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!)
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).
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.)
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?