Talk about a blow to parental confidence. The kids had their first parent teacher conferences and I walked away feeling like inadequate parents.
Porters conference was both the most surprising yet the easiest to process. Porter has always been a mostly A student, top of the class in reading and in math. Imagine my surprise when we meet with his teacher (whom I really like and feel is an amazing teacher) that he's "below grade level" in reading. Whaaat? This kid loves to read. He has his nose in a book nearly every evening at bedtime. In the past, he’s always been above grade level. Comprehension/retelling was what he said kept his score down, which is understandable. I know many factors can play into this, so it doesn’t worry me TOO much. I feel like we need to step up our game immensely, though. Socially, he said he seemed to have a setback in the beginning of the year- the kids he started to hang out with (mostly based on where he was seated in the classroom), were not making very good choices and he said, credit to Porter, he decided not to hang out with those two boys and kind of had to start over. YAY! We are making progress on that front!! Every year up until now I felt like he’d always gravitated toward “naughty” kids in class. FINALLY! He has been hanging out with a boy and his twin brother and a friend of theirs that he met during football. His teacher said they’re good kids. We’ve met their parents and spent a few minutes at their house on Halloween when we Trick or Treated in their neighborhood. I’m feeling good about the “friend” issue this year.
Hudson's conference was not unexpected, but made me feel so helpless as a parent. Smaller issues were… messiness (he’s SO messy and disorganized), fiddling with little things, handwriting, spelling. Across the board, attention and focus and lack of work completion was an issue. This isn't new to us, and he has struggled with this the past 2 years. She said she knows he’s very intelligent- he has great ideas and he’s very imaginative. He just doesn’t focus and can’t apply himself. We discussed him being a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to some things (obvs. not his organization HAHA! His room is not neat!). He shuts down if he feels like he can’t do something the right way, or perfectly. She said she hates taking away recess to have him do his work because she feels he needs that social time. We made a plan to have her send his work home, because we want to know when he’s refusing to do work, and we also think that will be a motivator for him to do it in class. He knows there will be consequences at home if he doesn’t do his work in school. I really love his teacher- she has all sorts of “seating” for the kids. Some kids use a chair. Some are on a balance board. Some are on these “t” shaped board things that they can sway on while sitting. Some are on a yoga ball. Some just stand. She said that she’s tried other seating tools and he does best standing. She said that day in particular he did use a chair and she noticed it was not a very productive work day for him, so she’ll encourage him to stand as he seems to focus a little more when he stands. This year, however, I feel is a make or break point, especially when it comes to writing. I didn't realize it was at this point, but his teacher wants us to look into other options to help with his focus. She mentioned speaking to his pediatrician. Reading online. Looking at his diet. She welcomed him using essential oils if we felt that may help. She was fully supportive of anything we wanted to try. We’re going to try oils for awhile and hopefully will find a combination that works well for him. I’m so worried… so frustrated… I feel so helpless. We see his lack of focus at home all the time. It takes him FOREVER just to get his pajamas on and brush his teeth because he ends up distracted by multiple things.
On a better note, we went to Amelia’s conference that morning…. and turns out we were 2 weeks early. So, yeah. Winning on that one. Luckily she’s doing great- socially well rounded, very independent (HAHA!), and very in tune with others’ feelings (she mentioned one little boy wanted to play dinosaurs on the playground and kind of scared the other girls, who just didn’t want to be chased by a dinosaur. He kind of started sulking and was sad, and Amelia went over to him and said “Hey, here’s a ball to play with! I’ll play with you!”) So sweet. :)