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October 2nd, 2011

Matthew in Kindergarten, Assessment

Matthew in Kindergarten, so happy to show-off his tattoos from school.

Read first – ‘Matthew in Kindergarten, Speech Intervention‘.

After we had the intervention for Matthew’s speech problems, Hubby and I visited Matthew in their classroom, where we met with his teacher again for Matthew’s academic assessment and conduct.

Matthew was showing off to us his play-doh creations, and he seems to be really comfortable in his classroom. He seems to be relating well with his classmates.

Anyway, regarding Matthew’s assessment, it was made in August. His assessment percentage is 62%. It was only August, and he already knows 62% of everything taught in Kindergarten. And he has the 2nd highest percentage in his class! His teacher expressed that – she was blown away (her exact words) upon learning that Matthew already CAN read words that he is yet to learn in Kindergarten.

What an anomaly he must be to his teacher. He talks very ineffectively like a baby, has speech problems, but he can read and he scores well on his assessment.

I was relieved to find out that Matthew is in good academic standing. To be honest, days prior to meeting his teacher when I received his assessment papers with the 62% on it, I was worried and really concerned. In the Philippines where I went to school, getting less than 75% as a grade or assessment means you are failing. I knew in my heart, Matthew can’t be failing. He is such a smart boy! He grasps lessons so easily. He has extended vocabulary just from watching movies and he is able to use new words appropriately. But then, of course, he wasn’t actually failing. He is doing very well.

Our tireless bedtime routine of reading to Matthew, and demanding him to watch educational videos, as preparation for Kindergarten, has paid off. I knew from the start that he was lacking in communication and social skills needed for kindergarten. He was lacking in skills we couldn’t possible provide him for they come from exposure and learning from interaction and experience. So I tried to make up for this by preparing him in other areas, like mastering his ABCs and numbers, and getting him to write and read as early as possible.

There were a few times I feel like I am being hard on him on doing his homework and writing exercises, when I yell at him or take away a privileges like Xbox or computer, when he is being too slow and uncooperative, which happens a lot. But then he is doing great in school, so maybe I won’t be as hard on him anymore. Maybe.

Continued at ‘Matthew in Kindergarten, Conduct‘.

September 28th, 2011

Matthew in Kindergarten, Speech Intervention

A week ago, Hubby and I went to Matthew’s school for a meeting. At first I thought, it was a meeting with all the other parents. It wasn’t. It was exclusively for us, Matthew’s parents. It was an intervention! The meeting was with a Special Education Staff for Matthew’s speech problems and initiated by Matthew’s teacher.

To start with, I am SO grateful that Matthew’s teacher has initiated this meeting, after observing that he has speech problems. It ensures me that she does pay attention to her students, and that she intends to help her students get better.

Matthew’s teacher noticed that he speaks in incomplete sentences, that his pronunciation is not very typical for 4-5 years old. And that he does a lot of baby talks! Long before, Hubby and I have noticed this problem with him. Matthew does not speak as clearly as other typical 4-5 years old, and he is not very effective at relaying information. As hubby would say it, Matthew’s mouth can’t seem to catch up with what his brains are trying to say. But since more often than not, Matthew speaks to adults who are able to fill in the gaps between his incomplete and stuttered sentences, we didn’t really thought much of it. Well, up until now that his Kindergarten teacher thinks that this poses a problem when he is talking to his classmates. It also doesn’t help that he is the youngest in his class. He just turned 5-years old, while the rest of his class are old 5-year-olds.

I can only think of a few things that could have caused his speech problems. Matthew has speech delays to begin with. He started really talking at almost 3-years old. And then, he lacks exposure to kids his age. And he was our baby for a long time. When Mark was born, Matthew was about 3-years old and he had just started talking. His speech at that time most probably have regressed even more.

Matthew has never attended a day care, or preschool, or any kind of school setting where he gets to associate with kids his age. Except for TBall, but then there wasn’t any communication involved in TBall. For most of his life, he only had me and his baby brother to talk to all day long. I have always thought of this as a disadvantage. He doesn’t have a developed communication skills and social skills appropriate for his age. He is so lagging in these areas.

In the meeting, we, as Matthew’s parents, gave our consent to get him evaluated. I am glad that he will be evaluated by an expert. If he is evaluated to indeed have a speech problem so serious, and not just a little developmental delay, he can get the speech therapy that he needs.

Continued at ‘Matthew in Kindergarten, Assessment‘.

August 19th, 2011

Matthew’s 3rd Day of School

… rough start!

The day before, as soon as he came back from school, he was immediately playing with the Xbox. By 7:00 pm, all showered, he was eating dinner, and complaining he had a headache. He had runny nose and draining eyes, but he’s not feverish. I asked him to go to bed and rest. I looked up in our medicine cabinet and found children’s pain reliever. I gave him a dose of it mixed with milk. By 7:30 pm, he was fast asleep.

This morning, he woke up earlier than my planned 6:20 am start of day to prepare for school, so he climbed to our bed and took a nap. By the time, it was time to get up, I was dragging him off the bed. Then he was downstairs, laying down the couch, napping again.

I got him out of the couch and tried to get him to brush his teeth. This time he was crying buckets of tears.

Matthew, sobbing: I don’t want to go to school! I’m done going to school.

Me: But you got to go to school now.

Matthew, still sobbing: I’m done going to school.

Me: But why don’t you want to go to school.

Matthew: I just want to stay home and play my (Xbox) game.

Me: You can play your game after school.

Matthew, still sobbing, louder this time: (Cough, Cough!) See, I’m sick! I can’t go to school. (Cough, cough! Then he tried to force a gag on himself.)

Me, losing patience: Matthew, quit that! You’re not sick! Brush your teeth!

Matthew's 3rd Day of School

'I'm sad.' ~ Matthew

I ended up brushing his teeth, dragging him to the tub, putting his clothes on and spoon-feeding him his breakfast because he simply  refuses to do them by himself, while he continued crying all through-out. (And won’t even give me a smile for a picture, because he said, “I’m sad.“)

He gave hubby the same answer when hubby asked him why he didn’t want to go to school – because he just want to play his game!

I think finally, Matthew JUST ONLY NOW realized that he is going to school everyday from now on, for the rest of his young life. And he’s not too happy about it.

We sat by the front door to wait for the school bus. He was sitting at my lap. I was helping him memorize his lunch number, talked to him about stuffs in school, count the cars and buses passing by, just talking and distracting him from his thoughts against going to school.

Finally his school bus came. Matthew climbed up the bus. The bus driver was telling him he loves his light-y shoes. Matthew found his seat. When he peeked at me, through the clear window, he was smiling. I was relieved. And off the bus went.

Right now, almost half the day is gone. Mark is napping, me blogging, I hope Matthew is having a fun Friday in school.

I hope today, he continues to get ‘good behavior’ remarks from his teacher. I hope today, I will finally understand what he means by “He’s 110 today.”, which he tells me everyday after school. I hope today, Matthew will finally learn at least one of the names of his classmates. I hope he will learn to love school like he loves his Xbox games, so we will never again have an episodic start in the morning.

August 18th, 2011

Matthew’s 2nd Day of School {Photos}

.. And 1st time to ride the school bus!

Matthew's 2nd Day of School

1st time and All-by-himself school bus ride = Success!

Click here to view photos of Matthew’s 1st Day of School.

Read about Matthew’s 1st Day of School.

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August 17th, 2011

Matthew’s 1st Day of School

The alarm sounded at 6:00 a.m. I rushed out of the bedroom to get ready, but Matthew was also already coming out of their room. Going to bed early the night before paid off, as I didn’t have to wake him up anymore. He was already up.

Matthew's First Day in School

SO ready for school!

We both got ready for school. We brushed our teeth together. After which, I asked him to go back to his room and put his school clothes on, socks and shoes included. What he did was – climbed upstairs to his room and came back down with his clothes. He ended up putting his clothes on in the kitchen.

Matthew's First Day in School

… car ride to school!

By 6:30 a.m. we were both ready for breakfast. By 6:45, Hubby was home with breakfast from the cafeteria. Then Matthew was eating – biscuit and eggs. He finished his eggs first, and struggled to finish his biscuits and chocolate milk. But I let him take his time, while I got Mark ready to go with us, to take Matthew to school.

By a little pass 7:00 a.m., we were all ready to go to school.

There was traffic as we were nearing the school, so hubby took a different road not knowing that on school days that road is closed with a police car parked at the end of the road. We had to stop as a policeman caught us violating the road signs, but gave us a pass as he could tell we were first-time violators, and first-time to bring a little one to school.

Matthew's First Day in School

“Tiger School here I come.”

The walk from the car to Matthew’s classroom was a long one for me. I was strolling Mark, while observing Matthew hand-in-hand with his Daddy walking in front of me.

We reached his classroom, which we called ‘monkey room’ because of the little monkey drawings at the door. And his school, we called ‘Tiger School’, as it’s mascot is a tiger. We met his Kindergarten teacher and a few of his classmates that are seated at the floor by the door while waiting to get in. Matthew joined his classmates on the floor. I talked to the teacher about a few of my concerns on his eating habits. The teacher assured me that he will be fine at lunch since there will be burgers. But then, that is the point – he doesn’t eat anything aside from mac-n-cheese, not even burgers. But Hubby and I are hoping that once he’s there with the other kids, he will eat what everyone else is eating. I also handed the teacher some of Matthew’s birthday cakepops to share for Matthew’s class.

Matthew's First Day in School

Birthday Boy!

Since it was Matthew’s birthday the day before, the teacher had him wearing a birthday crown. We took a few pictures. Now I understand why 1st day of School photos that mom-bloggers post on their site are bad. Because there literally is no time to take better pictures and it was embarrassing to ask for them to post the 2nd time. I settled with the ones I got.

Matthew's First Day in School

Time for Mom, Dad and Mark to go…

When I couldn’t think of anything else to talk about with the teacher, we figured that it was time to go! Hubby and I gave Matthew hugs. Let me say that it was a quick hug, as Matthew hurried back to his classmates, and they continued comparing their lunchboxes! It was like he didn’t care that we were leaving him, and so quickly, we left! At that time, a lump in my throat was thickening but I distracted myself with looking around and observing the classrooms and the kids on our way out of the school.

Hubby and I were cracking jokes at each other at the car on the way home. I told him not to start being sentimental as I was doing good, not crying yet …

When we reached home, hubby had to go back to work. So it was just me and Mark. We watched some of his baby learning videos, he got bored and so he tried to play around, while I was at the kitchen. By 9:00 a.m., Mark was napping! And the house became strangely quiet!

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