Friday, September 18, 2009

School Update

School is not going as expected. In fact, it is exactly reverse from what I expected, which is good. And bad. Depending on who you are.

Ethan loves school. For years (literally) I have agonized over when to send him to school. I have talked to countless professionals about it. Because his birthday is at the beginning of September I wondered if I should send him when he was 5 or 6. I took the advice of the professionals and waited, although I wondered over and over (and over and over and...) if that was the right thing to do. They (the pros) told me if he was the oldest he would be the leader, but I worried "He'll be so much bigger than everyone. Will they think he must be stupid?" I believe they were right. Ethan has told me of helping other children to write their names and I can tell this is exactly what he needs - it is making him feel good. Last night he told me (I'm quoting very loosely) that he wishes he could teach the other children how to behave. You have to really know Ethan to appreciate the humor in that. Ethan is a rule-keeper. When he was very young I scolded him for getting into something in my bathroom and as he walked out he said "I know da wules." And he does. He knows the rules for himself and EVERYONE else. He frequently reminds others of da wules. I believe internally he honestly gets frustrated when people are not keeping the rules. I don't THINK it's out of a sense of superiority, I think his world just functions according to rules and for him to be at peace he needs everyone to be following the rules. Note to self...

The school experience is turning Ethan into a little chatterbox. Not constantly (thank goodness!) but sporadically. He gets going about school things sometimes and he just goes a mile a minute. It is really wonderful to see him so happy. Really wonderful.

But then there is Anna. Anna who was dying to go to a real school. Anna who loved her new teacher and a classroom full of potential new friends and the books and... her mathbook.

Day 1...Miss L is so nice.
Day 2...Miss L forgot to take her not grumpy pills today.
Day 3...Today we defined what makes a quality teacher. Miss L wants to be a quality teacher but she is definitely not a quality teacher. (What makes a quality teacher? Someone who is kind.)
Yesterday...I wish I hadn't come today. Why? What happened? Miss L embarrassed me in front of the whole class.

"Friends" aren't being friendly. Math is difficult. Heavy sigh. This is not at all what I expected! Not from my happy little girl.

I wrote Miss L an e-mail tonight. I didn't tell her about the not grumpy pills or even the embarrassment in front of the whole class. I just stuck to the facts. Anna is in a radically new environment with a whole new approach to learning and could you please be patient as she makes this transition?

Miss L replied already - very quickly! She had no idea Anna was frustrated. Anna has not exhibited any signs of that. Anna is very good and when things are gone over (and over) it is for the benefit of some students who are not so good. She will work with Anna if she needs extra help with the new math.

I am greatly encouraged. I must find a way to pass this encouragement on to Anna.

1 comment:

R said...

Sounds like the usual issues with a decent sized classroom and one teacher. Anna loves one on one and doesn't feel like she has the teacher's attention when she does poorly or when she does well.

Also, socially, Anna is used to being in charge and is very much a free spirit. A very happy and chipper girl, but independent.

To me, it sounds like she just needs to get used to it. I know she went to school before she homeschooled, but were the classrooms smaller? I am not sure.

I remember when I was in her grade I felt like I was constantly off the training wheels, if you get what I am saying. Just the way a classroom setting is, it is difficult to manage ALL the kids and know where they are at. You are taught things in class, handed worksheets, get average grades so it seems ok, then you are tested a week later.

It may take awhile. :(