10 June 2010
This is me giving myself a kick and a pinch. This is me feeling aghast and embarrassed. This is me the day after parent-teacher interviews...
My kid is the Class Clown.
Remember those boys?? There was one in every class I was ever in. They were silly and funny and made everybody laugh; but they were always getting told off by the teacher and their schoolwork was a mess.
That's my boy.
Last week the pre-parent-teacher-conference reports came home. And the format has changed (which is partly why all this has come as something of a shock).
Before, the reports told you next to nothing.
"He is working on numeracy stage 3..."; "He is outgoing and well-liked..."
All very pleasant.
Easy to think Numeracy Stage 3 is fine when the teacher is smiling at you and asking if you have any questions... And if you asked, "Where should he be???" they'd just keep on smilin' and say, "He's doing fine."
For whatever reason, our school has decided to drop all this PC crap, and finally tell us what's what...
"He's at Numeracy Level 3 - and he should be at Level 4 or 5 for his age; he's below average..."
"He is well liked and outgoing - to the point where he has had to be separated from the other boys and now sits beside the brainiest girl we could find..."
The class clown.
Now that doesn't mean that the teacher thinks he's a bad kid. Not at all.
His teacher said (and I quote): "He's got a heart of gold, super-sincere, very polite, caring and socially confident..." Wowee! I should be turning cartwheels. And I am proud of him for that.
I'm also proud of the fact that he is reading at his correct age level; he is enjoying reading and beginning to read for fun. Phew. That's a big thing.
And his maths has improved greatly - he's gone from being Level 3 (and in learning support) to being Level four and even five in some areas, which is right where he should be. Good Progress. Well done there, Dash.
But. But. But. He gets distracted constantly. (No, he is not ADHD, thanks!) His written work is messy and rushed and he often doesn't finish it(groan).
He clowns around to get laughs. The teacher can be having fun with the class (which he does often, because he is a really cool, fun teacher), but then it's over and time to work... but my kid is still carrying on being silly. He doesn't know when to stop.
Mr G whispered to me last night in bed, "He gets that from me you know..."
Hmmmm. Yes, well I knew he didn't get it from me!! I was the brainy nerd girl in class who always had to sit next to the silly boys to get them to calm down. My reports never had anything less than "excellent" "responsible" "diligent" and "a pleasure to teach". Nerd girl, me.
So I have just been coasting along assuming that my kids are fine at school. Assuming that when he told me he had no reading/homework/spelling tonight that he was telling the truth... Letting them take the walking bus to and from school every day (how convenient!) Hardly ever putting in an appearance (justifying it with, hey, that's how things were when I was a kid...I don't remember mum or dad ever coming to school for parent help or walking us into the classroom...)
My kid is uber-sporty, ultra-competitive, fun-loving and just a little bit crazy.
He's not slow, but he is a kid who is going to have to work hard to do well, he can't coast along and be OK.
And now he's seven. the days for endless playing and class-clowning are over.
For me too. I can't spend all my days playing here on the computer. I'm going to have to leave the house and get involved.
I'm going to have to spend my afternoons and evenings hearing reading, giving spelling tests, setting written assignments and staying on his case.
We are working on a plan, between us and his teacher, to get him on a better path.
That means my head has to be in the game. I can't be there-but-not-there, if you know what I mean?
I'm a typical extremist; when I'm passionate about something, it's all I can think about. So when it comes to blogging, increasing readership, writing a book... that's where my mind is. The other stuff gets done in a fog. Shame.
(gritting teeth) So I am going to have to cut back on blogging.
Cut back, I said, not stop. I've been posting nearly every day lately... that must come to an end.
Must. Work. Smarter.
Must pour my creative energies into ensuring that my kids don't stumble in these crucial early years at school. I'm shaking my head at myself right now. I've had my head in the clouds.
So if you see me posting here more than 3-4 times a week, give me a kick in the pants wouldya??
(now I'm off to go make up a homework chart...)