This is a follow up on a post that I wrote a couple of months ago about the homework crisis in South Africa. If you are a parent of (a) school going child(ren), you will agree that homework is very stressful on a family. My kid suffered however we worked together with our child’s teacher and he improved.
From the time I get home, I need to cook and see to my baby sort out this and sort out that, and still do homework. At that time of the day, the last thing I want to do is wreck my brain. And I really do mean wreck my brain. The level of work given to Grade 1’s and 2’s these days is very complex for their young brains, and it’s a lot. They’re under a lot of pressure to learn a whole lot of new concepts all at the same time and get through everything within the blink of an eye.
So Liam started Grade 2 this year and he is also new at the school. I’m extremely happy this school, I must add. The school is well managed and focused on their kids. Within the first few weeks, we were called by his teacher who addressed a few concerns she had with Liam’s school work. I honestly did not pay too much attention to it and just pinned it down to the fact that it was a big change for him starting at the new school, and that it would all work itself out by the second term. Second term came and we were called once again. The situation was getting worse and we needed to take action, urgently. So I did. I did everything his teacher asked of me and found ways to help him improve in his school work. You can read about it here.
We are now nearing the end of the 3rd school term and we were called in once again. Now I’m panicking more than I ever have before. On the morning before we went to go and see his teacher, I kept watching the time. And watched it getting closer and closer to going to the school. In my mind, I could literally hear his teacher telling us how Liam is not going to make it. I couldn’t imagine how much worse it could get though. I mean, in Maths, he dropped to a 2. In English, he dropped to a 3. If he does any worse, he will most likely be held back in Grade 2.
Now I believe that if a child needs to be held back, then he should. Especially if it’s recommended by his teacher of whom I have seen work very hard to help him. Liam’s teacher is amazing. And she kept in constant contact with us. I could feel the sincere interest she has in him and how she’s invested in him.
So back to the held back part. There’s no way I’m going to argue that my child be pushed to the next grade if he could not manage the current grade. And this is really not what my concern was. I was concerned about the emotional strain it would put on Liam and how he would feel every day at school. Let’s face it, kids can be very nasty – they have no filters, and they say it like it is. The thought of my child’s spirit being crushed at school more often than not, was daunting to say the least.
So the closer it got to seeing his teacher, the more weirder I felt all over. My heart slowly started racing faster and faster. I felt this crazy uneasy feeling in my tummy. My mind was racing. I broke out into a mini sweat and I was all over the place. It was the worst feeling I’ve ever felt, EVER! I was doing some hardcore breathing techniques to try to break the anxiety but nothing worked.
Anyway, we get to the school and meet with his teacher. The first thing she’s said was, “I just want to tell you that I was VERY worried about Liam, but I am so proud of him because he has done SO well!”. She said that he had jumped from a 2 to a 4 in Maths (out of 5) and from a 3 to a 5 in English (also out of 5).
JUST then, all the craziness went away. My heart rate dropped back to normal, my tummy felt fine again, the anxiety I had felt left me immediately. She could not stop praising him and how well he has done. From his school and even his attitude towards his work. Right then, I felt so thankful, I could hear the birds singing and all that jam that goes with it!! I was holding back some massive tears and big lumps in my throat. Never have I felt more proud.
Yes we worked hard in trying to help Liam improve, but he himself put in the effort. But most importantly, his teacher supported him and invested her time in him, and he could feel it!