So it was an exciting week for Jake at school. Monday was the first trimester awards ceremony for all the kindergarteners. I was so proud when Jake received awards for achievement of excellence for both math and for knowing all his upper and lower case letters. But I was most proud of his third award for Random Acts of Kindness. He also received an award for his perfect attendance for the month of September.
Today, I had my first parent-teacher conference. I knew already from my brief discussions with his teacher that Jake was doing fine in school but it is still nice to sit down and see exactly where he is at. He scored approaching or at grade level for all skills in language arts and above grade level for math as well as satisfactory or above for listening, speaking, behavior and homework effort.
The most enlightening portion of the conference was when I got to see a sample of Jake's creative writing. This is something the teacher works with him on during his enrichment on the day he stays late. He was able to write two sentences "I see my Aunt" and "I like my blue car" by learning to copy certain words and sound out others. He spelled Aunt a-n-t and car c-r but the positioning of the letters and spacing between words was remarkable and I love that his teacher focuses on getting the children to be able to express their thoughts on paper and not just practice copying sentences. She is also working on emerging reading with Jake but language arts is not something that comes as naturally to him. Still, I love his effort and willingness to try and sound out or use picture clues to read words. He is right on the cusp and with his eagerness to learn, I know he will make great strides.
As far as his math abilities, they blow my mind. He can count by any number 2-10 all the way up to 100 with almost no help and the other day he asked me what 100-17 was and when I asked him what he thought, he paused only briefly before telling me 83. Joe enjoys challenging his affinity for math at home and has started to introduce the concept of multiplication since Jake seems both ready and interested.
Jake wears many hats - he loves to cuddle and hug. He is very affectionate. But he can also rough-house with the best of the them and is a very physical and active 5-year-old boy. His willingness to help others and share, especially with his sister warms my heart every day. He is very friendly and social and counts ALL his classmates amongst his friends. His laugh is nothing short of infectious and he loves to make silly sounds or resort to physical comedy to put a smile on your face, again especially for Jadyn whom it would appear he cannot stand to see cry (compassion or irritation could both easily be the motivating factor behind that one).
Racing his diecast NASCARs and building with Legos and train tracks are still his favorite activities as well as riding his bike and making dirt tracks for his cars outside. He is also very competitive and enjoys all sorts of games, whether sports like baseball or soccer, video games like Mario Kart and Speed Racer or card and board games like Go Fish and Chutes and Ladders. I have however, learned not to play games with him right before bed because man, he can be a pretty sore loser when he is in need of sleep.
Sometimes, that attitude I was warned about at this age rears its ugly head and it can be quite a challenge when it comes to disciplining and explaining that it is sometimes not about what you say, but the way you say it. Overall however, I have to say this is a very exciting age - an age of exceptional growth in both how quickly he learns and retains new information and independence as he goes off to school and does more and more on his own. Of course even with all the things that get easier, it is hard not to be a little sad to see him grow up so fast. Then again, with weeks like this, its also nice to have validation that he is growing into a amazing "not so little" boy.
Here are some bonus shots of Jake I took during a recent trip to the park in which I was playing with my new camera: