It is funny when I was teaching I determined that in many ways siblings were more different then alike often times. There may be physical resemblance but very often their performance in school was very different. And now that I am a mom it seems that my kiddos are going in that same direction.
Remi struggles in school - a lot! His reading and writing scores are always very low and in fact there has been talk on and off about having him tested for special ed. But we have not done that yet. I just don't believe that he is a special ed kid. There is something that is holding him back and I don't know what it is but I don't think he needs a label to figure that out. If I thought it would help him to be in special ed I would do it but I just don't think it will and his private tutor agrees with me so we are holding off on that right now. Even his other teachers don't really see him as a "typical" (if there is any such kid) special ed kid. I think they are just stumped about what is going on in Remi's mind and think that maybe the testing would shed some light on what goes on in his head.
So, anyway, that was not at all what I was going to talk about. LOL! What I was going to talk about was the progress that Remi has made recently. He goes to an amazing school. People that complain about public education have never been to Scott Elementary. He has had great and dedicated teachers and they all do everything they can for him. In fact they go way over the top trying to help him. He is involved in a number of "extra help" groups for reading and we also have a lady who used to teach at Scott that tutors him and we work at home a lot on reading and writing. So it seemed like he was getting everything that should be making him show progress but there was very little. His teacher was discouraged, we were discouraged and Remi was discouraged. They measure progress with this test called the Dibiels test. Personally, I am not a huge fan but I can see the beauty of it in a school setting. It is quick and easy to administer and score. The student reads a specific passage of test for one minute and the teacher counts how many words they read (there is a bit more to it but that is the just of it). That becomes their score for Oral Fluency. Remi started the year some where around 47, I think. The second part is a retell. The teacher is looking for him to retell exact words from the passage and the teacher counts how many exact words the student retells. That becomes the comprehension score (although they call it something else). Rem started the year at like 19 or so. I don't remember exactly but I think the 3rd grade median for the beginning of the year was something like 65 and 12. So even though my poor kid can't read he can understand it all. LOL!
His teacher has been testing his progress every other week or so all year. Rem has showed slight gains most week. But nothing like the gains he was supposed to be making. The middle of the year median for fluency was 91 and he was at 65. A ways off to be sure. This is when we got really frustrated. As a former teacher I never imagined I would be one to just blow off the scores and say really, "I DON'T CARE!! I have a great kid who will be just fine in life and I really don't give a hoot what the Dibiels test says." But that is really where I am.
But then his teacher emailed me last week and told me that his score on fluency was 74!!! He gained like ten points from his last test! And the news got even better today when she emailed to say that she tested him today and he was at 82!! I was dancing in the street - and bless her heart I know his teacher was too. Remi said that he thought the end of the year median is something like 103 and he really wants to get there and I am thinking if we keep this up we can!! I am so proud of the hard work he is doing and what a sweetie he is. He never complains about tutoring or the homework that takes him so long. And he works so hard. And while I tell you, I still don't care what the Dibiels test says I am so happy that he is making great progress because he feels so good about it and he is proud of himself!
And then there is Peyton. She goes to a Mom's Morning Out program once a week. She has not been a fan all year and on and off has talked about "mean boys". So today I talked to one of the other moms to see if her daughter was saying similar things. There are a lot of boys in her class and there are a few of them that seem very very very needy and bordering on naughty. The other mom said that her daughter had not said anything about mean boys but when she asked her daughter as we were walking in if the boys hit her she said they did. Who knows. But I did think it was time to bring it up to the teacher. And as luck would have it none of the "naughty boy's" mom's were there so I told Peyton's teacher about what Peyton had been saying. The teacher said that she had not seen anything but said she would keep and eye out. She said that if anything all she had noticed about Peyton is how much more advanced she is then any of the other kids in the class. That was amazing to me because Peyton is actually "officially" in her two year old year there even though she is three because she has an early birthday. She has another year in that class before moving up to the preschool.
I think that she seems bright and knows things that I didn't really expect her to know but I was still surprised to hear that from her teacher. And of course very pleased. So who knows what Peyton's "issue" will be because I am sure she will have something but it looks early on like it won't be school - thanks goodness!!