Tuesday, October 7, 2003

Katherine is on an even keel

With her hand healing well (when she bothers to give it a rest), it was time to look at other aspects of school life.

So I scheduled a meeting with her teacher this past Monday. Parent/teacher conferences are not done until November, but that's a long time to wait to hear how school is going and I figured if there is a problem, this gives us a month to iron it out and see how things have progressed by November.
Thankfully Katherine had chess after school so she wouldn't be in the classroom, but our housekeeper is off for the week (her mom is sick) so I had the other 3 with me. How I hoped they'd behave and remain quiet. Mrs. Bayly set them up in the corner with some building blocks and dinosaurs and they were gold from then on. I was able to sit and listen and discuss and they didn't make a peep of trouble or disturb us once. Yay! for pure luck.
We started with talking about how she's doing academically. She's in the top of all the sections as everything is tailored to the individual kids. For sentence writing, she's in the group writing the greatest number. For spelling, she can choose from the hardest spelling list (meteorologist, anyone?) She can extrapolate, understand, comprehend beyond the obvious in readings and discussions. She's always thinking, she takes it upon herself to step up and answer questions, she observes everything in the classroom and is a sponge for learning. She often move too quickly in her studies, making obvious errors and can fix them when reviewing.
None of this is new.
We moved on to organization. She has none. She loses items, misplaces them, walks around with pens and erasers that belong at her desk, she forgets to put her folders in the right places or turn in her assignments at the right time. When starting a new activity, she takes forever to get going because she can't find a pencil and yet once she does start, she moved quickly through it going beyond the oulined expectations.
None of this is new either.
Socially, she has girl friends she sits with in class and boy friends she plays with at the playground. When I asked her later what the girls are doing during recess she didn't have a clue as she's too busy following the ball during a soccer game. Early in the year there were issues with other kids saying she was bossy. Mrs. Bayly recognized it not as the intense desire to lead (a la Rebecca), but as an organizational manager style. There was a discussion in class and tensions seemed to have eased. Why can't this desire to put things into order extend to her own personal space? We'll never know. She'll probably be an absent-minded genius, as Jeff commented.
I do worry sometimes that she's not making friends well. I can't pin that thought on anything in particular, but the idea lingers. She is so good-hearted and always believes the best of people and sees the good in everyone. The more cynical of her classmates might target her as naive and that worries me.
So, what can we do about all of this. I'm attempting to get her more on track at home, going over a checklist of items to be readied the night before. School clothes are not an issue, but having her homework done and ready to go is. At school, Mrs. Bayly will be adjusting the homework ritual so that assignments are put into their bags inside the classroom, rather than in the hallway where the cubbies are. Also, I learned that her homework notebook only need to come home on Mondays and returned on Fridays. This will avoid the mid-week "oops, I forgot it" and she'll have her spelling words available at all times at home during the week.
It's all good.
In other news, she's still really disappointed in missing swimming in P.E. I'm so torn. She doesn't have to wear bandages anymore on her fingers, but they are far from healed and months away from normal. I don't know whether swimming would be fine or be a whole new set of problems for her troubled fingernails.
And we've bought her 2 new sets of glasses. You can see them on her page. I have the feeling she'll be wearing glasses more and more as she commented that at the playground she often trips because she doesn't see items in her path. Now, that could just be because she's totally unaware of her own size and her physical movement, but I am wondering if she just needs to wear the glasses and everything else will fall into place.

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