Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mum stuff | parent-teacher interviews

There may or may not be some mumma bragging going on here. Last night we went along to our children's school for parent-teacher interviews. I always look forward to this time of year so that we can have a chat with the teacher and check out all of the work they've been producing.  Seth received his school report last week and he did very well, as I would expect.  Eme, being in kindergarten, doesn't get a school report, so I was keen to catch up with her teacher.  I've been concerned that her reading isn't progressing as well as it should. I needn't have worried. Unfortunately for Eme, Seth is an exceptionally fast learner, and I had been comparing their performance. I had nothing else to base their progress on, so its hard to tell what's "normal".

Every year, Andrew and I have the same conversation with the kids before we get up to the school about what we'll have for dinner afterwards. They find it hilarious! There's this episode of the Simpsons we like to reference where Homer and Marge are going for parent-teacher interviews, and it goes a little something like this...

Marge: Now be good for Grampa while we're at the parent-teacher meeting. We'll bring back dinner.
Lisa: What are we gonna have?
Homer: Well, that depends on what your teachers say. If you've been good, pizza. If you've been bad... uh... let's see... poison.
Lisa: What if one of us has been good and one of us has been bad?
Bart: Poison pizza.
Homer: Oh, no! I'm not making two stops!

Eme's interview was first. She showed off all of her artworks and her books, and I must say, her colouring and drawing is excellent for a kindy kid. Seth was terrible at it. I guess that's the difference between boys and girls.  Eme's writing book had a lot of words circled, and I was concerned that she was making a lot of mistakes, but then I many 5 year olds know how to spell skateboard? lol. I raised it with her teacher and was surprised to find that Eme is self-editing. She's attempting to spell words they haven't learnt yet and circling them so that the teacher can help her later. I think that's brilliant.  We asked about her reading and was informed that Eme is one of the best readers in the class!  Oh. That was a shock! She's on level 9, and at this stage of the year, she'd be expected to be on 5. See, this is what happens when you have a brainiac first child. Seth was on level 21 by then, so we thought she was lagging behind. Oops.  Her mathematics skills are excellent too.  Just one issue, she's a fidget and finds it hard to sit still. She also needs to learn to put up her hand before blurting out something. We can work on that. So so incredibly proud of our girl!

Seth was next. We had to wait outside the classroom while waiting our turn and it was bitterly cold! Wollongong had severely windy weather last night. I was sure there was going to be snow on the escarpment when we woke up!  We had a read through his bookwork while we waited. I love reading his recount of the weekend's events. What is evident is that you can't get up to anything naughty because it will be written down and shared with the whole class! lol. I'm sure his teacher thinks all he does on the weekends is play footy, play with the ds and watch movies. hehe. Seth's teacher is really happy with his progress. He's a whiz at maths and science, and gets really enthusiastic about learning new facts.  He's picked up Italian really easily and can remember everything they've learned.  His reading and comprehension skills are excellent, but he needs a little help with forming arguments. He can do it, it just takes him a little time. I can't believe they're starting to write mini essays in year 3!  We'll work on it at home. Turns out, Seth is a researcher. He likes to read facts and can spout them out until the cows come home. Oddly though, when posed a question such as should children wear a uniform, or should children have mobile phones, he always takes the negative response.  The other kids almost always take the positive. I guess that's a sign that he's strong in his convictions and not afraid to stand out from the crowd.   Go Seth!

We were so proud of both Seth and Eme that we did treat them to pizza on the way home...and there was no poison in sight. lol.

How do you encourage your children to improve their performance at school?  Do you have a special study area set up for them? We still work at the kitchen table, so I'm interested to find out what you do.

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