Sunday, June 9, 2013

First grade encroaches

One of the things I like about our school district is the relative level of levelheadedness. For instance, the fact that there does not appear to be a kindergarten graduation ceremony in the works. I'm all for celebrating the end of the school year -- and the kids are having a party in class -- but I'm not convinced "graduating" from kindergarten is a moment that requires a gown-and-mortarboard ceremony. Sure, I'm delighted that he can read and write sentences (more or less) and seems to do well with math and does homework with a minimum of fuss, but I don't feel like he's gone above and beyond in his academic striving or anything. There was no colored-pencil thesis paper involved. He didn't conduct an in-depth academic study of the psychosocial undertones of storytime. Graduating kindergarten is just the thing you should do. By the time you're graduating high school and college, things are a little harder. Just my opinion. I'm sure we'll take him out for ice cream or something, and that should do it.

I am of course concerned about next year. It's a full day of school, not a half-day, and the work will be harder and who knows how understanding or proactive his teacher will be. I've read enough online from other parents to know that getting a teacher who "gets" ADHD is a bit of the luck of the draw. Sometimes you get teachers who say things like "Well, I think all first-graders have 'ADHD'" or "He would do so well in class if he would only apply himself" and completely not know, or not care, that a classroom setting is the wrong place for an ADHDer to excel, and that they have to do it in spite of themselves. People think it's a moral thing, not a neurological thing, even though studies keep coming out that prove otherwise.

Like I said, though, it's a nice school district, and they've been pretty good about accommodating us so far, so I might be worrying for nothing. I just really liked his teacher this year, and felt like she "got" kiddo and was willing to go the extra mile to work with us on him. She emails constantly, and she's called us on the weekends when she had concerns about things.

It probably helps us that kiddo is such a likable kid. Sure, I'm biased, but he is just ridiculously sweet and charming and friendly to everyone on the planet. He has this lovely desire to be helpful, whether it's helping kiddette get her shirt on or helping me pull the weeds out of the patio. Granted, he then stacked the patio bricks up and jumped over them, pretending he was Super Mario, but that's to be expected. (Aside from: How does he know who Mario is? Is he sneaking off to 1980s arcades when we're not looking? Does he have a secret NES setup in his room? And should I introduce him to Tetris next?)

So he might be OK next year. I guess. I hope. In the meantime, we're supposed to spend the summer working on his sight words and keyboarding skills -- yes, really, the district set up a program we're supposed to be logging him into, meaning one of us is going to have to share our laptop with him all summer -- and we'll keep reading to them all summer, obviously, so he'll be prepared academically, theoretically.

Incidentally, don't read "The Secret Garden" to your 6-year-old boy unless you'd like to have a long, in-depth discussion about cholera. Not actually the part of the book I was hoping he'd focus on.

... and the children have grown tired of playing Buzz and Woody in kiddette's room, and would like breakfast.

No comments:

Post a Comment