On Thursday I was able to meet with Zach’s teacher Mrs. Money who happened to be his teacher last year. She had only good things to say about him. His reading is on Grade Level.
He is really good at math.
He did a great report on Peacocks which he chose to do a Power point on. I asked him why he chose to do a Peacock and not a lion and he said it was because he wanted to know why they had beautiful feathers.
There are still things to improve on, like his Fine Motor Skills. And recently he has taken up the habit of being restless. We will work with him on that one:)
I am going to take you on a journey of Zach’s school history, to let you know that this positive Parent Teacher Conference is a BIG DEAL!!!!!!
He began Speech Therapy at the age of two. He was not saying a lot of words and he worked with a lovely lady named Gayle. She worked with him for about a year. They had a rough start, but grew to really enjoy each other:) Her end result is that the only reason he was not speaking was because he did not want to.
For the next two years he went into Mrs. Sherry Martin’s class twice a week for 1/2 an hour each time. He still was needing to progress, and there was a time that she thought he had a discipline problem…That was a bad day, it actually was on Friday the 13th when that discipline talk happened:)
I also taught pre-school with some of buddies when he was four, which was a lot of fun as well:)
We left Sherry Martin’s class with a lot of fond memories, but still an IEP to take with him Young Fives.
Then Zach turned five, and Young Fives changed from half day to a full day. This was a hard time for me, because I was not ready for Zach to go to school for a full day. But I also knew that he needed something to help him with his schooling. So I decided to put him into Young Fives, and it was the best decision. Zach was able to make some really good friends which he still talks about. His teacher was amazing, and Zach loved going to school. During this time he went to Speech Therapy, and almost graduated from it, the key word is almost…
Then we moved to Canada and everything changed. Zach was now six and when you are in Canada you go to Grade one, and not Kindergarten. I thought that I could just change the whole School System, and that they would allow Zach to go to Kindergarten, because number 1, he never took Kindergarten, and number 2 he had an IEP, and was not ready for this big step. Zach at this point did not recognize all of the letters of the alphabet, and could barely write!
On the First day of School Zach said that all the kids could write words, and he did not even know how to write an S. I thought for sure the School Board would see that he needed Kindergarten and would let him take Kindergarten. But the School Board was immovable.
So, Zach and I began a year long journey to get him up to the level of First Grade. Every day after school we would work for an hour and half on reading, writing, and arithmetic. I would write to Mrs. Money everyday in his take home assignment sheet and ask what we needed to work on next. She was wonderful to work with and we are grateful she is his teacher again.
He ended up going into a reading program in January 2014 to get him up to par with his classmates because he was reading at a D+ level. He ended up graduating from the reading program at the end of April, and Zach was in tears because he loved that class so much. He moved from a D+ from reading to a B+ within the next report card and he continues to thrive. Talking with Mrs. Money she said that she has never had a student who progressed that quickly in reading.
I wish I could take all the credit, but it is not mine to take. Zach was the one who wanted it. Everyday he was ready to sit down and work at what he needed to work on. I noticed that Zach is really inspired by his peers, he sees what they are doing, and wants to be at that level. I guess he has a little competitive streak in him, who knew!
Not only was he working hard, but he was also so brave, he took the bus to and from school, and went to a huge school that holds Grades Junior Kindergarten to Eighth Grade.
Zach continues to show this never give up attitude in all he does. Just this past week in swimming, (He has been in Swimmer 2 three times and counting) they told him to jump in the deep end, tread 30 seconds, then swim to the other side of the pool. He did it, although he did not do any of the strokes they wanted him to do, but he made it. As I saw him struggling through the water, all I could see was his courage, strength, willingness, and grit. And I thought, that is my Zach, he will get things done, no matter what.
So when I got home from the Parent Teacher Conference this past Thursday, I was in a daze, so much can happen in a year. He went from an IEP to no IEP. He went from hardly knowing the alphabet to reading and being able to write. He went from not being able to write any of the numbers to being able to solve word problems and have a gift in math.
All I can say is three cheers for Zach HIP HIP HOORAY, HIP HIP HOORAY, HIP HIP HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!