Posts tagged education
His handwriting is still far from perfect, but so much better than before. More importantly, he isn’t frustrated like he used to be. A month ago, I couldn’t get him to write is name without him collapsing in a fit of screaming. Pretty amazing, I say.
My five-year-old son is having a lot of difficulty at school. His major problem is with fine motor skills; he has a lot of trouble drawing / writing the small movements that are necessary form letters. He can write one letter at a time, each letter taking up an entire A4 page, and to be perfectly honest, horribly unclear. His letters look like shaky circles and / or spirals that often descend into scribble scrabble. He is keenly aware that his handwriting is much worse than his classmates. He is acting out a lot at school because he is feeling so overwhelmed by the schoolwork. My husband and I both value education; I have been reading to my son since he was an infant. I started to teach him to read last year, but I didn’t press him too hard when he didn’t seem ready. I didn’t want to turn him off learning by giving him to much pressure. What he is learning now in kindergarten is not completely alien to him, I introduced him to a kindergarten workbook last winter. But he can’t handle it.
Last week, I had a parent / teacher interview. When I showed up, his teacher told me to meet her in the principal’s office. I got a little nervous. The principal was kinda nervous too. She asked me to read through his report card first. Then a guy I haven’t met comes in, introduces himself, sits down. He appears to be part of my meeting. Once the teacher arrives, we start discussing my son’s problems, etc… The good news is, even though he is difficult in class, he’s not considered hyperactive. They gave me some tips to help him at home, like using a small blackboard to practice writing, but he may have to repeat kindergarten. The guy I never met before is some kind of developmental psychologist for the school. His opinion seemed to be that my son, who is born in August, is simply too immature for kindergarten. I asked him if I had made a mistake sending my son to kindergarten this year, if I should have a waited a year. If I had waited a year, my son would have gone directly into first grade. He wouldn’t have been ready for that, either. Oh, and we have to wait until the end of second grade to firmly diagnose any learning disorders. According to Dr. Spock, it’s not unheard of for a child to repeat kindergarten or first grade, and the psychological damage is minimal. Obviously, I don’t want this for my son. I want everything to just start clicking: his fine motor skills, his ability to choose good friends (vs. friends that encourage him to get in trouble), his ability to calm himself down and handle frustration… But maybe he’s just a little bit too much like me? I have little patience nor do I handle frustration well.
For example: I received a birthday invitation for a kid in my son’s class. It had a date, a time, an address and an RSVP number. No explanation of what kind of party it was. Swimming? Space camp? But that’s not such a big deal, because you can confirm all those things when you RSVP. (except that she didn’t pick up nor return my call and I had to call her again the day before the party to find out what kind of party it was). What truly horrified me was the invitation itself: “When: Saterday, ….” It had been written in pencil, then re-traced with marker. SATERDAY. The fact that it was re-traced made it so much worse. The deliberateness. So, to be really mean: why is this kid, whose parents are barely literate, having no problems writing while my son still struggles?? And why do I keep relentlessly focusing on this Saterday incident in my mind? She’s an ignorant mum. That doesn’t mean she’s a bad person (she’s not), so get over it. No big deal. Move on. And yet, I remain judgmental, resentful and angry. And very worried about my little boy.