Monday, January 26, 2015

This boy of ours

I know I haven't been posting as much lately. It seems like the older he gets, the faster everything moves. I don't mean that he's growing faster (though he is, and judging by how much he ate over the weekend, he's working on another growth spurt), just that there is more to do, more to pack into less time. There's homework and reading, and taking him to a class here and there. So I'm going to try to catch up on a few highlights from the past few months, and I'll try to do smaller posts here and there. 

I'll focus on school today. We learned during the parent-teacher conference in the fall that he was friends with everyone in class, and didn't have any trouble socially. In fact, his teacher told us that she would never have guessed he was an only child (I swear Rob and I nearly high-fived when she said that). She did say he had a little trouble focusing--nothing to worry about, but not something we should totally ignore. 

His teacher sends home updates every Friday, and we kept getting notes saying that Zack was very chatty and that it interfered with him getting his work done, and also other kids getting their work done. I emailed with his teacher, asking what we could do. I told her that on one hand, having been a painfully shy child, I was glad to see that he had a lot of friends and was social. But on the other hand, he needed to learn when to be social, and I didn't like that his behavior was affecting others. She suggested that she set up a behavior contract with Zack; this way we'd get feedback daily on how he was doing in class. This actually ended up being enlightening for us and for his teacher because we discovered that he has the most trouble when they have centers---when the teacher is working with a smaller group of students and the rest of the class has a list of tasks they need to complete independently. 

He's taken to this pretty well, and is very proud when he comes home with a lot of smiley faces (he can get smiley faces, straight faces, or frowns). The feedback also seems to have improved now that the class rearranged seats. He had been sitting next to one of his best buds, who he told me was the one that he chatted with. Now they're at separate tables. 

Last Thursday he came home ecstatic--he'd gotten a lot of smiley faces and only a few straight faces (no frowns), he'd gotten tested on a reading level and got a 99%, and his class was having an ice cream party the following day. It was so exciting to see him so excited! He even told me that he was getting tested on the next reading level the following day and he was going to do great on that, too! (It ended up being postponed and happened today.) Both his teacher and we have noticed a huge improvement in his reading over the past month or so, and I think he's getting that he can read to himself. 

Of all the problems that we could have with him, I don't think this one is such a bad one to have. It makes me so happy to see him with his friends, being able to interact with everyone both at school and in the neighborhood. I don't want to blame it all on being a nearly-7-year-old boy, either, but I suspect that has something to do with it. 

About those pictures.  He got his face painted at KAH during the last snow day. 

He's in International Club this month at KAH. All of them made a passport and they "go to" different countries twice a week. This is a shot of them in the kitchen when they were making fried rice for their visit to China. 

He and I were snuggling on the couch. He'll still snuggle with me. I love it! 

Rob and Zack during a walk around the neighborhood. Somewhere I have a similar picture from when Zack wasn't quite walking by himself. I've got to juxtapose them. 

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