Another great tutoring night. Of course, I use the term “tutoring” but it feels more like guiding, prompting, mentoring…. not what I imagine tutoring to be.
The two little girls sat at the window tonight, waving good-bye to me. These are children that I worried wouldn’t even talk to me for the first couple of weeks.
So much more I want to write, but I’m tired and I have a book order to put together for my oldest.
Todd and I are gradually learning how lucky we are to have Brennan. Sometimes, when we’re tired or he’s being a pill, we can forget that. I think of how difficult he was as a baby and then I look at what an awesome little boy he is now… We are so, so lucky. And his program director said that to us tonight too.
I’m meeting up with the GATE coordinator early Friday morning, after I drop Bren off to JFK (the before- and after-school program), so I can pick up information and ideas on projects to do with him. She’s got instructions on how to build a Bucky Ball out of gum drops and toothpicks, plus some other great ideas. I’ve got to start researching some ways we can do things to explore learning about hookworms (his choice for this weekend) that DOESN’T include my having to hunt down – ewwww- a live one. And we’re planning to “experiment” with different things that bubble and ooze when combined – like baking soda and vinegar. The messier that experiment gets, the better.
I’m also meeting with Bren’s teacher at 8:15 on Friday and I’m going to chat with her about the problems that I’ve seen and the feedback Bren has given us. Bren and I will go visit with his counselor next week so he can let out some of his frustrations. He was acting like he was depressed and from the things I described to his counselor, that was his opinion too. I think he’s pulling out of it a bit, but I also think that I’d rather find some ways to help him cope than just leave it.
It was interesting talking to Ms. Anna, Bren’s program director, tonight. She says that he will come in and be excited about something, wanting to talk about it, and the other kids just don’t understand. I know how he feels… It’s really hard when you’re into something and you don’t have someone to share that with. I think he’s really trying to seek out a peer group that understand what he’s in to and to a certain degree he finds that – with the other kids who are really into Star Wars and the other “kid” stuff. It’s just really hard to explain to a bright six-year old that not everyone shares his passion for some of the topics…
And that’s where his dad and I have to go the extra mile – we have to listen, participate and encourage him. I need to provide him the materials and guidance so he can take off on a project on his own. As he gets older and more focused, I think I’ll transition more to a supplier of materials and a cheerleader/audience. If he’s like this at six… what’s he going to be like at 8… 10… 12?
One final thought on this: When I was talking to the GATE lady (coordinator is kind of long), I mentioned his reading level and she made that sound, the one that I’m coming to recognize as surprise. Bren’s pediatrician did it too. That reading level was over two months ago. I guarantee that he’s moved beyond that. If his printing was keeping up with his reading and his spelling? Well, he’d be writing some pretty interesting things.
We’ve been awfully focused on language arts with him and starting this weekend, I’m expanding our basics each evening to include fun math and science/history/etc. Since the children I’m tutoring are from Burma, we’re going to look over maps and pictures of Burma. But first… hookworms. His choice, so I’m all in.
And that’s it for me. Time for book order and then sleep. I’ve got kids to keep up with tomorrow.
(and I’m registered for my first finance/accounting class for March 2nd. Yay!)