November 5, 2009

Learning Curve

I met with Thaddeus' teacher on Tuesday for a parent-teacher conference. I was a little worried about what she might say, because Tad isn't exactly on level playing ground when it comes to Kindergarten. It isn't level because unlike a lot of his classmates, this is the first time Thaddeus has ever been in any kind of school setting.

Before this year, I had never taken part of any kind of preschool. Co-op or otherwise.

I don't do playdates, or playgroups, or mommy-and-me classes, or kindermusik.

But what about their social skills? They have each other don't they? is my retort.

But how will they learn to listen? By listening to mommy, is what I say next.

When it comes to raising children, I'm a less-is-more, unstructured learning type of parent.

I think kids need to go outside. They need to dig for worms with my good spoons. They need to listen to the wind. They need to learn their shapes by finding them all around us, to learn to tell stories using the pictures in the clouds.

Yes, when it comes to raising children, I have a no-nonsense, let them fall down kind of attitude...

I walked into the room, and sat across from the teacher.

She pulled out her notes.

"Well, when we first started, Thaddeus only knew 6 letters, and no letter sounds..."

I inspected his test results.

"and then when we tested him last week, he knew 22 letters, and 20 letter sounds.... That's a great improvement!"

She continued on telling me how much fun he was in class. What a hard worker he was. How focused he could be. She was impressed with his math capabilities, and she loves his good attitude.

Page after page, she showed me how much progress Tad had made over the last few weeks.

I walked away, proud of my boy. Glad that he liked school. Grateful for a teacher that understands him.

When I got home, I told him how great he was, how smart and kind and thoughtful.

Then we all put on our jackets, and went outside to look for bugs.

THAT is my kind of preschool.