There's really nothing to make you feel like a "real" grown-up than going to your child's parent teacher conference. You sit in the little first grade chairs and look at the work your child has done so far along with their behavior and know that you are the one responsible in a large part for their successes and failures. Wow, that's alot of pressure and somedays you do a better job than others.
N's conference was yesterday and it contained a wealth of information. For instance, their first spelling test last week? The teacher didn't actually expect them to spell all the words right. Didn't know this. We played games, used words in sentences, did word scrambles, etc so that N would spell his words correctly. Turns out, she really wanted them to get the first letter right. Wow! That really takes the pressure off, although, I'm proud to say that N did in fact spell all the words correctly. The ways they teach now are soo different from the way I learned, so I'm learning all over again! And in a new way!
N's best subject at school? Math....no surprise to those of us who watch his "engineering" prowess at work each day. His teacher mentioned that he always finishes his math early and rarely makes a mistake. Unfortunately, this "boredom" is part of what gets him into trouble. N is high energy. Sitting around, not so good for him. So, her solution? If he finishes his work early, she lets him draw pictures on his paper rather than "entertain" his class. Now, I'm not sure this will still be acceptable when he's in 8th grade, but for now, it helps this little boy stay out of trouble.
Another great area for N is writing...he loves to write and his forte is creative writing----code for STORIES THAT AREN'T ACTUALLY TRUE. This would be great if that is what the teacher asked for. What she actually wants them to write is about a real event in their life. Something simple, like what they ate for breakfast or what their favorite book is. N's stories are way beyond that, so we are to work on "scaling" them back a bit at school. At home, we will still encourage him to write about his 78 story house that he is building.
So, if you haven't guessed it yet? N has great academics, he is above average in everything. I'm so proud of him. And those social skills? Well, we are working on those. Things like sitting still and keeping your hands to yourself. That's our main goal for the year---to channel his great positive energy into getting along well with others.
Parenting is all about encouraging your child in their strengths and helping them to develop those strengths even further. And.... it's about, recognizing their weaknesses and doing the best job you can to help them turn the negatives into positives. Sometimes, it's hard as a parent to admit the weaknesses, but it's part of the job. A hard part, a part you don't really look forward to. I'd rather focus on the good and ignore the hard, but that would be wrong and would hurt N in the long run.
And as an added bonus a couple more pics of the boy from the fall festival: