Friday, September 17, 2010

Good Thing My Kids Are Smarter Than Me

Oh, hi. It's possible that you've noticed that my kids all went off to school and left me with nothing to write about. Would it be completely irresponsible to yank them from their classes and homeschool them so that my blog doesn't wither and die?

Okay, so I'm not that desperate yet.

Not to mention that I got to go on a field trip and to back to school night yesterday, so now I have something to write about. Hooray!

Do you know what I have to write about? This: Third grade is fucking terrifying. I've been through all these cozy preschool through second grade back to school nights and volunteer days and all of a sudden I looked up and noticed that Sam is in a grade where he gets A's, B's, and C's instead of O's and S's and RLPV's or whatever the hell indecipherable grading system they use in the lower grades.

Sam's math teacher mentioned that she drops the lowest weekly quiz grade and I was all, "Quiz? Grade?"

Because, I'm sorry, but I only have little kids. My kids aren't old enough to go to a class where they are graded on their knowledge and have to take state assessment tests in March and eventually go to middle school and, HOLY CHRIST, I AM NOT READY FOR THIS.

I am also the mom who was like, "So I know my kid has Teacher J and Teacher M, but I'm not sure which one teaches him math and which one teaches him reading." My friends had to extrapolate for me based on their knowledge of the teachers and their ACTUAL conversations with their children to tell me who Sam had for what.

I am an embarrassment to the public school system.

In real news, though, Sam's teachers seem cool—especially his reading teacher. I loved her attitude and the teaching philosophy that she shared with us. I can't wait to see how Sam's love of reading could evolve with this teacher leading him.


The meetings for Jack and Quinn's classes were at the same time, so I stood awkwardly in the hall at the start of the evening, swiveling my head back and forth before I chose to go to Jack's class first.

Consequently, I missed the first half hour of Quinn's back to school night, but did manage to show up for the second half. Unfortunately, the second half was full of information I had already heard before and the first half was full of brand new information about how the kindergarten classes are completely changing the way they are teaching this year.

Oh. Whoops. You have chosen poorly.

There is some fancy phrase for what they are doing, but it's on a piece of paper in the other room and I think all y'all know me well enough to know that I'm not walking all the way in there to get it, nor do I remember what it was called.

I do, however, remember the word "integrated," meaning that they are teaching a topic through all the subjects. I'm assuming that means when they're teaching about, say, butterflies, they will read stories about butterflies in reading, draw butterflies in art, count butterflies in math, and flap around like butterflies in P.E.

Or some less lame example.

And, honestly, that is just a guess. Like I said, I'm making this up in my head because I have not yet mastered the physical ability to be in two places at one time.


All of this brings me to Jack's class.

Stop. Deep breath. Big smile. Knock on wood.

Jack is rocking school this year. Something is clicking with that boy. Every single day when he gets off the bus, I ask him how school was, and every single day he says this: "School was awesome. School is awesome every day."

The only real problem seems to be that his little buddy T, who is also autistic, "bosses" him around. Now, I'm guessing that T's bossiness stems from his autism, so I get to have the terribly ironic, we-need-to-be-understanding-of-kids-who-are-a-little-different talk with Jack.

Jack is loving his teachers, his teachers seem to really get and appreciate him, and everyone generally has good things to say about him. I am so happy with what is happening with Jack. Somehow we found a good staff, sensory, self-awareness balance and it's working. Maybe that will change, but for now I will take it.

His grade took their first field trip yesterday as well, which I was able to chaperone because—guess what?—all of my kids are in school! We went to a butterfly exhibit at a local nature center. We had a really fun time. Jack was way into the butterflies.

Twelve days down, one hundred sixty-eight to go!

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