Thursday, October 15, 2015

The school year is off to a slightly sluggish start

Ethan's struggled with his reading for... forever. He finally started making progress late last school year. It's required a ton of time and effort from his assorted teachers and specialists (of which he has many) and has required a lot of time and attention from Daniel and I as well. He ended the school year just below grade level with reading.

Vivian started K a bit ahead of where Ethan had started, but not much. However, she also started K at just 5 years old, whereas he was already 6. So I wasn't too worried about her. She ended the school year also just below grade level, but I thought her skills were coming along. We had planned to spend time this summer working on reading, but with one thing and another, it just didn't happen. Still, I didn't think anything of it.

So,  imagine my surprise when Vivian came home from school telling me about going to see a teacher that gave her Skittles. She informed me that only she and one other student went. When she named the student, I asked her if she was working on reading with this other teacher, because I know the other student that's going with her and that he is a poor reader (I volunteered a lot in her class last year).  Turns out that she has been assigned to see the reading specialist (they eventually sent home information to us about it). For some reason Ethan is not seeing the specialist. I'm a little confused about the whole thing, but as long as she's getting extra help, that's great.

But having two kids struggling academically is challenging. Both have quite a bit of homework on top of needing to read 20 minutes or so daily. And both need help with their homework, since they lack the reading skills to do it properly, so our evenings are very interesting around here. Fortunately Vivian's math skills seem pretty good and Ethan is doing decently with math as well, so there's some glimmer of hope.

I never wanted to be the type of parent that expected their kids to get straight As or anything like that. I was a very good student, but my husband wasn't particularly and he's still very successful in life. There are more important things than letter grades. As long as the kids are trying hard and I'm trying hard to support them, that's fine with me. I'm more concerned about them learning to treat people well and learning to ask questions about life and stuff like that.

That being said, it's still not where I expected to be with school, especially this early in their school careers. It's a fine line between getting them the extra help and practice that they need and not wanting to overwhelm them and give them an early dislike for school. They have a lot of years ahead of them!

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