So we are a couple of weeks into school here, and it's going ok, ups and downs. We will have Back to School Night this week, so we can meet BGA's teacher (we of course already know LGA's teacher) and the new principal. I am always nervous to see how the new teacher will be and what she will require, will she 'get' BGA?
BGA's teacher sent home a 6 page info/supply list last week. We had some of the supplies but had to go out and get some of the stuff on the list we didn't have......no big deal. But what I found interesting was the list of the teacher's class rules. I know that ADD BGA is going to have a hard time following some of these rules. Last year's teacher, while nice, was a bit loopy and had a lot of personal issues going on, so let a LOT of stuff in her class slide. This teacher is NOT going to do that, which makes me happy, but I am concerned how BGA is going to do. She needed to bring the supply list home by Friday. She forgot it at her desk the first day, so we were unable to get supplies as it was a weekend and she said the teacher had left the room. So on Monday I remind her that she needs the supply list and could she find it in the tray under her desk and put it in her backpack. She forgets. I send her back to the room and she brings the list back with her. Tuesday Dave and I shop and get her stuff ready to take to school the next day. But this is the issue we had with her in 4th grade due to her ADD, and being disorganized. So, I'm thinking she will need to take meds at school in the pm, because I am sure her new teacher is going to say she needs her pm meds. When I pick her up she talks non stop the whole way home, barely pausing for a breath. She is all over the car, moving around and not able to sit still, until I remind her she needs to sit in her seat because the car is moving.
Also, with a new teacher I have to decide what I can personally reveal about BGA's past and how things work in her brain. Last year she did not want to tell the kids at school she was adopted. She told kids at her previous school and was teased quite a bit about it. Her teacher last year knew as I told her in a form I had to fill out. So I don't know if last year's teacher will tell this year's teacher or not.
I did not attend the first day of school, so I have not met the teacher as stated above. Dave does the first day of school and has for a couple of years now. He's not always involved in the day to day so this gives him a chance to meet teachers and see the classroom, etc. This year I think they were a bit late and had to wait for a train, so he missed meeting the teacher, but did drop BGA off in her classroom and LGA had the same room so he said hi to her teacher. Up to this point I have not met BGA's teacher so don't have any opinions formed, however, I can see by her 6 page document sent home that she is a bit strict. I found it funny that BGA says she's already been muttering under her breath at certain kids (last year's 5th grade class was a really hard one so this year's teacher has some of the same students). Last year's teacher is teaching the pull out kids and not having a classroom setting, so she said she's still got some of the kids she had last year. I feel sorry for her because I think by the end of the year last year, she was just done. Ready for school to be over.
On the reading front, which is the title of this post, LGA has been going gangbusters on reading. Last year she was probably reading at a kinder level, and reading two letter words. This year, 3 and 4 letter words/sentences and she can almost read a full sentence. We still have the repetition issue and sentences she knew at the beginning of the week, seemed harder by the end and words just weren't there. However, last week was the first full week of school, so we just worked on her book bit by bit each day. But to see her reading is a really good thing. I had not seen her read like that before. It was really a great feeling to see her read a small book. I'd say she's at first grade level, but that's ok, she's reading and that makes us happy. This week her teacher added some double digit math, adding, and carrying over, and LGA did not want to do it, but I pushed through one sheet with her, then Dave took over and did the second one with her and she finished it. I like seeing how she will pick out words in various pieces of paper or magazines she sees. I think it's time to dig out her books and see which ones she can read.
So far BGA has been doing some reading each day. I am hoping the summer reading we let her do, staying up past bedtime, will help her bring her reading up a bit this year. She did good in second to last semester, then the last semester her reading level dropped. We are also having her read a half hour each day after school and she is not fighting us on it. We have had the conversations about homework (last two years she has consistently lied to get out of homework) and her teacher is strict about that (no surprise there) too. The teacher will call us if work is not being consistently turned in (as opposed to last year's teacher who never let us know there was a problem till BGA got a U on homework on one of her report cards).
Expectations are being laid out, we meet the teacher this week and we hope this will be a good year. LGA is adjusting to the transition ok, not great, but getting there. There have been meltdowns and things that set her off after school last week and week before, but I hope it's transition and that it will even out a bit when she settles. Told her teacher she reported the older kids were teasing her and teacher said she'd look into it. We are in the lying phase of FASD, so hard to know what is attention seeking and what is truth. But I tell her before I talk to her teacher to give her the chance to either agree or tell me what she said was not true (has happened).
I'm just happy to see the reading progressing. On her state testing report, LGA jumpe from a Far Below Grade Level to Below Grade Level (then there is Grade Level and Proficient - these two levels BGA stays around - and Advanced). I'm really happy with that progress as she has been at Far Below since she started kinder. That lets me know she's making progress and I couldn't be happier.
Hope those of you with kids in school have a great school year.