Today Emma started Pre-K. Her classroom is not technically calling it Pre-K but that is what we are calling it since it's the year before she starts Kindergarten. Unless we keep her back an extra year (we are strongly leaning in that direction!) to get her more ready for Kinder. Then I guess this is pre-Pre-K ;-)
Today Emma headed back to the same classroom as she was in last year with the same teachers, same aide, and probably many of the same students. It's not as big a change as you might imagine by the paper announcement she is holding in her photo. But to Julia the fact that Emma is going into Pre-K is a HUGE deal and she is so proud of her sister - as are we - so we needed to make the day a bit special and mark the occasion with a new lunch box, a sign announcing the day and by wearing her princess necklace to school.
With a lunch box this cute how could we resist? Not to mention that Emma hugged it in her arms all around the store to show us just how much she wanted that owl lunch tote! I'm over the moon when she shows such a strong preference for anything when we are shopping.
I wanted to get some great photos of her outside the house with her sign and her sister but just as we were getting ready to go out the door it decided to rain buckets! In all honestly I was a bit sad about the rainy first day of Pre-k and my missed photos. Although I should have expected the rain since most things with raising Emma rarely, if ever, turn out as I planned. And when the sun came out later this morning and Julia and I were complaining how sunny and hot it was when we picked her up from school I realized that today really was a day very similar to our journey of raising our little girl. A brief storm in the morning followed by many hours of warmth, sunshine and smiles. I really feel honored that God decided to bless us with our own little Emma sunshine!
It doesn't really feel like school yet - it feels more like she just finished up her pre-school year. Oh, wait! She did just finish her first year in this new school only 2.5 weeks ago since she attended summer "camp" for 5 weeks this summer. Emma's school operates on a rolling year round schedule. That means she has the same amount of school days/year but they are stretched out over a 12 month period instead of 9 months. I was skeptical of this schedule at first but now that we lived it for a year I think it's genius!
Here is my big girl once we arrived at school - fashionably late, of course!, due to the horrendous traffic from the storm. I think I like having the photo at school better than in our driveway after all. It's a shame I didn't bring my camera and only had my phone to take the picture. Still, I just love this shot!
Since our life is never cut and dry we have her IEP scheduled for tomorrow morning and we may change her schedule from the morning to the afternoon class. Or even to an entirely different school. Our life is ever changing and we are open to enjoying the ride.
Since I didn't have a blog post about Emma's end of year program I might as well talk a bit about it here. We were invited to an ice cream social to end the year but it was actually a bit of a "graduation" ceremony. I wasn't really expecting the songs, the certificates, the crowns or the lovely slideshow. I was just expecting some ice cream and was excited to see that it was a lovely ceremony her teacher pulled together! There was an ice cream bar with lots and lots of topping options which made all the little ones happy and all the children were wearing t-shirts with the handprints of the children in their class. It was so cute! The ceremony also gave the Moms a moment to chat since we on't really get to see each other too often. It was really quite fun for everyone!
Here is a photo of Emma with her teacher last year - who is also her teacher this year. We just love Miss Anna!
And here is a photo of Emma with her classmates. As I mentioned before we weren't really aware of the ceremony planned so some of her friends were on family vacations and not at school that week so it looks like she only had boys but in actuality there were two little girls she loved to play with that weren't there for the ceremony. Does everyone else think she looks like such a big girl in this photo? I can't get over how quickly she is growing!
Here is Emma getting her certificate and crown. She kept knocking the crown off her head and it was quite funny! She's a bit of a clown that way and was doing it all for show though you wouldn't know it from her facial expression in this photo I managed to snap.
We are so lucky that Emma is at this school. The way Emma has changed and grown over this last year is nothing short of awe-inspriring and much of that growth and change can be attributed to the stellar team that supports her at school day in and day out. I'm so glad we moved to make this year's experience possible. I can only dream of what is in store for Emma this year and I'm excited about the possibilities. Bring it on Pre-K!!!