We, as parents, want our children to do well at everything they put their hand to. First it's their milestones, then it's school.
So it was with some dismay when I learned that E's teacher wanted to put her in the early reading program, a program to help her with her reading. Yes, it's great that she's getting extra help but anything that separates you from the rest of the class is to be singled out. Not always a good thing. Plus I didn't think she was doing that badly with her reading although I have no idea how her peers are doing. Still, I agreed.
Then she was assessed for her speech. She mixes up her pronouns quite badly and still has some problems with enunciation. Her other school thought she'd eventually get out of it as she has perfect understanding of the correct way to say things. However, this school has now assessed her and told me that it's bad habits and it will never go away unless we work on correcting it. That she is unable or uninterested in learning the names of her teachers and classmates. That she appears to have no interest in playing with others. Well, snap. Here I thought she was doing so well.
I have to admit I struggle with E. I want her to be well liked and have friends. I live in great fear of her being bullied, mainly I guess because it's so prevalent in schools these days and also because my nephew was bullied for years at his school. It is to that end that I work with her on personal grooming habits and try to instill in her the reasons why we take the time to learn people's names. Good manners, etc. It's a balance because I want to teach her without making her feel she's not measuring up.
And then I feel guilty because I never corrected her speech before this. I loved her E'isms and thought it was cute and figured well.. she'll grow out of it soon enough so why correct her. As for mixing up her pronouns, she is always in such a rush to talk and get what it is in her head out that I didn't worry about it. After all who likes to be corrected in the middle of a story?
While I'd love E to do well academically, I may well have to accept that she may struggle in these areas while she will excel in things like performing, singing and dancing. She is a vibrant and probably a more creative personality. Still, I think it's early days yet. After all, did I not just find an old report card of mine wherein it says "Zeemaid, is having difficulty with her sounds" and here I am a voracious reader and writer extraordinaire. *wink*
Still I think they need to cut her a little slack. Not only has she just moved here but she now has two teachers, one with a name that I have trouble pronouncing and 18 new classmates with which to learn their names. E has a tendency to focus more on the people themselves than what their names are. For her it's all about what they are interested in and if they want to play. So I think she tends to overlook and possibly not really pay attention when someone tells her their name. As for her morning teacher, while the teacher may have had years to get used to saying her name, it can be a tongue twister for 6 year olds. And she does have friends. She can name at least three kids that she plays with at break time. If she doesn't play with them in class then it's because they are not interested in what she's doing. E likes play time and likes building and creating things. If the other kids want to do something different, well she will stick with what she's doing.
It's hard for a mom to know her kid is struggling even just a little bit and it's hard to know that making friends isn't always easy for them. She is a vibrant, caring and fun kid. It was hard hearing that a bigger kid came up and pushed her from behind, knocking her over while running away laughing. Even harder still to hear that the big kid ran to the duty first and told them that she had pushed E because E had smacked her in the face. Which, E didn't do. E doesn't even know this kid and I know my child, she never would have smacked anyone in the face. That's just not her personality. So it's frustrating to know there isn't much I can do about it. E doesn't want us to interfere at school. She's embarrassed, as if somehow it's all her fault when things aren't going right. Did I make her feel that way? Would a new toy help her---and me---feel better?
I can't help but wonder.
These are just some of the reason why we decided to get a cat now instead of later. We really felt E needed a "pick me up" after a few rough days at school and we had promised that once we moved we'd get one.
I told my mom what was going on and my mom said "You're taking it too seriously."
I think she just might be right. Mothers usually are.