Friday, August 15, 2008

School - Week 1

The boys returned to school on August 8 - last Friday. I can't say I'm a fan of the Friday-as-a-first-day concept, but whatever. Today marks their first full week of school.

Son #1 is in 8th grade at Junior High. His school only has 7th and 8th grades so we went from being low guy on the totem pole last year to being top of the totem pole this year. It's a very short totem pole. He has seven classes with six different teachers. English and Language Arts are combined into one two-hour class with the same teacher.

He's taking Spanish again this year - same teacher as last year. She's his homeroom teacher, too, so that's nice. He was a bit dismayed to have Social Studies homework on the first day of school. On a Friday. The horror! It was a short, fun assignment, but still...

My only complaint: lockers were assigned yesterday. I personally think that they should have held off sending books home (unless needed for homework) until after the lockers were assigned. My 64 pound son was schlepping around an 32 pound bookbag.

Son #2 is in his last year at Middle School (which covers grades 4-6). He has two teachers this year. One for homeroom, science, math and social studies. Another for language arts, English. We've struggled in the past at this school. Son #2 has always gotten As and Bs, but he is forgetful at times.

He's always completed his assignments - I look over his homework when he's finished. However, he would sometimes forget to turn in the homework. The teacher seemed perfectly happy to give him a big fat zero. I do admit to pressing the issue and eventually the late policy would be modified. Don't get me wrong. I believe there should be consequences for not turning assignments in on time - but a zero? Why not accept it a day late and knock off a letter grade (or two)? I do admit to pressing the issue and eventually the late policy would be relaxed.

I've discussed the subject with Son #2's teacher, showed him the different methods we're trying so he can become better organized. She seems much more reasonable than teachers in the past couple of years. Son #2 is feeling good about it, so I think it's going to be a very good year.

Son #3 is in a program called Multi-Age at his elementary school. It's a great program - Son #2 went through it several years ago. Essentially, Son #3 is 1st grade level. They call them "novices." Half the class are novices. The other half are 2nd grade level, called "experts." They work at their own pace, collaborate with one another (no better way for a 2nd grader to improve reading skills than by reading a book to a 1st grader), and can advance through the curricula as quickly as their development allows.

Next year, he'll have the same teacher, same class room, although he'll be an "expert" (2nd grade) and there'll be new novices coming in. It's especially nice that he'll know what to expect, know the teacher, the layout of the room, and half the kids. For a kid who professes not to like school, he seems to be having a pretty good time.

1 comment:

Shionge said...

What a day to see the boys get settle down for school reopening. Not many schools assigned lockers and my poor girls have to go to school with big heavy bag ;(

Most time when it is nearer to exams, they do bring back lots of worksheets so that's why parents get busy again.

So I can imagine this time of the year for you, take care :D