Wednesday, November 12, 2008


We had Samuel's conference yesterday. This is the twice a year conference that every parent gets. They go over academic expectations and how your child is performing. I feel like I talk to Mrs D alot. I didn't have many questions.

So, I didn't learn anything new. I found it amusing that she started the meeting by explaining why Samuel had received S's(satisfactory) on his report card and not E's(exceeds standards).I guess most parents at Simpson are upset when their child doesn't get E's. I told her that I'm fine with the S's. That he might be an S and not an E kind of kid. I'm sure this is not what she's used to coming from a parent. Then she talked about his reading and writing. He's progressing fine just not as quickly as the Simpson standards. He is reading on a level 2 and by the end of the year, they want all upcoming first graders on a level 4. But the expectations are for Simpson kids to be much higher than a 4. So maybe he'll be higher or maybe he'll be at a 4. He is improving in his behavior. But he still gets a fair amount of sad or straight faces on his behavior sheet, not all smileys. I doubt Samuel will ever be an all smiley kid.

Of course, I would love Samuel to be excelling at school. And he is in certain areas. He loves anything hands on. He is that kind of learner. Right now, math and science are extremely hands on. So, he's doing great in those areas. But reading is hard for him. Writing is too. It takes work and patience. His handwriting is not good. I would love for him to listen and pay attention all the time, to get all smileys. But he is not that kid. I am not going to push him to perform so hard that he starts hating to read and write. Maybe he is not developmentally ready to do it. It will come. George had a really hard time doing these things at the beginning. But they came, eventually.

I don't want to sound apathetic or like my expectations for him are low but I live in the land of reality. I just don't want to sound the alarm, when my kid is only five. I am trying to encourage him to do his best without making him feel pressured to perform. He has a love and thirst to learn. Isn't that what kindergarten is all about? Sitting him down every night and making him write his letters, is not going to make him love school. Drilling sight works into him every day, is going to make him hate reading.

I did schedule an audiology appointment next week. I know the audiologist that works out of the office that I do. She is going to give him an extensive test. My thinking is why not? She looks at auditory processing too. I also made an appointment with a developmental pediatrician. They evaluate children who have developmental, academic and/or behavioral difficulties. There are only five of these pediatricians in the Atlanta area, and one takes our insurance. Our appointment is not until February. My thinking again is why not? If he does have ADD or some type of learning disability, I would love to get him the help he needs.

After the meeting with Mrs D, I went to the classroom, to say hi to Samuel. On my way out, the paraprofessional, pulled me aside. She showed me a framed picture of her grown son. And she said, "He was trouble in school, full of mischief. He is now in the army and has grown to be a wonderful man. It was her way of saying, "Don't worry. Samuel will be ok."