I do not have them, the right words.
I have the boys on a summer school schedule, one that we follow fairly consistently. We do some store-bought, grade-level appropriate workbooks in the morning after breakfast. We have free time/time to run errands after that. After lunch they do Moby Max, a math program on the computer that tests them and places them at their individual level as well as Imagine Learning (an online reading program) and they read out loud to me for 20 minutes each. We also do some science and art. On Fridays we go on field trips to museums or to the Botanical Gardens.
Tomorrow is Tuesday. On Tuesdays our mornings are wonky as we bought the summer pack of super cheap movie theater tickets and our day to see the movie for the week is Tuesday. Cody, always the planner, asked me if he could start on his workbook tonight so as to be prepared for tomorrow.
I said yes and made sure I was near the kitchen table so as to help him if need be. The first section of his workbook was multiplication. Math is hard for Cody. School in general is hard for Cody, but math is a struggle. We worked through several problems together but my sweet boy doesn’t even have his combinations that make ten memorized so multiplication of double digit number is grueling, nonsensical.
And then it happened. Cody, who is usually very positive and optimistic, started to tear up. “Momma”, he told me “Mrs. W. always came and took me out of class to work on addition and subtraction while the rest of my class did multiplication. I did not get a chance to learn this. And no one even asked me, they just took me away! I want to work on multiplication flash cards tomorrow. I am still counting on my fingers and the rest of my class just knows their multiplication tables. I don’t feel ready for fourth grade!”
It was awful. Awful. Here I am a mom and a teacher and I want with all my heart to help him be successful and I don’t know how.
I did not have the right words. I talked to him about my weakness in spelling. I talked about how everyone has strengths and struggles. I asked him what we could do, how we could work together to help him feel ready for fourth grade. I told him I was proud of him. And then I told him to go get ready for bed.
That is when I went outside, crouched down in our side yard and cried.