Friday, September 02, 2011

Kindergarten Tribulations

Sam is now on day eight of kindergarten, and he is still enjoying it.


Last Friday the teachers introduced the classroom disciplinary system, and since then we've been having some issues. Basically, every morning each student starts out with three popsicle sticks by their name in a little envelope on the bulletin board. Any time a student does something not in line with the rules, they have to remove a stick from their envelope. If they have to pull all three sticks in one day, the teacher calls their parents. If they keep all three sticks all day, they get one 'splash cash' which they can save and redeem for gifts.

My darling Sammy is quite chatty, loquacious, talkative, friendly, enthusiastic, and occasionally he WON'T SHUT THE HELL UP. If you've met him you know exactly what I'm talking about. His excitement levels are generally at a nine or ten. Out of five. He can't wait to tell you all about the show he watched on tv last night/the jedi lego book he saw in the library/the plum he had for lunch/the dog he saw in our yard to infinity.

This doesn't exactly jive with the traditional school rules, such as being quiet when the teacher is talking and being quiet in the library and being quiet in the hall and being quiet in the restroom and being quiet all the damn time.

As you can imagine, he's had to pull one or two sticks every day since the stick policy was instituted. Luckily, we haven't had a 'three sticks pulled' day. Yet. I'm not entirely sure how super-serious his infractions are because I'm hearing about them from a five and a half year old. I've casually talked with his teacher about this, and she doesn't seem majorly concerned, but Sam is. He cries almost every day on the way home. He told me yesterday that kindergarten is the only school where he feels bad, and that it's the hardest school he's even been to, and that he's frustrated.

At that very moment my heart almost broke into a million little pieces.

I snuggled with him and explained that growing up is sometime hard, and that I know inside he is not a bad boy, he just needs some time to get all of the rules straight. We laid in his bed and I scratched his back until he calmed down.

This morning I sent him off to school with a little cut out heart in his pocket. I told him that I really hoped he could make it through the day without pulling any sticks, but that I would love him even if he had to.  I told him that if he was feeling frustrated or sad that he could pull out the heart to remind him that his mommy loves him. And maybe he could think about making good decisions when he sees the heart.

If he has a 'no sticks pulled' day, he gets to go to burger king for dinner. And I'll make sure he gets a crown. He'll deserve it.

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susan said...
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susan said...

I'm more than a little nervous for Aaron to start next week... looking forward to the time on my own, but yikes! the stress of wondering when I'm going to get that first call!

Love you, love your boy, and love how you love your boy. I am totally stealing "heart in the pocket" idea. I spend so much time correcting Aaron about, well, everything, that I sometimes wonder if he knows that I love him with every cell in my body.

Keeping my fingers crossed that Sam's the proud owner of a paper crown tonight!

Arizaphale said...

I wonder if that would work on the Baby Angel? I am running out of options on the 'how to get her to pull her finger out and DO SOME SCHOOLWORK' front. Getting zeroes and losing popsicle sticks doesn't seem to be bothering her......:-(...maybe the heart....??