(I do not know WHY this post that I published yesterday was deleted. But it was. And it isn't the first time posts that I've written and published have vanished in to my draft folder only to show up again, partially written with all pictures deleted. And yet the comments are still there? It makes no sense. I think my computer might be haunted.)
Although we've communicated to my company that we will be moving to Virginia later this year, at the moment there is a lot of uncertainty at our house. So much in fact, that until such time that a moving truck actually arrives and carts us away, I'm not entirely convinced that we're going anywhere.
As such, this morning the children had their kindergarten pre-assessment at the school where we enrolled them last month, and which they would begin in July, if we're still here.
(Carolyn was so excited that she ambushed my makeup drawer and put on lipstick for the big event. I think it compliments the milk from her cereal quite well.)
Because the school is just down the street from our house, Charlie and I walked while the children joyously skipped ahead and collected flowers. It was a lovely day. Absolutely perfect in every way and I imagined that this is exactly what it would be like once the school year began.
Once we arrived on the school grounds, Charlie stayed outside with Henry and I took the triplets inside to have their individual assessments which were anticipated to take approximately 15 minutes, each.
While his sisters played quietly nearby, William went first.
He could easily count to thirty. He recognized all of his numbers except those pesky teens. But once he got started with thirteen, fourteen ... he was able to blaze through the rest. He knew all of his letters, both capital and small and was able to sound them all out. He also was able to sort numbers in ascending order and match the number of objects with the actual value. He recognized his shapes. Well, he recognized a circle. He thought a triangle was a rectangle, a rectangle was a square, a square was an oval and a diamond was a kite.
While they were working on shapes, William had one weary eye on his teacher and while shaking his finger would ask, "Are you trying to trick me? Are you trying to throw some tricky stuff in here just to mix me up?"
Then it was Carolyn's turn.
She also easily counted to thirty. She recognized her numbers up to 10. She knew all of her letters, except more than half of the lower case. She was able to sort numbers, match objects with values and knew all of her shapes. At least twice, she put her head down on the desk and said, "I've had enough of school. This really isn't very much fun for me."
Then it was Elizabeth's turn.
Less than two minutes in to her assessment, she put her head down and said, "I don't want to do this anymore." I tried to encourage her that when she was done we'd go home and have lunch. We'd run through the sprinklers. We'd go to the zoo. We'd do whatever she wanted if she'd just ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.
She very sweetly declined by saying that she was hungry, tired, hot, cold, needed a nap, had something in her shoe, needed to finish her taxes and track down a receipt for dependent care flexible spending, and LOOK there's a boo-boo on her finger!!
The teacher suggested we take a quick break while another student, who had been patiently waiting, complete their pre-assessment. As the new student came in and settled herself down next to the teacher, we ran outside and chased a ball, attempted to do a hulu hoop and then stood in stunned disbelief when a little boy, who was out for recess on the playground, wandered up to us and eyeing Henry said, "I like to think EVIL thoughts and I want to KILL YOUR BABY."
Charlie dropped down to his eye level and said something about handcuffs and jail and the boy quickly changed the subject to how much he loved potato chips.
I took Elizabeth back inside and resumed the hot seat. She could count to thirteen. She didn't know her shapes. Didn't know any of her lower case letters, except "o" and was unable to quantify any objects.
Meanwhile, imagine me, standing to the side watching all of this, with an alarmed look on my face. Our kids know their numbers and letters and shapes and sounds. We work with them on this stuff ALL THE TIME.
Or so I thought?
Whatever thoughts I had were totally drowned out by the voice in my head that was shouting, "You have failed your children!! This is a sign of things to come!!"
Oh good heavens. Why did I ever agree to return to work full-time?! Why did I take them out of Montessori?! Why did I think we could do this teaching stuff at home?!
Charlie is absolutely fantastic with the kids, but he does not work with them on school things as much as I do. Or the way I do. He has an altogether different technique - which is wonderful - except for when you're sitting in a classroom and their future teacher is quizzing them.
Unfortunately, the teacher didn't have a single question about dinosaurs or meteorology or the difference between phaneritic and aphanitic, clay or silt. Because if she had, our children would have nailed it.
There is no doubt in my mind.
After another few minutes passed, the teacher could tell that Elizabeth wasn't engaged - nor would she become engaged - and she asked if I'd be interested to set up another assessment period? I wasn't. Because I feel confident that somewhere, deep down, my daughter knows. And if she doesn't, she'll learn.
This is just kindergarten, after all ... right??
As we were packing up our
dignity things to leave, a little boy walked in for his pre-assessment. He was sporting a collared shirt with a big logo from one of the premier preschools in town. As he takes his seat next to the teacher, on his mother's lap, he crosses his arms, sticks out his tongue and scowls, "I don't like YOU. I don't like this PLACE. I'm not doing NUTTIN and YOU CAN'T MAKE ME."
While the teacher gave the boy a forced smile, the mother looked horrified. If it hadn't been totally inappropriate, I might have run over and planted a big kiss on the mother's cheek.
Sister, you're not alone.