Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Child Summary: 5.5 Years Old

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This are going really smoothly with Brayden right now. There have been a lot of changes with him the over the last few months because he has started Kindergarten. Let's start with the basics.

Sleeping is perfect right now. Last time I wrote, he was scared of the dark and sleeping with a night light. He is once again over that and sleeping without a night light. 

Naps are non-existent. He has rest time each day for 30 minutes, but only takes a real nap if he was up super late at his grandparents the night before. 

Ever since he started school, I have to wake him up nearly every day. So he spent his entire life waking pretty much at 7 right on the dot, then when school starts, he starts sleeping until I wake him up. I wake him up at 7:30 if he is not up already. 

Over the last few months, Brayden has gotten more and more adventurous in his eating. He asks to try everything we are eating. He will try anything one time. He has put together the fact that sometimes he will love something he didn't think he would like. He has never been a picky eater, but he had his foods he liked and stuck with those. It is a lot of fun to see him branching out to new foods. 

Brayden and Kaitlyn are still best friends. They get along great and play really well together. When he first started school, they had this moment of...I don't know what to call it...it was a look between them. Kaitlyn looked at him accusingly like he had betrayed her. He looked back as though to say, "sorry, get used to it." Then they would play. But it happened probably every day for a couple of weeks. Since then, everyone has gotten used to him being gone and are used to it.

Brayden's dynamic with McKenna is great. He watches out for her but is not too bossy. 

School has been a great learning experience for Brayden. He is learning a lot socially, which is where I hoped to see some growth.

Brayden is at the top of his class academically. This is a relief for me because he is also one of the youngest (if not the youngest). 

But he also knows it. Somehow, they figure out who the "smart ones" are very quickly.

I go and help in his class almost each week. I highly recommend doing this. You learn so much about the environment, the other children, and your own child. One week, Brayden's teacher told me that he had told some of the other kids that they weren't as smart as he was. She talked about how that was developmentally normal, and how it is hard to find a balance between letting them be self-confident yet humble. 

As you can imagine, that was not okay behavior with me. Brayden and I had a nice, long talk after school that day. I told him how lucky he was. I told him all the things he had that made him fortunate. He had a mom and dad who were both very involved with him. He was read to every day of his life. He had grandparents who were very involved. He was able to be exposed to lots of different experiences by going to museums and on vacations. He was also given a great gift of intelligence. He understands things easily.

I explained how not all children have those things. At this moment, I was really glad he had played soccer last spring. He was a 4 year old playing against 7 year olds, which was too bad on some levels (there were other kids closer to his age, but the range was 4-7 and he was the youngest in the league). But that experience was perfect for this moment. I reminded him of when he played soccer. I asked him if he realized he was not as good at soccer as other kids out there. He said he did. I pointed out that when he played soccer, none of the other kids made fun of him or told him he was not good. 

I asked him how he would have felt if someone better than him had said, "You aren't as good at soccer as I am." He said he would feel bad. I explained he had made his friends feel the same way to tell them they weren't as smart as he was. He understood.

Each day I tell him to return with honor and to be kind. His teacher said she saw a huge improvement and there have been no issues since. 

There is this power struggle that seems to happen with most Kindergarteners. They feel very smart, and think they know it all. All of my friends have said their children are/were this way in Kindergarten. This is my only frustration with Brayden during this quarter. I did know it would come, though. 

Brayden started piano lessons. I know that can sound very young to a lot of people. But I knew Kindergarten was not going to be intellectually challenging to Brayden. I wanted him to have mental challenge, so we put him in lessons. 

He is doing great. He loves it. He practices every day but Sunday. His teacher is fabulous. She is a good friend of mine, and she told me a couple of months into it that she was a bit worried about him being so young, and that she has been absolutely shocked at how well he has done with it. She also said she can tell he practices faithfully, and knew that meant I was by his side as he did it. 

It is a time commitment. He isn't able to practice correctly without someone guiding him through. So each day as he practices, I need to sit by him and make sure he does everything correctly. Despite that, I am glad we did it. I can tell it was the right move. 

Having Brayden start Kindergarten has given me a whole new perspective. Time really does fly. It makes me cherish each moment with my children even more. How quickly the last five years have gone by! Another five and he will be ten! 

Here is our weekday schedule:

7:30--get up. Read scripture stories. Shower. Get ready. Eat breakfast.
9:00--at school.
12:30--eat lunch. Then play with Kaitlyn.
1:00 or 1:30--Rest time.
1:30 or 2:00 (30 minutes later)--homework. Then piano practice.
2:30 or 3:00--independent playtime.
4:00--Kaitlyn gets up and they play until dinner.
5:30--dinner. Then family time.
8:00--in bed

A few times a week, he will play with friends in the afternoon sometime.


Michael and Yvonne said...

I am curious how long his piano practice is every day? (I guess I should say "your" piano practice too:)
I too play and DH does but we didn't start til later in life. I've been wondering when to do it and am glad you are sharing about a 5 YO. So I'm just curious how long practice is at this age? And is he larger handed or not? I have heard about how it's easier if they can make an octave but that seems to be for older kids. Anyways thanks for sharing! I love these older kids updates too.

Michael and Yvonne said...

Actually I have another question:) How do you do address the "know it all" attitude of a kindergartener? You said you were expecting it but are you dealing with it or just know that it is a phase that will pass?

Plowmanators said...

Piano: The books he uses are made for children that are young, so if you started at age five, the piano teacher would start in an age appropriate book.

Brayden's teacher actually suggested we do number of times to practice each song rather than number of minutes to practice a day. I think in the end we are at 20-30 minutes, but we do each song 3-4 times.

Attitude: This is one of those things that takes a lot of time and patience. A 5 year old is old enough to understand quite a bit. I remind him that he doesn't know everything, I have talks about what is okay and what isn't okay, and I remind him that I actually do know quite a bit more than he does :). This will probably be something I have great advice for when Kaitlyn has reached this age. For now, this is what I am doing.


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