On Friday, Max received his first report card. There were a couple of things that caught Rachel and I off guard. We met with his teacher this morning for a parent/teacher conference and I feel much better now.
First, I’ll mention some of the things that Max’s teacher said he wasn’t doing consistently. First and foremost, she noted that Max was not always cooperative in the classroom. This is a pretty broad statement, so we asked her for some clarification. She said that Max sometimes lacked focus and didn’t pay attention. When she is explaining what they are going to do, he tends to focus on what he was already doing and doesn’t look up at her and listen. Or he will not want to stop playing with his friends when it’s time to do something else. Once we heard this from her, we both felt a little better. I think this is something we can work with him on. But overall, I think that is pretty typical of 4 year olds and kids in general. Heck, a lot of adults are like that, including me.
The other thing she noted was Max didn’t always hold the pencil properly, so his lines tend to be squiggly instead of straight. Something else we’ll have to work on with him.
One other thing she noted was letter recognition. At home, we often use a magnetic board to test Max on his letters. I’ll put 5 letters on the board and ask Max to point to a specific letter. He usually does really well with this. However, when his teacher showed him a list of all the letters of the alphabet, he was only able to identify some of the letters. So we’ll have to work on quizzing him in different ways.
She also noted that Max did not express himself with words and sentences. This came as a real surprise because Max is a chatterbox at home. I think this has more to do with his shyness. He has always been good with expressing himself and asking for specific things that he wants. His teacher mentioned that he seems to hold conversations with his friends, but doesn’t feel as comfortable talking in a group.
Last thing was regarding shapes. Max can point out different shapes, like circles, squares, diamonds and rectangles, but he cannot yet draw the different shapes. When she asked him to draw a circle, he drew a circle, but when she asked him to draw a rectangle, square and triangle, he drew circles again. He likes to draw people, and starts with a circle for their face, but we’ll have to start drawing things like a house with a square base and a triangular roof. And incorporate the different shapes into his drawings.
It was actually good to hear an opinion from an impartial person. As Max’s parents we tend to focus on the positives and don’t always notice the negatives or where he is lacking. This gives us some concrete feedback and areas to work on with him.