I got Grey’s first formal evaluation from preschool today. I suppose that ranks right up there with first tooth and first words, eh? I hope you enjoyed the hiatus, son, because you’ll be evaluated for the rest of your life. (Like next Friday, when I take you in for our town’s preschool screening. Mauahahah!)

They did not measure his equestrian skills
They did not measure his equestrian skills

I can’t claim that his evaluation holds any huge surprises. Let’s see. He does exceptionally well counting. They only attempt up to 20, and I’ve heard him count to 70 before he gets bored. He can count to 10 in three languages (English, Spanish and Japanese — thank you aikido). He is at “mastered” for shapes, colors, sorting, “one to one correspondence” — what is that?, mathematical concepts and puzzles. With letters, he has the “mastered or exceeds” letter names (exceeds – there are only 26 of them!), speaking clearly, expressing verbal needs, recognizing his own name (which one?), concepts like “more/less, big small”, body parts, repeating rhymes, complete sentences and interest in books. He has “exceeds” in copying letters, knowing letter sounds and printing name. He is at expectations in class discussions, relating sequential events (since he starts nearly every conversation these days with “When I was 2” I’m surprised he did that well), and using sentences to describe a picture.

For fine motor and gross motor skills, he has top marks for all areas analyzed.

With emotional development we have a long list of top marks for the first bit, with stuff like: is confident, is able to wait his/her turn (really?!), uses bathroom independently, has appropriate control over feelings (again, really?!?!), table manners, and has a good self image. Then at the bottom of the page we finally get to Grey’s achilles heel.

Does not disturb others while working: NEVER. That’s a big fat 0 folks.

I can see it now. Everyone is happily tracing their letters and Grey is happily trying to distract each and every one of them. Yup, that rings true. He also gets low marks for “Responds appropriately to discipline”. Wilmary said that he cries every time he’s thwarted. And that he doesn’t sit still for circle time (which jives with his statement that he hates preschool because there’s circle time).

Practicing table manners and social skills at Thanksgiving
Practicing table manners and social skills at Thanksgiving

Finally, they list their goals for him. They include:
1) We’re going to work on how to work during circle time with his classmates.
2) We will be working on reading simple words (Note: he’s already doing this, but it’s good to do it at preschool too)

On the whole, I think this is a pretty accurate evaluation of young Master Grey. And it certainly brings up some areas where his teachers and parents need to focus attention. That’s what an evaluation is supposed to do.

Just one problem. How do you teach your child not to disrupt other people? Especially, how do we teach him that skill at home? I think that his bounciness and distractability is pretty normal for a four year old boy, so I’m not upset about it. But I don’t really know how to teach this very important ability. (And may I add that it would be nice for my home life if Grey was a little less talky at inappropriate times, such as in the morning before it’s time to get up and he’s snuggling.)

Gross motor skills with dad
Gross motor skills with dad

Any advice out there? Mom? How do you teach a child to let other people work and save up questions and comments? Is it possible? Is it worthwhile? Or do we just let him be himself at home and trust to preschool and later kindergarten to begin working on these class behavior issues?

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

3 thoughts on “Evaluations”

  1. I am betting people with more experience will chime in here.

    Here is what we have started to do with Boo (for those who don’t know, he’s one year younger than Grey): If he is loud or noisy or attention hogging while I am trying to do something (cook dinner, talk on the phone, have a conversation with someone else, etc.) I try to get his direct attention (squat down to his level, look in his eyes, etc.) and then tell him that I am busy doing whatever it is I am doing, and that he will have to wait. Then as soon as I am done with the task I make a point of giving him my direct attention. This does not always work, and I am not always successful in executing my end of this plan, but I try and it’s a start.

    I think just making him aware of the fact that he sometimes needs to wait quietly and entertain himself is good. I think arming him with the tools to do this is important too. Can I hand him a book? Or my phone to play a game?

    In school situations it will be the same thing – what can my child do that will not distract others if he is done sooner? I was allowed a book in some of my elementary classes to read when I finished ahead. Some teachers didn’t want me reading but would provide puzzle sheets for those that finished early. Because Grey is advanced in his learning, he may need some form of quiet activity to keep his enthusiasm and energy under control.


  2. He’s four for goodness sakes. Leave him some things to learn.

    I think sometimes too much patience is a bad thing. That is too much parent patience. Remember “Take care of yourself” time.

    I agree with Kerry, he will need to learn what he can do when he is finished. I have a list for my class. Bread tabs and puzzles. Reading. Little jobs.

    (FYI world — I am collecting bread tabs. I can’t retire until I get a million, so help would be appreciated. I have 177,000 counted bread tabs at the moment (beside the 2,984 in the flag mosaic from 9-11 memorial) so I have a ways to go. Brenda will transport them for you!)


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