Thursday, January 26, 2017

Report Card Day

Yesterday was report card day.  Report cards are supposed to be a mark of how much a student has learned.  Sometimes those marks make us feel accomplished and sometimes those marks make us feel ashamed.  As a child, I was pushed to be a good student and to show how smart I was by making high grades. I've come to realize that being smart means a lot more than numbers on a report card. 

School was fairly easy for me.  Reading was a skill that I learned early (before kindergarten) and writing came easy.  I could pay attention in class, take notes, and walk away with decent grades with little effort (with the exception of math).  Reese also loves school.  His favorite things about school are science, art, and social studies (as in the study of being social).  Reading has been a struggle for him.  At this point, he doesn't know that he is significantly behind in this skill.  He loves books and enjoys me reading with him.  I am careful about the books that we get and how we read them so that he doesn't get discouraged.  

I have no intention of telling him that he is behind.  I will continue my fight to get to the root of his struggle.  I will continue to read with him and encourage him to find books about things that he loves.  I will continue to be amazed at him.

Today he asked me for $1 from his spending bank for the school bookstore.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the school opens the bookstore and all books are $1.  He had a lego book in mind to purchase.  These books are usually a good level for him and he can read them on his own easily.  You can imagine my surprise when this is what he came home with instead: 

He was so proud to show me his purchase.  We enjoy watching the Narnia movies together and I had been considering buying the book set for him.  He opened the book and read the first page to me as soon as we got out of the school parking lot.  It was tough and took him quite a while but he did it.  He asked if he could rewatch the movie to help him understand the names.  I agreed and after homework was finished I helped him start the movie.  

I am so glad that he doesn't know that the numbers and letters on that piece of paper supposedly show how smart he is and somehow magically give him worth (or make him feel worthless).  I know that he is so much more than a number or letter and I will continue to make sure that he knows that as well.  Reading and writing may never be easy for him but so many other things are.  It's my job to help him find those things and nurture those things.  He will always be more than a just a report card.

***I am currently listening to an audio version of the book 8 Great Smarts by Kathy Koch, Phd.  It is great for helping you to discover and understand the ways that your kids are smart and how to nurture those areas.  I encourage you to take a look at the book or listen to interviews with Dr. Koch.

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