Usually, when the boys come home from school and we try to talk about what they did, we get crickets. Sometimes, “It was good.” I often wonder if they do anything all day long. They can never remember, it seems, what they drew or read or wrote or anything. And so those hours they spend away from us are a bit of a mystery. We assume they are learning, but we never quite know.
However, we have gathered that something was afoot in Simon’s class. He comes home and is not happy. He no longer likes school. He doesn’t want to do his homework. He wants to stay home tomorrow.
We have been encouraging him and working with him and telling him we’ll know more about why there isn’t more independent reading time when we go to curriculum night. And he is grumpy but compliant.
Last Thursday was curriculum night. It was amazing to see so much work that they’d done. Oliver draws pictures! (Kind of.) His teachers have noticed that he loves to laugh. He and Juliet and best buds. He has a life at school and it seems to be a good one. There are many things he will be better at by the end of the year, and we are looking forward to watching that happen.
And Simon, bless his heart, is having trouble because, it seems he is too good a student. Too thoughtful. Too determined to do his best work. So he has a folder full of unfinished projects while his classmates, who have finished already, are reading the books that he so very much wants to read as well.
We had a good talk with Simon’s TA about his frustrations. It was illuminating for us and her. She would never have suspected that he was unhappy about school because he works so diligently in class. We didn’t realize that his biggest problem was caring too much.
Our fingers are crossed that now that we all have a clearer picture—and some coping mechanisms—we’ll get back to that place where school is hard in a good way, and even beyond that to a place where he feels like he has a little more flexibility and influence on his learning environment.