Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Early Learning

(Joshua's Depiction of Thanksgiving 2012)

Yesterday was Joshua's first SEP (parent/teacher conference). He had absolutely no idea what to expect, but I didn't know he didn't and just kept saying things like, "We have to leave soon for your SEP" or "Let's go now. It's time for your SEP."

As Joshua and I got in the car, he ran back in the house to get his backpack. Confused, I told him he didn't need it. Equally confused, he returned it to the house. As we approached the kindergarten doors, Joshua said, "We need to line up here." He acted a little sluggish, nervous and skeptical when I told him we could just walk in.

At some point I must have finally got it through to him that it was just going to be, me, him and the teacher and it was not a glorified "Bring your mother to school day."

Joshua didn't ever quite get over looking nervous throughout the conference, despite the teacher's constant praise about him. She complimented his behavior, his efforts, his academics, his social skills and even went as far to say, "You have raised him very well."

I really quite enjoy parent/teacher conferences. For the most part, they have always gone very well for us as far as the good reports we hear from teachers. We've been to a lot over the years, but I do think my one yesterday afternoon with just me, Joshua and his teacher was one of my favorites. (Mike typically always goes too, but I'd made Joshua's appointment too early in the day for Mike to make it.)

A few of the reasons why I loved it:

The teacher showed me a piece of paper that had basic words and a check mark next to the ones that Joshua knew the beginning sound.

Words like, hat makes the "h" sound, "fall makes the "f" sound.

All the words were checked except for the word "run". When asked what sound/letter it started with, Joshua  had replied, "w". Which completely makes sense to Joshua's little "r"-sounds-like-"w"-type-world.

In Joshua's world if he is going to run to the neighbors, he "wuns". A chair is a "chay" a store is a "stoye" and when it is "dark" it is "dyke". And so really, the word "run" should have had a check mark by it, because in Joshua's head he was 100% correct.

I loved that Joshua got all of his rhyming words right, except "ball". Apparently that rhymes with "bob".

His numbers 1-5 were nicely written with everyone of them backwards. And though I may have panicked had he been a first child, I smiled instead.

On the other hand, his upper-case letters were all written correctly, and the lower-case ones were close.

I loved looking through his journal of simple sentences he had attempted to write over the last few weeks. Things like:

wt t gdmz and gpz hse

Which interpreted means, "Went to Grandma and Grandpa's house."

I loved all the pages, especially his ability to read all of them days and weeks later. I would have had no clue what they said if the teacher hadn't have written in below what they said.

I was enjoying each page, until the teacher turned the page and as soon as I saw it my face went red, and I was immediately horrified at what Joshua's spelling attempts looked like. Innocently the teacher 'read', "Went swimming." and I was:

a. Relieved that Joshua nor his teacher had as dirty of a mind as me, and
b. Beyond thankful that Mike hadn't been able to make the SEP after all. I'm pretty sure the two of us would have wound up in hysterical laughter, and left this young and single school teacher scarred for the rest of her career.

I can't bring myself to write the sentence here. But when I called Mike following the SEP to tell him about it, I was right--he laughed pretty hard too.

The SEP must have turned out better than Joshua had been expecting. As we drove home together, I heard a little voice from the back seat say, "That was 'weally fun."

Love that little Joshua of ours.


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