Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Preschool Conferences

Last night we had our first preschool conferences. I had gotten the boys "report cards" and while reviewing these, I am convinced that she has the boys mixed up. Not big issues. And of course there were things that they supposedly didn't do or didn't respond to, that I know perfectly well they can do or know. But I also know not to hold a lot of stock in preschool report cards. The kid has to be in the right frame of mind, not be distracted and just plain feel like answering the questions or doing the task properly. So I'm not too worried about some of their "grades" they received. My bigger concern was that it seemed obvious that the boys were mixed up.

We have the boys conference first. Two kids and it lasted like 15 minutes. Everything was fine. The biggest issue she has with them, listening. They don't cling to each other, they play with other kids nicely and get along with everyone. I wondered how they did with being together. So I was glad to hear that they play with other kids and not just each other. The teachers makes the effort to keep them in different groups so they do foster other relationships. So that helps.

We go to Ryley's conference and we were amazed and not surprised at the same time, at what she has accomplished since starting school. She can write all her letters without help, her drawings are so detailed, she does great with any assignment she is given. She is very studious and a very quick learner. We knew this already, we have seriously been thinking that she will be in advanced classes when she gets to school. She has always been like this. She has really been working on teaching herself to read for quite some time. Her teacher said she is totally ready for kindergarten if she were to start in the fall. But her social skills need some work. I was surprised by this. She has really come out of her shell in the last year or so. But her teacher says she speaks barely above a whisper in class. She doesn't talk much in class. She is happy to just play on her own. She will get involved in any activity they're doing, but when it comes to the free play, she'll just play alongside the other kids. If she is invited to play with another child, she will, but then she will wander off and go do her own thing again. I know she has always done this at home, the boys have their thing and she is happy to just play independently with her dress up, her barbies or coloring or whatever she's in the mood to play. She talks to herself a lot and just really jumps in to her own world.

Her teacher said that Ryley's class is a very loud class. I said that she doesn't like a lot of loud commotion like this. I have had babysitting kids and when some would cry, she would really get upset and cover her ears or start to cry also. She wouldn't sit next to the child that she perceived as too loud for her! lol So we think that could be just her way, the class is loud enough that she doesn't need to contribute.

Her teacher asked me if we were going to participate in the program next year. I firmly think that having her brothers with her, she will probably be more social and outgoing. She is definitely her most comfortable when she has "the brothers" with her. So I think keeping them together next year will just help everyone. I can't believe the differences in the 2 classes. Well I can, but I'm kinda sad that the boys are missing out on some of the learning that Ryley has received. Her teacher had a whole stack of things from the beginning of the year to very recent, to show how far she has come since school started. The boys, we had the check list and they're doing fine. That's basically it. Oh and we also got the whole boys learn slower than girls speech from their teacher. Ummmm, I don't believe that. I believe the boys will learn just as well as the girls if given the chance. But whatever, nothing I can do about it right now..

We spent about 45 minutes with Ryley's teacher. Talking and chatting. It was nice. She then asked me about my decision on some of their vaccinations or lack thereof. She has the same feelings and her husband sells vaccines!!! So we had a nice intelligent conversation on the whole issue. She has 2 small children, herself. When we left, Jon said he felt like he should tell us to just go get coffee and come back and get him! LOL

In case you're wondering, we have refused the Chicken Pox, MMR and the flu shot. Ryley did receive her first chicken pox at 1 year old and that was the last time we stepped foot in that pediatrician's office. I was livid and just felt sick to my stomach. In the chaos of having 3 1-year-olds getting shots, without letting me know which shot was which, she was given her chicken pox and as soon as I found that out, I put a stop to all shots until I knew exactly what they were giving them. I refused the boys. I had refused Ryley's, but apparently the nurse didn't get that memo, as she had shots for all 3 of them. It was crazy. I just couldn't believe the lack of communication.

In hindsight, I should have fired that ped when I had the triplets. I had to push for the reflux diagnosis for the boys. I questioned the shape of Ryley's head and he said it would fill out on it's own. She should have had a helmet. Her head shape is still a bit out of whack, she won't be able to wear her hair pulled back in a slick ponytail without it being noticed. But it's not so bad that you really notice it normally. But I know it's there and when I do see it, I feel bad that I let her down, that I just let the ped push it off. But that first year was a blur and the really pressing issues got the most attention. But anyways, we found an awesome pediatrician and he was the one to find Ryley's heart issue (which again, the original ped should have found). Nothing life-threatening, but something to monitor. She has a bicuspid aortic valve. Which now our ped wants the boys echoed for, since there seems to be a higher incidence in twin/triplet groups for more than one kid to have, since it's hereditary. So they will be checked by the cardiologist in January. If they seem to have it, then I will also have Tyler & Stephanie tested. Steph had a murmur as an infant and was echoed and it closed, so I'm sure if she had it, that cardiologist would have seen it back then on the echo. So we'll see.

We talked to Ryley last night about talking loudly to her teacher and practiced. They said she did speak up today, so hopefully that continues! We also talked to the boys about keeping their listening ears on at school. They said they tried today. It's progress! lol


loren said...

It really sucks when the teachers mix up the kids! I was a little upset that our girls' teacher (we only have one 3 yr preschool class) keeps mixing up the girls, and it's been several months. How is Kristin supposed to learn to spell her name right if the teacher spells it with an 'e' half the time? lol

How exactly do you "get involved" with the school? There isn't much if anything for the parents to do since our girls go 6 hours/week, except sit in class (which I might do, or not, since I love my free time too much!) Do you help with projects? Is your school one of the fun ones that does fieldtrips? Inquiring minds want to know...

Triplethefunplus2 said...

I can't do much this year since I'm still babysitting. But next year I'll help out where I can. I mainly meant, in the elementary school, PTO, volunteering, just being a strong presence at school helps a lot. They know you and trust that you are really in to their education. I did it with the older kids and I'll do it again with the little ones. I can't wait, I'm a joiner by nature, I think, so I loved volunteering and being on the PTO.

Our preschool has done fieldtrips. Ryley's class walked to McDonald's and then both classes went to a pumpkin patch, I got to go on that one and it was fun to experience their first bus ride with them. Not sure if they'll have another one this school year.

One other thing I forgot, Ryley's teachers made the comment that they hate when they mix up the boys. They try to see the differences in them and one of the teachers commented on the id mark that I tell people. These boys aren't even in their class and they're making the effort. That scores a lot of points with me when someone really tries to "learn" my boys. Shows they care.

Nicole O'Dell said...

Hey...we both have little girl Ryley/Ryleigh's :)

Good for you for fighting for a teacher you want and don't beat yourself up over the helmet...we do the best we can and the best we know at the time. There will ALWAYS be things we push too hard and things we miss...we're human. It comes down to motives. Our motives, as mom, is to do the very best we possibly can with what we know at the time.

You're a GREAT mom and your kids are very lucky!