A, B, C and 1, 2, 3

Larry and I have our first parent teacher conference coming up next Thursday and I am nervous.  I know he’s been learning in school and practicing while he’s there but I haven’t been as diligent as I should be in making him practice at home and neither has Larry.  Together we’ve devised a foolproof plan, at least I think we have.  Joey is a Wii addict, in particular he’s in love with the game Skylander, and we’ve decided to use that as a motivation for learning.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, it has about a gazillion characters that you have to buy separately to give you, the player, the opportunity to experience and use different forms of weapons or enter different realms within the game.  Don’t ask me anything else as that’s about the full extent of my knowledge of this game (lol).  And to make things a little more difficult for Larry and I,  this is one hot game and so these characters sell out about as fast as they hit the shelves.

Larry has taken to purchasing the 3 or 4 packs of different characters as he comes across them and then we take them out of the packages and set them up on the top shelf of our cat tree where Joey can see them, but not get to them.  Well lets face it he could if he really wanted to but he knows he’d get in big trouble for doing it and that I would probably then throw them in the trash so he just adores them from afar until the big day – FRIDAY.  That’s right, each Friday if he’s done his tracing practice Monday through Friday then he gets to pick out one of the new characters to play the game with when Daddy gets home from work.  Now I don’t even have to ask him to do his letters or numbers or try to cajole him into it as it’s the last thing we talk about each night and pretty much the first thing he wants to do in the morning.  I’ve found several great sights that provide his name as well as the normal alphabet and numbers.  I’m trying to have him do 2-3 pages a day – Joey, Joseph and then a letter or number.  We’ve been focussing on A’s and B’s and I’m so happy to report that it is actually helping.

Today in anticipation of picking his guy out as soon as Daddy walks in the door he asked me for his practice sheets and only needed help one time.  He even self corrected when he made the line across his capital “A” to long.  Made me so proud.  I know most of the credit goes to his two wonderful teachers – Mrs. Ethorne and Mrs. Meyers, but still I’m as proud as can be.

If he keeps up, who knows by the end of summer he might just be able to write them all and can go to Kindergarten with his friend Garrett who’s a year older.  Right now I’m on the fence and leaning in the direction of keeping him home another year.  Yes part of it’s selfishness but I also want to make sure that he’s well prepared to enter the elementary world both educationally and socially.  Daddy of course thinks he’s ready to go now and that that is what school is for – to teach them.  When I look around at my friends children and hear the stories of their 1st graders having 2-4 hours of homework a night I can’t even imagine, makes my heart race I tell ya.  And I think it’s a tad extreme.  They’re children for goodness sake, let them be kids, afterall they’re going to have to work hard for the rest of their lives so why do they have to start putting in hours of work when they’re only 5?  I don’t get it, I really don’t.  We didn’t have to do that kind of homework when I was that age and I think I turned out just fine, so did my sister, and all my friends, and my hubby too.  The more I look at the way our public school system is working the more I’m considering alternative education – home school, private, charter, etc.  I like the idea of education being a part of their everyday experiences.  At the same time, I want Joey to have the school experiences I did – the field trips, the opportunity to make lifetime friends, and to few things from others perspectives.  How do I make sure he has all this and a childhood of fun at the same time?  It’s a question without an answer at this moment in time, but I’m searching and I’m sure that together, Larry and I, will make the best decisions for our boy.

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