The week of Thanksgiving when the children had only one day of school, we had conferences and got report cards. Both the children did a GREAT job! We are very proud of them.
When I was talking to Zilla's teacher, I had to keep reminding myself not to look at the numbers on his report card. I have to look at the progress he has made. If I just looked at the report card itself, I would be disappointed. He has caught up with the majority of his classmates, he just isn't at the same level as Nae was when she was in Kindergarten. Those two are completely different and I have to keep reminding myself of that. With Nae, there was never a time when she had "to catch up". Even when she switched schools in the middle of the year. She's always been a good student. It's not that Zilla isn't a good student, he is. He just started off a little behind.
When talking to his teacher, she told me he knows 40 out of his 54 letters. That's HUGE! When we did assessments, he only knew 2. He knows 38 out of his 54 sounds. Before he knew none of them. That's a BIG jump since September! He's working really hard and it's showing. He needs a little help on his writing, but not any more then any of the other children. She gave me some tips on working with him and I am putting those into play. We might be able to say that he is "average" rather then "behind" by the time winter breaks rolls around.
I mentioned to his teacher that I feel like a new mom. Like I just got home from the hospital and they gave me this baby and I have no idea wtf to do with him. I realize I made mistakes during his 5 years at home. I also realize there is nothing I can do about the past. Of course, that doesn't make me feel any less like a horrible mom when I see how much work it has been for him to catch up with his classmates. I also realize that if I did try to teach him letters and such during the time my mom was sick and passed away, I wouldn't be as good of a mom as I am now. I know that I had to grieve over the loss and playing with my son was what helped me grieve and get to the place of acceptance I am in now. I didn't realize at the time how much he helped me, now I do. Those days that we went on "worm hunts" or walked down to get an ice cream cone, or had a "jammie day" are what helped me get through those long days that I find hard to remember. What I do remember about that time, is those days. Those days stand out like a bright light against a dark background. He saved me from going insane.
Even though I wish he didn't have to play catch up, he is and he is doing amazingly well. His report card saying that he had made the biggest leap out of all the kids, is astounding. He is picking things up fast and is remembering them and putting them into his everyday life. I am proud. What to go Zilla!
Nae's report card was amazing, as well. She made the honor roll! Her G.P.A was 3.86! She was close to getting a 4.0, wow! She is proud of herself and we are very proud of her as well. She thought middle school was going to be very difficult, but clearly, it isn't that difficult.
We get progress reports from her teachers every other week, so we know exactly where she is and if she needs any extra help. She got one last week and we discovered that she is getting a B in science. That's up from the C she was getting the week before because she didn't do well on a test. We weren't upset about the C or the B, we knew she hadn't done well on that test, she told us. We weren't exactly happy with the C, but we knew she could pull it up.
Monday when she came home with her progress report for science her and I had a talk. I told her "getting a B is great and there is no way we would be disappointed with a B, but do you think you can do better? Do you want to do better?" I don't want to "push" her to get straight A's, but at the same time I know she is capable of getting straight A's. She said "I do want to get straight A's and I can do better, but science is hard". I hope I'm not pushing her to get straight A's. I hope this is something she wants and not because she thinks her father and I will be disappointed if she doesn't achieve honor roll status.
I hope I conveyed my feelings on this subject to her correctly. I hope she realizes how easy it was to get great grades and realizes that if she keeps it up, it'll stay easy. I don't want to her think that if she doesn't get straight A's that she will be "in trouble" because that's not the case. We just know that she is able to get them and she should not give up because "it's hard". Even if her next report card is as good as the last one, we'll be ecstatic!
As far as their school work shows, I haven't screwed them up all that much. If you look at their report cards, I'm not doing too bad of a job, actually. They are both happy, healthy children. Of course, I can't take ALL the credit, but I'll take the majority of it. Just not those 2 years that I almost screwed everything up.
*sigh* Grief sucks! It is an all encompassing emotion that takes up so much. I hope I can learn from it and if I have to go through that again, it doesn't take me 2 years...