Friday, November 12, 2010

School Conferences...

As I’m sure anyone can imagine, just about every day is jam-packed busy and stressful for me. I have three kids that need my attention and help with a ton of stuff. Especially with two kids in school now, I feel like there’s never enough time in the day. I feel like there’s never enough time to get all of their school work in and I feel like I’m failing them. I know that this is semi-irrational because they don’t have a lot of homework, and Kylie does almost everything by herself before we get home, but I always feel like there’s a scramble before bedtime of trying to get everything finished.

Except for a minor setback with 2s at the beginning of the year (which was totally our fault), we have really helped keep Kylie on track with each of the things she needs to do. She’s now on “minus 6s,” which is one of the top in her class (I guess there’s only one kid ahead of her and is on “minus 7s”), and she is such a fabulous reader that I never have to worry about that. And she talks to us all the time! I always know what’s going on in school and what they are learning and what they forgot to do that day and things like that…I feel like I know where she stands.

Joshie, on the other hand, has been my worry. The worry started back when he was 15 months and refused to play with the magnetic letters on the fridge. Or how he pretty much refused to sit and listen to me read books…ever. I have heard the stereotypes about boys and girls being different, especially when it comes to school, and with John’s very strong dislike of reading, I have been preparing myself for a more difficult journey. I always admitted that we have been so spoiled with Kylie when it came to school, and I was ready (at least mentally) to have to work harder with Josh. The only area we were not concerned with him was numbers. With all of the sports he watches/plays, he knows his numbers very well. If you ask him what 6+6 is, he may not know, but if you ask him what a touchdown plus a touchdown is, he’ll tell you “12.”

We had our parent/teacher conferences last night. We had Josh’s first. We sit down with the teacher (who was also Kylie’s Kindergarten teacher), and she starts out by saying “I love having Josh in my class.” “He’s such a sweet kid and such a joy.” She went through her assessment of him and I’m amazed. I wasn’t surprised because I had received his report card and have been working with him, but to hear it and see it was still amazing. He is one of the top kids in the class. His reading level is a 3 – most kids come in at a 0 or 1, and they need to be at a 4 for first grade. He knows all of his numbers and does very well at math. She also said that his writing is fantastic! She said his attention span is great, and kids often ask him for help when reading things. Like I said, I knew this going in, but to hear it from his teacher was so different. My little boy, whom I’ve been so worried about, is doing just as well as Kylie did. Our 20 minute conference was done in 10 minutes because there was nothing really to discuss. She gave us ways to help him advance even further and we were on our way.

Next it was time for Kylie’s conference. As soon as we all sit down, the first words out of her mouth were “I love having Kylie in my class.” She said that she is her biggest helper and is always reminding her of things that they didn’t get to do that day (especially math timed-tests). She said that every night she puts a stack of papers at Kylie’s seat because Kylie is one of the first ones in there and she’s afraid she’ll get bored so she has Kylie hand out all the papers for the day or put things away, etc. She said that Kylie loves to write, and comes in every morning asking her if she can write. She showed us a couple of Kylie’s different notebooks and it was so fun going through her work. She showed us a sheet that she had each child fill out – they listed what they think their strengths are, what their weaknesses are, and what their goals for second grade are. The teacher said that Kylie’s strengths were definitely right on, and she laughed at the weaknesses because she thinks Kylie was being way too hard on herself and that they aren’t weaknesses for her at all (one thing she listed was not knowing the water cycle, but her teacher says she knows it very well). She said that Kylie is a fabulous reader, which doesn’t surprise me at all because Kylie LOVES to read and is always down in the playroom reading. And since Kylie has had perfect spelling tests all year, she said that she will be adding additional words for her to learn each week. Again, our 20 minute conference lasted only 10 minutes.

After the conferences we headed down to the school library for the book fair. Both Kylie and Josh had their lists and showed us which books they wanted. John and I had no problem getting them their books after those fabulous conferences and hearing about what great readers they are :) And after that, we headed to Pizza Hut with our neighbors so that the kids could redeem their Book-It certificates. We had a great dinner and I think it was such a great reward for the kids.

I went to bed last night feeling so very blessed. We are so lucky to have such great kids. I know I say it all the time, but when you have people (that aren’t related) tell you how great your kids are, it’s such a nice reinforcement that I’m not screwing up. So when I have those nights where I feel like such a failure as a mom because I feel like I can’t get all the homework done and play and feed them, I will my best to remember last night and repeat over and over to myself that I’m not failing, and my kids are turning out fabulous.


Sherry said...

Okay "NOW" will you believe me when I say you have the perfect family? You and your husband are the best parents ever and see your children are happy, healthy, well rounded and so smart, helpful, respectful and I could go on and on, and not just to fill the space. I am very serious!!! All their manners, intelligence etc etc come from you and your husband. You two have created the enviroment they live in and see it's PERFECT!!
Now a huge huge pat on your back, ease up on yourself for thinking you don't have time for them with everything cause girl you are doing fantastic so don't ever doubt yourself again!!! :)

Kellie said...

No worries, Mama! Your boy is perfectly fine :)

The Book-It certificates. What a blast from the past! I use to redeem those all the time when I was a kid. My love affair with books began when I was 4 and has continued ever since.


Kim3278 said... glad you finally realize that you are aneonderful mom and your kids reflect that! They ate the very beat parts of you and John!

Book it? I did that when i was in school. Wish Tatums class did that! I always enjoyed redeeming mine as it always meant I didn't had to eat the pizza my parents were getting:)

Congrats mama! You're doing great!