School So Far

We have reached the parent-teacher conference stage of the school year, and the end of the first trimester.  Lord, have mercy!

Tad, being in half-day kindergarten, won’t be going back to school until after Thanksgiving, because there’s no school for the half-day kindergarteners on half-days.  My saving grace this year is that Ane, at least, will be in school until about 12:30 each day.

I really don’t need to have a teacher conference for Tad, since I had a meeting not too long ago with his teacher about updating his individual education plan (IEP) to reflect his autism diagnosis.  We also discussed at that time some new things she was going to have Tad start to do, like having snack with the “regular” half-day kindergarten class next door.  This is their “buddy” class that is their peer model group, so these are kids his age that he plays with at recess and that he knows.  It hasn’t started yet, but Tad’s teacher has been sick recently, so that may have something to do with it.

I do usually see Tad’s teacher and paraeducators on Mondays for the class swimming lesson.  Part of their curriculum is doing some physical therapy in the pool there at the school.  The school has a private company running the pool for lessons, and part of their work is doing these special needs swimming lessons during the school week.  Tad’s class goes on Monday afternoons, and I am one of the volunteers that comes each week.  The only times I haven’t gone is when lessons have been canceled due to high levels of chlorine in the water.

Tad, naturally, LOVES swim time.  The kids are learning the beginning basics of swim strokes and water play, and then they also get some free time to play in the pool.  Honestly, when the Webmaster is employed again, I really want to get Tad into the pool’s private swimming lessons for special needs kids.  And maybe Ane can go along for these, too.  We’ll see.  Regardless, my little shark boy loves that swimming session each week.

Ane’s parent-teacher conference is today.  I’m in her class once a week, too, and I am usually the one working with her on her math homework.  I’m also the completely uncool mom who gives her kid spelling quizzes at home on the sight words she’s supposed to know.  I think Ane’s pretty on target in her work, but she does have a few quirks – she still mixes up her lowercase ‘b’ and ‘d’, for example – and I’m curious to see how Ms. V. thinks she’s progressing.

And hail the blessed abacus… Ane was playing with an abacus at the dentist’s office last week, and I pointed out to her that this was really a way to do math, not a toy.  Then Auntie brought over the abacus that we’d had as kids on Monday to our house.  I LOVE THAT THING.  Ane really needed a visual “help” in math, and this has been just great.  It’s also cut down on the drama that was beginning to really ramp up during homework time.

I’m just hoping that after such a long school break, Tad won’t be completely out of whack when he goes back.  Fortunately, he will have his regular speech and ABA therapies this Friday, though not next Friday (the day after Thanksgiving).  I will really have to keep his mind and hands busy with things to do, so he doesn’t drive us all up a wall.

And whenever I walk into Ane’s classroom, the entire class greets me with a chorus of “Rerun’s here!!”  He goes along with me to “help” in her class, but mostly because Ms. V. loves him.  I’m there during her class’ writing practice, and Rerun is often the subject of many a “descriptive writing paragraph” for the students.  Me, I’m chopped liver.  I could pretty much drop the baby off for an hour and run errands, and I swear the kids wouldn’t notice the difference.  The teacher would notice, but she probably wouldn’t mind that much, either.  Rerun doesn’t go to Tad’s swimming sessions, though – he either stays at home with Daddy or goes to Grandma’s house to play.  But between going to school and church, Rerun, like Ane and Tad before him, has no fear of strangers… and he’s even friendlier than the other two kids were as babies.  He is a very popular little guy.

So, that’s the school update… for now.  I’m sure I’ll have something to report on after Ane’s parent-teacher conference.

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