We survived Grade One!
Last year Ren graduated from preschool, I was happy then, but I am happier now that he was able to survive Grade 1.
Grade 1 curriculum is tough. He is studying in a progressive school which makes it even tougher. Ren is great in memorization but this ability is useless in a progressive school if he can’t understand what he is reading or memorizing.
Progressive education prepares a child for life because it enables a child to process information, rather than just memorize them; teaches a child to ask questions rather than to just say yes or no immediately; and it draws out the uniqueness of each child, rather than just letting him conform (from Teacher Tanya Velasco)
For the first quarter, I was with him inside the classroom. I saw his weaknesses and strengths as well as his classmates’. I always say that it’s not okay to compare, but sometimes I can’t help it. I know Ren can do better if only he is listening well and looks at his teachers while she/he is discussing. Writing was a challenge. Every time he does something that I don’t like (like not sitting properly or not writing well), I always call his attention. I admit I was sooooo stressed for the first quarter. Surprisingly during exams, he got high grades (even in Filipino and Hekasi which I thought he will fail). This means that he might seem not listening but somehow he gets what’s being discussed.
On the second quarter, I still stayed inside the classroom but not as strict with him compared with the first quarter. I learned to let Ren go with the flow. I just called his attention when it’s writing time and he is still not doing anything or when he whines. At that quarter, the Science teacher assigned a topic to each student to report in class. Their Science and Math teacher is the owner/Creative director of the school and he looks (and sometimes act) like a very strict teacher. When I learned that he will report I doubted that he will be able to deliver it. My husband and I helped him in his report but we can’t do anything with the questions and answer portion because the questions were not given to us. We just prayed that Ren will be able to answer all or some of the questions. After his report, he may not have answered all the questions correctly but HE WAS ABLE TO PULL THROUGH… HE DID IT! He reported his topic well 🙂
On the third quarter, I decided not to go inside the classroom anymore. I learned to relax. During that time, there were times that Ren was able to go to school without me and I just go there to fetch him. Everything that he does inside the classroom (whether good or bad) is his own (no so much reminding from me anymore). When I received his grades, it was lower than the first and second grading but according to his teachers, it is not lower than the rest of the class. He reported again this quarter (read more about it HERE)
Fourth Quarter was Ren’s last hoorah for the year. The topics in each subjects were tougher. The kids were expected to answer questions in full sentences already (whether in recitation or in writing). Ren had a hard time expressing himself well, so I knew that this is another very challenging task for him. I remember at age 3 he can barely speak a word while the kids his age can already buy food on their own from sari-sari store. To help him, what we did was we kept on asking him some Why and How questions. He learned to play football that quarter too.
Ren and I learned a lot this year. Grade 1 was just the introduction of the elementary years and I know it still a long way for the two of us. I just want to cherish the moment that we were able to survive the year. I would like to tell you that we are in a mainstreaming program for you to appreciate the happiness that my husband and I feel right now.
Yesterday, was their recognition day. My husband and I have no expectations at all when we went to school (but we are still praying that Ren will be able to have one or two awards). We were surprised that he got 7….. S.E.V.E.N.
I am sooo proud of this boy.