Conference time

Among the things I was doing last week, when I wasn’t reassembling all my computer stuff, were parent teacher conferences.

The first 9 weeks of school has been & gone and grades were sent home the day before the conferences.

Mayhem did wonderfully, which we more or less expected. He’s had a few dings here & there on random spelling tests but overall every test & paper he brings home is at least an 88, most are in the upper 90s. This meant most of his report card was made up of M’s (mastered) and P+’s (making significant progress). The other option is N (needs improvement). There were also S’s(satisfactory), the other choice being U (unsatisfactory). He’s working well above grade level in math,almost disturbingly so. Apparently it is hard to keep him occupied. He’s doing well in reading & spelling but because his handwriting is still lagging well behind there are issues with grading his work, then he gets over excited and can’t explain himself coherently when the teacher asks him to. Plus he rushes his work & doesn’t always read the directions entirely. We need to work on getting him to slow down more.

His behavior has been good, only sometimes gets in trouble for shouting out answers. He’s not terribly social but that is by choice not because he is being excluded. He prefers to play alone or with just one or two people. Group games aren’t for him

Havoc surprisingly did well too. If you had seen the number of Fs & Ds that boy had brought home over the past month you would be surprised as well. He had all As & Bs, except one C and that was because he had not turned in all his homework, once he completed it & turned it in, that grade went up to a B. Apparently 7 other kids had not turned in homework in various classes as well. The teacher called it a learning curve & they were all given this one chance to make it right.

Next time they don’t get that chance.

The Ds & Fs were homework mostly, which doesn’t count for as much as tests & in some cases he was able to redo the homework & raise his grade. Generally they were math, but a couple were from a unit on Greece & Rome. The Greece & Rome were from a failure to study but the math was mostly due to not reading the problem or not paying attention. For instance the example had the problem rounded to the nearest 10s so he rounded everything only to the 10s, even when the number was 1,278. Or he gave exact answers when the question said to estimate. He goes too fast & doesn’t read the directions entirely.

I’m sensing a theme.

And apparently that was DH’s issue in school as well. They are very bright & know the material, so they skim the words, feel like they are in a race against themselves and rush over the work.

So now they have to read out loud all their homework.

And then tell me what they are supposed to do. Then they can do the worksheet or take home test or whatever.

Plus we have a homework timer. Homework will last at least 30 minutes, even if there is less to do, so no point in rushing, even if you get done in 10, you are still in homework time & can not play a game or watch tv. So you may as well take your time.

Havoc’s behavior has really improved. He was bouncing all over the place & making poor decisions & getting into trouble constantly the first couple weeks of school & his teacher was worried about how the year was going to go with him but it slowly got better & after about 5 weeks he had really improved & is now doing great.

Havoc takes a long time to adjust to new situations. We go through this every year with him but now that he has settled down in his behavior I hope we can get him to settle down in his school work.

Overall I think the first 9 weeks went well for both of them.

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4 comments to Conference time

  • Honestly- that sounds like my brother! When he was younger he was just really smart and he would rather get his work done and screw off the rest of the time than fill up the allotted time. And if they are really bright in math and are getting bored- the teachers can (and should) be giving him other material, make it harder. I have friends who have had to really press the issue and eventually win out and the kid is happy as can be. :)

  • Congratulations! That sounds like a terrific term so far, and you have workable, practical solutions for the issues that are there.

  • Ooo I really like the idea of the homework timer! My son tends to have the same problem – he reads too fast, doesn’t pay attention to the directions and then has to redo it or, in the case of his writing journal, does the barest minimum he can get away with because he’d rather be playing. If I set the timer and tell him even if he’s finished he just has to sit there he’ll complain like crazy, but ultimately figure it out. Am stealing this idea. Thanks!

  • Glad to hear that you are finding ways to keep the boys on track and that they have had a good start to the school year!
    Alison xx