...random experiences, observations and thoughts of my daily life as mommy...past journeys and dreams of journeys yet to be taken creating my life story as i go...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

parent teacher conference

"to be continued..."

that was all i could write yesterday...i had too many thoughts in my head...idealizing my child going into the conference...remembering the story my mom told me of a little boy who every day came home and told his mom about all the naughty things little johnny did...then when the mom went to parent teacher conference she casually said "well, you really must have your hands full with little johnny..." to which the teacher told her there was no johnny and through more discussion the mom realized it was her son...i totally thought i would be blindsided by all the things sea has been doing in school that she hasn't told me...

instead, i learned that sea is fairly easily influenced by another little leader type (which totally surprised me since sea bosses all her friends around) and that the teacher has been teaching the girls to "think for yourself" "make your own choices about what is right"...when i talked to sea about this she mentioned that this little girls says things like "i won't be your best friend anymore if you don't do so and so..."...grrrr...the peer pressure already...working so hard to instill a strong sense of self and justice and kindness in sea...

i do feel blessed to hear the teacher say "i don't think she has an unkind bone in her body"...she went on to explain how she listens, is kind to other children, engages appropriately, etc. and i have to admit as much as i adore sea i was a little surprised by this since i've witnessed her being so unkind to her brother or others...the teacher mentioned that she is eager to please which was one of my huge downfalls throughout school and life (i gave up a lot of myself, lost myself in this never ending quest to make others happy)

the teacher also mentioned that sea is advanced in her artistic abilities...she is creative, imaginative, good at art and she said only like 2% of the population has these abilities...i was of course very excited about this since i love art, music, creativity and have worked to expose her to these things...but this got me thinking about my priorities...i've been priding myself in not pushing academics, letting her be a kid, encouraging playing and hands-on learning all of which i will continue to do...but she was "satisfactory" or "at grade level" on most academic skills and somehow i just assumed she would be advanced? is that my narcissism? idealism? blinded by my love for my daughter? or just a function of me not making academics a priority so i can't expect her to be high on these things? why do i care? i don't want her to feel pressure or be competitive...i think i just want to be reassured she is bright and doing well...of course the teacher said she is fine...happy and balanced...and yet i wanted to hear more? i feel badly even typing that...just being honest...i think to the extent i can get in touch with these issues i have on intelligence, motivation, attention, etc. the better for all of us...

there were many other things we talked about. many other questions i had. many more to come, i'm sure. but for now i should just be happy that sea is doing well, the teacher is pleased with her (actually thanked us for NOT trying to teach her at home as she is having many children unlearn things they came to kindergarten with) and let it go...i'm typing this thursday morning for my wednesday post...already today i have a new issue with one of sea's little friends hurting her feelings right in front of me and wanting to jump on her and "solve" that battle but sea has to learn how to do these things for herself and i won't be there to save her every time...so per usual, more later...


  1. Isn't it interesting to see our own fears and perceptions of our children, and then see other people's and then putting it all together to get the complete picture? Great post, Denise.

  2. I'm a product of public school and, unlike some other homeschooling families, have nothing really bad to say about my experience. Sure, there were bullies. Sure, there were rough times. Sure, there were fantastic times. And absolutely there were boring times. But schools are more crowded now than ever, teachers in California are disheartened by the priorities of its employers from the local to the feds, and I had the opportunity to do something different with my kids - so I did. If you're interested in seeing my take on homeschooling, you can always pop in to my blog...there's a LOT there. We do a lot of our studies on the road because I don't believe there's any better education than to EXPERIENCE the place, the thing, the activity. Sure, we discuss a LOT. We read a LOT. But seeing a state has much greater impact on memory and learning than reading about it, or even viewing photos or videos.

    I believe most caring parents do whatever WORKS FOR THEIR FAMILY and kids rise to any occasion (and often beyond). I think most caring parents are too hard on themselves, and often their children. We want the world for our children, but we need to remember to sit back and let them discover it, love it and embrace it themselves now and again.
    Here's a good place to start explaining myself: http://jenpb.blogspot.com/2009/01/thoughts-on-our-non-traditional.html

  3. It is definitely interesting to me to see how my little boy is seen by others in school settings (mostly random classes for now) compared to how I see him. I agree with you that kindergarten should be mostly for figuring out how to get along with other kids and get used to school... and I am all for art and creativity as well. It does concern me though, to hear that the teacher was glad that you hadn't taught Sea at home! I don't mean that as a criticism of you... but as the parent of a child who LOVES to learn (and knows A LOT!) I don't want to be criticized because I didn't teach him to read the way the school wanted me too or something like that. I am just curious what she meant by that. :) My little guy starts kindergarten next year... still debating our options here, including whether or not to homeschool. And I don't even want to get started on kids bullying other kids.

  4. It is so interesting to hear your thoughts and the self-reflection of good parenting. Kudos.


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