The other day Simon came home from school, walked into the house, and told me "My star was in yellow today."
His school uses a star program. Essentially green means no problems, yellow means something came up/not following the rules, and red is when you get in big trouble. Simon is no stranger to yellow stars, not the majority by any means, but they definitely popped up from time to time throughout kindergarten.
"Uh oh. What happened buddy?" I asked.
"I was sneaky." he said and proceeded to tell me about how he was caught sneaking out to recess before the kids were dismissed as a group from lunch.
I've never heard him use the word "sneaky" before and it was hard not to giggle a bit as the word crossed his lips.
It wasn't that long ago that asking him what had happened each day at school resulted in zero response. In his case it was more of a lack of back + forth communication ability then avoiding the question.
These days when he comes home one of the first things we do together (after the shoes come off and the coat gets hung up) is to open his communication notebook and see what the aides have written about his day. They include activities he participated in, things he struggled with, and what he is working on in the classroom (behaviorally and academically). This is a vital part of helping us understand what's happening at school and has become a way for Simon and I to share together how things went over the course of the day.
On this particular day one of the things I was most thankful for was him simply telling me what had happened even before I read it in the notebook. He was truthful and forthright and he wanted to share even when he had gotten into trouble.
I am sure there will be challenging days ahead (obviously, as there always are), but on this day there was a good solid line of communication happening. I love progress. I celebrate those little (and big) moments.
After he revealed that his star was in yellow we chatted a bit about being sneaky and following the rules. He agreed that he wanted to follow the rules and keep his star in green.
So far, so good.