I was given a rundown of Z's academic and social progress to date. There were both 'positive positive' and 'negative positive' reports. For this entry, 'positive positive' simply refers to the teacher-says-he's-all-good-hence-no-need-to-worry bits of observation. 'Negative positive' refers to teacher-says-he's-doing-alright-but-should-practice-more-on-these-aspects bits of observation.
Let's do the negative positives first, shall we?
Acacdemically, Z still has a lot of catching up to do in his Language unit; specifically reading. He knows and recognizes the alphabet, but still gets confused with the sounds that they each make. He gets it one day, and the next, he's unsure once again. So yes, while he loves books (much to his request, I still read at least 3 books to him each night before he sleeps), he still can't read on his own. Can't say I'm not worried here, but his teacher has assured me that it isn't such a big problem - she's noted too his keen interest in books and other reading materials, and how he enjoys storytime in school a lot. So, in due time, InsyaAllah, it'll be a case of much practice and then some. I doubt I was a fast learner/reader myself, to be honest. Heck, I only started going to preschool at age 5! So, for now, I'd say Z is doing better than I did at his age. Haha...
note how the 'o' gets smaller and higher as he went along doing this worksheet
Socially, he's often seen to be the quiet one in the group. This is just too-surprising an observation, as he's no doubt, very much the opposite at home! He participates in group activities, enjoys the company of his classmates, but often 'contributes' smiles and laughter, with very little talking thrown in. My concern here is that he may be ignored and, even worse, bullied as a result of being the quiet one. I was constantly compared and questioned as to why I was so shy and quiet in school myself. It wasn't an easy thing for me - mixing with others and shedding my shyness. I suppose Z takes after me when it comes to this. We're quiet outside our home, but much more relaxed at home. Often, we're the obsevers and listeners, rather than those who initiate and contribute most to the conversation. Having said this, the teacher commented he's definitely less shy than was the case earlier part of the year, so, again, hopefully, in due time, and certainly by start of next January, he'll fit in just fine, and not be the shy guy anymore.
Now, for the positive positives then ...
On the academic front, Z is very much a Numbers kid. He seems to be very comfortable with numbers. This, I too have noticed on my own at home when I sit down with him to do some practice work - when given worksheets on number recognition, counting, matching numbers and other puzzles to do with Maths, he seems most relaxed. But I didn't want to conclude my own observation just yet. Hearing his teacher tell me he's at ease with numbers though, just left me with a big grin as it confirmed my own observations. Said the teacher, she isn't at all worried about his understadning of numbers and simple basic Maths that they do at his level now. They've just started learning odd and even numbers, and after slight hesitation, Z was able to grasp the concept. He's sometimes seen to doubt himself when answering, but does give the right answer. Again, a possible spillover case of being shy.
good to see he writes his '8' correctly here; at home, with much humour i suppose(!!), he writes his '8' by drawing 2 circles one above the other, but with a significant gap in between, then draws a line to join them circles as he says "eh mummy, need to join la!". hah ... clown that he is!
Other 2 topics or units they do in school which Z enjoys most are the Practical Life and Culture topics.
Practical Life touches on everyday things and routines one does. Things like the practice of good manners and courtesy, development of motor skills as well as simple everyday tasks like spooning, pouring, putting on your buttoned shirts and shoes. This too, he seems to enjoy doing. Which is just as well, I'm thinking, as I can soon count on him to help me more around the house. ;-) And all the time, be matched with good courteous manner. Sigh . . . A parent will always wish and pray for the best.
Culture, for this semester is on Geography and specifically Malaysia. They do work on the different races, festivals, flags, flowers, fruits as well as some of the notable landmarks we have. Says the teacher, Z shows a keen interest in learning all of this. The other day, driving into Damansara, he spotted the Menara Milenium, and then asked me "is that the Petronas Twin Towers, Mummy?". When I told him it wasn't, he went "oh yea yea ... i forgot ... Petronas Twin Towers has bridge". Hehe. Maybe he should start going for drives around the city with my dad, who'll point out the many buildings - some of them his own designs. One of my all-time fondest childhood memories is of our weekend afternoon drives with my dad showing us his latest project(s) and me imagining myself leaving such a landmark one fine day. Fast forward some 10 years or so, I sadly gave up architecture. But the interest I have for it is still very much there. (but that's another story - excuse the digressing, yea)
how aggressive is that piece of colouring??!
more aggressive colouring and note too how his stripes are all red!
Previous semester, the Culture topic was Zoology, which saw them learning the various groups of animals, their habitats, what they feed on, their basic characteristics and physical attributes. This was concluded with a concert where kids were dancing and singing to diffrent animal songs and an exhibition of thier works (plenty of art and craft work) were on show during the concert open day.
leaving the house for the Open Day
the program and song book
us three at the Open Day - before the concert begun
scenes and various works from the Open Day
On the social front, as mentioned above, Z is the quieter one in the group. While it has it's worrying points, it's also good in that the teacher has said he's definitely not the kind who'd bully or cause any sort of friction or fight among the other kids. (another big sigh of relief here) I would just hate it if my child ends up the bully in the class. Or part of the bullying gang. Nothing worse than having your child cornered for being a baddie of a kid. Any pushing, pinching, punching, tripping, slapping, snatching I see from my child, I'd just tell him off straight away. You never know how he behaves when not in your sight, so when I'm with him, yes, I'm uptight like that, and will constantly remind him to play nicely, not be rough and learn to share. (i have to say though, the sharing part needs more work ... sigh...) Other than this, he's opening up more, but still, possibly a notch up from whispering volume. But teacher says he's getting there.
So. That'll be it then. The report on our Z for now - from Jan this year to October. As per informed by his school/teacher.