Wednesday, September 2, 2009

my baby and his first day back at school.

Shaun's school publishes the list of who is in which class on the evening before school starts, after 5 pm. It is the easiest way to curb parent complaints. I was less than thrilled that Shaun will have the teacher as last year.
She is the same woman that told me it was too much work for her to come up with level appropriate work for him so he would have to deal with it and accept being bored in class and with homework. (Imagine a not very happy mom) She then proposed to send home extra homework that is closer to his level but still require him to do the regular HW as well. (find me any child who is willing to do twice the HW). His problem is not solved by harder worksheets but he needs more opportunities to think and discover but at the same content level. Higher grades often have content not appropriate for younger children, so it has to be very well done to incorporate both, but not beyond what several other children in his grade need as well.

He is thrilled to have his same teacher because he doesn't have to change, there is no worry about the "unknown" of having a new teacher. She is in a new classroom in order to fit all 35 kids in a class. At least there are only 35 of them and not 43 which is how many they had in one classroom that I substituted at his school last year.
After some grumbling and pouting and considering switching schools, I think the best choice for now is to do it myself. I am not sure what we are going to do about his regular homework, but I am going to teach him at home too. Long ago, my mom gave me a book that lists the international standards for each grade in each subject. By third grade they are a half year to a full year ahead of CA standards depending on the subject. Shaun is supposed to read for a half an hour each day so I figure instead of reading stories/novels like we have in the past, we will focus on the history/ social studies/ science subjects so he can catch up there. I started a blog for him that I hope will help him with his dysgraphia. It is not something that he can get rid of but it is something he can manage to overcome. I learned to write and so can he. Daily (or often) posts should help and give me a better understanding of where he really has problems and how to manage and overcome them. Math may just have to wait until the weekends. I think this is the year that they get to take text books home, so we'll just have to work ahead and then find "real world applications" to keep him interested and for him to really get it, not just do it and forget it.
I'm hoping that we'll be able to pull this off and I won't feel so overwhelmed making sure he really is having his needs met.
I guess I am afraid he will have to go through what I went through in school-hours, days, and weeks of boredom and then because I wasn't listening because I was bored I missed learning stuff I actually should have known. I don't want him to get to college with no study habits and not the slightest idea how to really prepare for a test. He is so smart and I want him to be prepared when he finishes school, not like me, wandering around still deciding what to be when I grow up. I want the best for him, he really is a great kid, and too smart for his own good, or mine. :)

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