So yesterday evening, Jessica and I met with Namine’s teacher and school-appointed speech therapist. It went well, I thought, all things considered. I still hold to the opinion that Miss Merrie has too many children to watch, and so cannot pay enough attention to any one in particular, thus short-changing all of them.
If I had written this last night, I probably would have worked myself up, and this would probably turn into an angry post. But I’ve learned that it’s wise, sometimes, to let myself think things over, and when I come back to it, I can write about it in a calmer fashion.
But let’s start with the good. Namine is learning, and improving her handwriting. At the start of the year, her written name was but a scribble. Now, it is legible; she still has some trouble with the lower-case M and N, but even her teacher agrees that that’s typical of her age group. And her counting and math skills are good, according to the tests the teacher has done, and of course she knows her alphabet.
I didn’t agree at admission – and I still don’t – with giving a four year old a report card. But at Mary Linsmeier schools, they teach for the test, and they are all about their tests. Namine scored a 50% on her first test, but I’m not worried. I’ll let you in on a secret: I don’t give a shit how she scores. There will be tests later in life, certainly, and with real import attached to them. But now – in preschool – is not the time. That said, we’re proud of how she’s doing. I suspect her real improvement is due to our (mostly Jessica’s) work with her at home, however. It seems that the most of what they do at school is color, and Namine gets bored with repetition easily.
A great example is the pattern she had to color at school. There was a large square, with smaller squares bordering it. In order to demonstrate her comprehension of patterns, she had to color the squares alternating colors. She did so, but only about a quarter of the way through. My sister was like this, too, when she was Namine’s age: she needed to be challenged, needed things to be new. Repetition bored her, as it does Namine. Jessica knows teachers who recognize that in children, and know to keep things fresh enough to keep everyone’s attention. Not so with this teacher; she is quite insistent on the students finishing what’s in front of them first. Come on. She’s four, lady.
The speech therapist, though – I forget her name – had nothing but good things to say about Namine. She said, as we did to Namine’s ENT doctor, that she’s improving in speech. She also agreed with our decision to indefinitely postpone the frenulum clipping – not like we need any validation on that count.