My Blog List

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The 3rd Grade Blues

Doing homework with my eight year old is like trying to bath a cat.  He just wants you to hurry up with whatever it is you’re doing so he can get away.  

This weekend, he’s had to complete a book report, which we’ve been working on for nearly a month.  On top of that, he’s had to finish a map, a map he’s been working on for over two weeks, both in school and at home, and he still can’t manage to get it right.  Due to his in stubbornness and inability to follow simple, straightforward instructions, both projects have had to be restarted, from scratch, no less than three times. Did I mention he lost the instruction sheet on how to do his map? We had no idea there even was an instruction sheet.  How silly of us relaying on him to tell us how it should be done?  Ah!!  It’s enough to make any sane parent want to rip out their hair.  Those of you with older kids are probably laughing.  Do you remember those days?

However weird this may sound, he hasn’t lost the guidelines for his book report. That’s because I took them away, storing them in a safe place for future reference.  Had he, we would’ve simply gone online and printed another copy from his teacher’s website.  Btw, we have an awesome, awesome English teacher this year—a Canadian lady who has her stuff squared away and, her students too.  Thank goodness for small miracles.

Through my child, I’m reliving the 3rd grade, all over again. Goodness gracious, it’s tough! I can’t remember having so much to accomplish as a third grader.  Then again, that was some 30+ years ago; how could I? 

I wonder what the 4th grade will be like.

Gotta love a city named Gold Land!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Message Of Good Hope

What a wonderful surprise it was to read an Email from Christopher’s teacher, written to all parents in the class, saying how much the entire class had progressed this school year.  Here’s a quick snippet from that Email.

1.   Get to school, put their bags in the back room (in a organized manner, more so each day);
2.   Get out their materials and get straight to work, even before the actual bell rings;
3.   Work quietly if needed and when expected (which we are still working on to do so during group work);
4.   Help each other out and explain readily;
5.   Accept help from their peers;
6.   Give truly helpful comments after presenting;
7.   Seem to treat each other with respect in the classroom.  We had no fights, not even small arguments;
8.   Are beginning to get more independent each day. The only time they ask me for help these days is when they are truly stuck.  Most of the time (see above [4. / 5.]) They ask their peers for help;
9.   Keep the classroom clean and neat.  We have been working on putting our bags in the back room instead of storing them by their desks.  These bags are stored in the back in an orderly fashion for easy access.  This has taken your children 1.5 weeks--today I was impressed how they did so.

Adding to this list of impressive accomplishments is Christopher’s approach to reading.  He know reads considerably more. For example, reading while sitting on the toilet has now become a popular activity, although for the life of me, I can’t possibly imagine from whom he picked this up?  You can often find books sitting next to bath tub, sink, on top of washing machine and elsewhere. 

There must be some sort of peer pressure at school or competitiveness between some of his classmates because; bringing home 300 page + books several times a week is now the norm.  To watch him try and devour each book, or both books simultaneously, in just a few days makes for a good laugh.  He’ll attempt to read while on the bus and train but is easily distracted by so many other things happening around him. 

“You couldn’t have read all those pages, Christopher?”

“Yes I did!”

“Okay, tell me what’s happening so far.”

“I’m busy trying to finish the story, Daddy....I’ll tell you later.”

Regardless of whether or not he comprehends “every little detail”, the seed to read has been planted and that’s a plus in my mind. 

Keep up the good work, Christopher.  Mommy and daddy are very proud of you.