Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Teacher Talks

We had our conference with The Critter's teacher today. She says he's doing great. From what I can tell at the student-led conference, the teacher is correct. He can maneuver the computers like nobody's business. He's whipping through those math manipulatives. He seems to be inclined towards reading and is already at the 1st grade level.

It's all good with The Critter.

The Negotiator has made great strides. His reading has shown remarkable improvement and he's reading slightly above grade level. Whew! As much as we valued the teacher's input we decided to take our own way of helping The Negotiator along with his reading. We started out with us reading to him from chapter books. He had to understand that all those random letters pulled together to make a word and those words in the correct sequence made a story. Once he made that connection he started challenging himself to read more.

This time we didn't meet formally with The Negotiator's teacher, but she sent home a progress form. He kicking mathematics booty. As I said, reading is rocking (a very special thanks to the Harry Potter books). We are told there still a bit of a disconnect with writing, which isn't about handwriting at all, but rather showing your reading comprehension through writing.

I don't think I'm gonna worry about that one. First he's a boy and the physical part of writing is just too hard for them at this age. Moving the brain, the language arts muscle, the hand for actually writing and bringing them all together in concert is a lot to ask. He'll get there eventually. I know he's comprehending the material because he can answer the questions verbally even if he can't write them down in his allotted time. Writing, in the case of this evaluation is, in my opinion, just another bullshit bench mark that only serves to make parents panic about their kid's progress. Which is exactly what I did, panic that is, when I got the little note. Then after further reflection it occurred to me that he's just like me. My mom was told I should repeat Kindergarten and that I was possibly dyslexic because I kept flipping my letters or some such nonsense. So at The Negotiator's age I couldn't show my comprehension through writing either. Today I can say that I've written for the news media (radio, television and print) for a mid-sized market in addition to the many other written documents I've produced over the years.

He'll be just fine. Trust me, teacher, I didn't turn out half bad.


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