I had a friendly and very fruitful discussion with the Grade 2 Guidance Counselor in my son’s school last Wednesday. The purpose of my visit was to talk to her about the result of the School Ability Test (SAT) that my son took last January 2013 when he was still in Kinder 2. I also told her my concerns about my son’s performance in class for the first two months of school year 2013-2014, asked her questions on how to help my son achieve his full potential, and solicited her advice on how to effectively discipline my son.
According to Ms. R., the SAT is a test administered to students to test their readiness for the next grade level. She said my son’s SAT result indicates that he is very much ready for 2nd grade. She also said that the SAT score will serve as a guide for parents to determine if their kids are performing below their potential or according to their capacity. If the kids are giving sub-par performance, then parents should do something about it.
I also told Ms. R. how my son is performing in school and what I perceive to be the subject that he might have a hard time on. Admittedly, my son makes careless mistakes, but I truly wish that their teachers will be more lenient on the boys given the pressures of being in the Advanced Class. They have tests (5 or more) every week, and there are more items in their test papers than in the test papers of those in the Regular Classes.
Ms. R. also gave suggestions on how I can prevent my son from asking “How many more minutes, Mommy?” when we’re studying because he looks forward to resuming his play. You see, we let him play iPad only on weekends. We study on Saturdays and Sundays following this routine: iPad play in the morning—study time after lunch—iPad play the rest of the day. Ms. R. said why not finish study first before playing iPad the rest of the day or play iPad first and study during the latter part of the day. This way, she said, my son will enjoy uninterrupted play and he can concentrate more on his lessons when it’s study time. I think that’s brilliant, and we’re doing that starting today.
I also asked Ms. R. about effective discipline strategies for children. She mentioned the idea of reward and consequence. You see, my son takes forever to finish his meal. That’s because he’s not concentrating on his food during mealtime. Even if we remove all the distractions (toys, TV, etc.), he would still be the last one to finish eating. He always goes home from school with lunch leftovers. Sometimes, he barely touches his lunch. When asked why he’s not finishing his food in school, he would say there isn’t enough time to finish everything in his lunch box, which is not really a lot. Ms. R. said parents should let their kids know that there are consequences for their actions, just as they would reward their children for good behavior. I’m still figuring out how to apply this strategy to my son.
I went home enlightened and unburdened because I was able to share my thoughts about my son with someone who looks at things objectively. Thank you, Ms. R., for entertaining my questions and providing suggestions on how I can effectively guide my son in school, at home and in life. I really appreciate that!