Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Goofy's curriculum night and homework

Goofy got lucky with another gen-ed teacher this year. The old teacher and principal did an awesome job picking her out. I think I may have upset her at our team meting, which tends to happen... I don't remember what it was, just that she looked upset. Maybe when I insisted that extra help in hand writing was more important than academics or when I asked why he needed two writing classes, I'm not sure. To explain, he's missing RtI because of instruction in written expression, but he's still getting writing in class. Having both doesn't make sense to me when there's a weakness he could be getting help with in that time frame. Their answer wasn't satisfying, but I'm content to collect data on an alternative before RtI starts up. If letting him use technology eliminates the problem, I'm thrilled. Ok, so... she was over it by last night, so *woo* for thick skin.

Last night was curriculum night. There were two sessions, one from 6:30-6:55 and one from 7:00-7:25. We went to the second one so I could have the kids ready for bed and Walter didn't have to do much. The parking lot was packed (they could allow more time for people to leave before the next shift comes in), so I was surprised to see only 2 other kids' parents in our class and lots of packets still sitting at the kids' desks. Curriculum night is an important night, in my opinion.

I didn't realize how much things would change going from first to second grade until I was listening to her go through their day and tell us what the kids do in each subject and what to expect at home. There were casual accommodations we had set up with last year's teacher for Goofy's troubles that I didn't think about possibly changing or being unknown.

This year's teacher is allowing him to type his spelling words to practice them. If handwriting is going to be so much harder, he may as well type them out. He's still studying them.

Last year, he had reading homework every night but it was just as good to read to him as to have him read to me. We shared. Sometimes I read, sometimes he did. At home he reads on a lower level than he does at school. He seems to be more willing to work hard at school, but if he's reading to me, a higher level will bring him to tears. I'm not trying to teach him to read, I'm trying to reinforce and continue practicing what they are teaching at school. At the end of last year he was reading a level J at school, but only D-E (very few F) at home. This was fine. I was able to ask his teacher about it and she has the same thoughts, it's fine. Trade off on reading as needed, lower levels are fine. Nine days into the school year, he's bringing me a level H book to read to me!

They have study guides for Science and Social Studies tests. They fill them out as a group and then bring them home to study for the test. She said if we are concerned that they may not have the right answers, we can let her know and she can send home a study guide key. This is freaking fabulous. Not that he'd have the wrong answers, I just wouldn't be able to read them.

Last year, it was understood that I read his homework to him. Math word problems, social studies questions, science worksheets...I read the question, he writes the answer. This is fine. and actually, I could read it and write the answer he gives me for him, I would just need to make a note that his answers were oral. I don't know that I'm comfortable with that. Usually he writes the answer and if it can't be read, I write the answer in cursive beside his because he can't read what I'm writing and has no idea that I'm translating his answer. That worked last year. This year he's starting to get mad and demanding to know what it says. I don't know how much longer that will work or how he would feel knowing what I'm doing. That makes me nervous.

This year, they also have snack. Goofy's going to love that. He's constantly stealing food from his tray at breakfast and lunch to save for later. I still can't get him to understand that he cannot save chocolate milk in his backpack all day, and an apple does not make your backpack smell good after a few days of being in there. The most recent was a bottle of water. Between his not paying attention and his fine motor skills sucking, the once half full water bottle ended up upside down- ruining his daily planner and OT log, and making homework a pain. When I heard about snack, I went and got him a bag to hook onto his backpack to carry snack and water in. No more drippy papers :)

Homework is suddenly a big fight with my Goofy One. He's crying a lot, refusing to work, and throwing temper tantrums. He's insisting I do the work for him and that he doesn't know how to do it. I don't really know what the problem is. He has time to come in and calm down after school, he eats supper, and then it's homework. This was working last year when doing it right after school became a huge problem, but this year waiting seems even worse. He cries all the way through, not just when it's time to get started. The homework is exactly the same as last year, nothing has changed. Aside from duct tape and holy water, I don't suppose you have any suggestions?

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