Every day I leave work and I feel like I’ve gained an inch or so. Painfully small, as increments go, when you’ve got a mile stretching out in front of you. Still, as my co-worker noted, it’s better than losing ground. Last night I think I came home with a couple linear feet added to my bag of tricks. Then we headed off to meet Bren’s gifted/talented teacher for the coming school year and I think we, as a family, trucked on ahead by several hundred yards. She’s got a great vibe – the kind of teacher both Todd and I would have thrived with. She’s got a funky personality AND she listened to us.
Bren has become almost totally apathetic about school and the work he’s bringing home from kindergarten shows it. Often it’s not even finished or has a rushed scribble on it. Then he’s home with us and he’ll sit, patiently working on something. He built words out of his legos – one stacked on the other (I wish I had pictures of it) and it was cool. Yet, we try to get him interested in the repetitive and lame homework coming from his current school and he could care less. I’ve tried being cheerleader. I’ve tried invoking responsibility. I’ve even tried bribes. We’ve talked it up and tried to give him a boost.
We’ve tried being firm.
So kindergarten graduation is tomorrow and we’re letting it go. His last couple of days in kindergarten are carefree and whimsical, just the way I think kindergarten should be since daily homework starts in a few short months. For now, I’m giving him a journal to write a bit about his summer vacation and to put cool pictures in. I’ve got the Pokemon math book so he can enjoy the little creatures that he likes while he practices the fun part of math.
And he’ll get plenty of exploring on gramma & grampa’s property where they have the sand pile, trees, garden, bugs, wading pool and lots of grass. He’ll eat fresh veggies and homemade bread. He’ll be away from tv and the computer. It’ll be good. On the weekends he’ll get to go on adventures with us, even if it’s nothing more than a trip to the library or the community swimming pool or, and this is his big one, the week-long theater camp called “Shakespeare’s Superheroes” that will be happening at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival this summer.
If I can get him excited about writing a bit of it down, I’ll be happy.
But the new program he’s going into this fall sounds fantastic. It’s a great school and the principal is everything we wish we’d had last year. She understands us because she’s going through it too. What we liked most was the way the discussion dealt with the fact that this program isn’t about “smart” kids…. It’s about kids who learn drastically differently than the average population. I looked around the room and saw parents and families who share our concerns and worries… the worry that our kids will fall through the cracks (just like Bren almost completely did this year, except for the two short months he had with the pull-out program when it was almost too little, too late).
He told us last night that if he’d been in the G/T program all school year, he wouldn’t have missed out on the cool things they learned.
Well. He’s going into a combo 1/2 class and 3 or 4 of the kids he knows from the pull-out are going to be there. He’s going to be fine.
Todd had an awakening as we were walking out or the meeting. Or, perhaps, he just finally voiced the concern. He’s going to be taking 14 credits this fall and he’s working 20 hours per week. He’s worried he can’t effectively do both.
I’m backing off to only one class per session, so I can pick up more duties here at the house. But yeah. I know why he’s worried. It’s a lot. It’s a lot for both of us. All I can tell him is to keep trying. He’s putting in massive hours on math right now and this will be the test. Can he do it? Yes, I know he can.
Discipline is key though. And sometimes… sometimes… you can only take so much, then you get burned out. I understand, because I’m close to that state myself.
I’ve recently had advice that I need to shoot for a level of 3 out of 5 and not push myself so hard. That’s a slippery slope and being up at 4 or 4.5 out of 5 (or even 5 out of 5) is *easier* because you end up with a margin of error. It’s too easy to lose control and slide right out of the acceptable zone.
I had vivid, strange dreams last night. Not sure what they mean, but I know it’s time to get moving, tired though I am. The small guy is off on his trek to gramma and grampa’s house. The taller guy needs to wake up and start his day. I need to pull myself together so I can get out the door in 40 minutes. Yes. It’s Wednesday. Let’s see what adventures we can find today!