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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Brand New Kindergartener

My last post was about my new eighth grader.  This one is about my new kindergartener.  Now I turn 40 in July and that's bad enough.  But, to think that I have an eighth grader AND a kindergartener REALLY makes me feel my age a bit!

Mike and I are very proud of Bentley.  He has really grown up a lot these past few months.  Bentley's speech was a little slow in getting started and when it did, we quickly noticed he had real trouble with some of his sounds.  He had a slight lisp and distortion with his "s" sounds at the beginning of words.  When he started getting upset and tearful with correction, I knew he was going to need some speech therapy.  He began classes two afternoons a week one of our local elementary schools back in November of last year.
Bentley loved this class and his teachers!  We saw growth taking place immediately and he was a quick learner.  I would say in a little over a month, he began to self-correct himself on the very sounds he had been having so much trouble with!  In the picture above, he is doing some online work.  That sounds surreal to say a preschooler is doing "online" work, but his speech pathologist told us about this really neat site called Starfall.  Bentley loves to do his work there.   

Starfall is a free public service that teaches children to read with phonics. Their systematic phonics approach, in conjunction with phonemic awareness practice is perfect for preschool and kindergarten aged kids.  The site is full of resources and games to help kids learn their letter sounds and reading skills.

Another area we have noticed growth in Bentley is his imagination.  This boy can come up with fun using just the things he finds around the house.  He is forevermore the entertainer for sure!
He loves firetrucks and says that when he grows up he wants to be a firefighter.  As you can see in the picture above, he put together his own firefighting suit:  hat, goggles (so the smoke wouldn't get in his eyes), swimming goggles ("you know mommy like that thing the real firefighters wear over their mouth"), gloves, and jacket!  All over his pj's!  He even had his dad's old work boots on!
I asked him why he had crayons between his toes and he said, "Cause those are the ones I'll need for this picture I'm coloring.  I won't have to go hunting for them in the color bucket if I just put them here."
On June 3rd, his speech class had a graduation ceremony.  Bentley is the one in the middle of the picture above (plaid shirt/khaki pants).  He was about a head taller than the other kids.  We were so proud of him this night.  The kids were really rambunctious; especially the boys.  They were moving around and leaving the steps and turning around, but Bentley stood still and paid attention to the teachers.  Maybe it was stage fright, but he was really good and set a very good example!

The kids sang several songs showing off the different sounds they had improved in and then each child was called forward to receive their certificate and graduation hats they had made.  Here Bentley is with his speech pathologist, Ms Vicki:
Bentley made several friends during this class, but Dominic was his "bestest" friend:
Bentley gave both Ms Vicki and his assistant teacher Ms Debbie flowers after the ceremony.  He was so sweet.  I had told him to give them their flowers and hug their neck.  When he gave each one their flowers, he told them, "Thank you for being my teacher and helping me talk."
Bentley and Ms Vicki
Bentley and Ms Debbie

The class had been practicing their songs for a few weeks and Bentley was really excited about the "Five Little Hotdogs" song.  He wanted me to record it:

I also recorded them singing "What a miracle am I":

So, at the beginning of August I'll be seeing him off to Kindergarten.  And while it will be a bittersweet day for me, he is excited about going to school.  I know he will do well and I can't wait to see all that God will do through my little man!

One blessed mama,


jodi said...

Congratulations Bentley!!! (We love Starfall too. And there's another one Emery loves called Cool Math Games. There is a hyphen in the web address somewhere, just google it. It's a lot of fun!)