Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Colin's report day

Report cards came in last week for Colin. As I opened it up, I was surprised at how little weight I was mentally prepared to give the report. Having grown up in an house that put a huge emphasis on schooling, and having worked hard and excelled at school myself, I always figured I would encourage my own children to work hard and excel at school. And yet I felt very nonplussed about this report card. And it's not just that he's only in kindergarten. It is more that my views on formal schooling have been completely overhauled in light of a lot of the reading I've done. While knowledge, wisdom and education are of the utmost importance in my eyes, I just don't equate those goals with getting A's at school. There are not one and the same to me.

Back to Colin's report. He has been catching on quickly, considering he was already a year behind the other children in the French language. All the comments were positive. The only thing he needs to work on is jumping into conversations, which will come as his comprehension of the language increases.

My favourite part of the parent/teacher interview about the report card was in regards to Colin as a person. "The girls all love Colin," the teacher said with a smile. "It's because he is so gentle. Gentle and kind and polite. The girls really like those qualities in him." When I asked about the boys in the class, the teacher replied "Well, the other boys are older and bigger and tougher. Colin often plays with them at recess, but other times he just stays with the girls."

Those comments made me just beam. In my estimation, a child who is kind and gentle and polite is much farther ahead than a "straight A" student who is mean or a bully or rude. From my point of view, Colin is growing just as I hope he would.

The other comment was from the gym teacher, that Colin needs work on using a ball (kicking, throwing, catching, dribbling.) I laughed when I read that. First of all, those are all skills that come between the ages of 4 and 6, so Colin is in no way behind. And besides, Colin can hit with a baseball bat any ball you pitch in the strike zone, and he can self-pitch a ball by tossing it in the air with one hand and then hitting it with the bat when it comes down. I know adults who can't do that.

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