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“It takes a village to raise a child.” Or so the old proverb goes.

And it does. Especially if that village is a fantastic support, is as enthusiastic about learning as you are, and is really gifted at what they do.

When I attended the first IEP meeting before Kezia entered kindergarten (the first of many :)… ), I had no idea of how much she would blossom over the next few years. All I could think of was how overwhelming it felt. I envisioned her, little pigtails bouncing, riding on the “special” bus. How the school hallways, so full of life and energy and little people, would be too much for her. She seemed so small and vulnerable and I wasn’t sure I could let go.

Oh, how little I knew :). And oh how she would surprise us all!

The first day I dropped her off, she held onto her EA’s hand and off she went. Just like that. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself! Here I was, the hovering parent, trying to “discreetly” peek into the windows, and she didn’t even look back. She was ready for her adventure!

There were many obstacles to overcome. Going to school is tiring for any kiddo, and fatigue was a struggle. Anxiety over large spaces like the gym or loud noises (or the school STAR mascot 🙂 ). And learning how to learn when there are so many distractions, so many things to see and do.

However, we’ve been surrounded by a caring staff that has diligently worked with Kezia and with me to ensure that Kezia has the most positive and productive elementary school experience possible.

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I loved this invitation sent home by her Resource Teacher last spring. A celebration of learning indeed! At this meeting we celebrated the fact that Kezia had been granted full funding for the remainder of her school career. While my mind has a hard time thinking that far ahead (Seriously, I have a hard enough time planning my week or what we’re going to have for dinner! I can assure you that 2028 is NOT even on the radar :)…), I am thankful that we don’t have to navigate any more “funding meetings.” They are not especially fun. 🙂

At our last IEP meeting in October, we laughed and swapped stories about all the fun things that Kezia is doing. She has a great team around her! As with any of us, so much of our growth cannot be measured in tests and numbers and scores, but in the stories we share and the memories we make and in the relationships we form.

One added gift this year was that Kezia and Lexi were able to ride the same bus. Now was Kezia’s turn to shine as she filled the “bigger sister” role and helped Lexi navigate this for the first time.

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Learning our ABCs and 123s is quite important. The world expands incredibly as we learn to read and write and do our math facts :). But there is so much more to be discovered! Did we learn to be kind? Did we delight that sense of achievement from overcoming our fears? Did we take the time to be compassionate? Did we realize that there is more to life, more to each one of us, than the collection of our achievements and merits?

I love this learning journey. I don’t love every single thing about it :), but I do love it. I appreciate the people who have cared for us, the steady teachers all around us. I recognize that working towards an inclusive education is a process, and that many many people have persevered, and continue to do so, in order to extend a suitable education for anyone. We been blessed by the fruits of their labor, and hope that we too can leave a positive, inclusive legacy.

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Source: Daily Quote

What are you learning today :)?

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