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First Grade 101

Last week, Ryder took home his first set of homework and had his first ever spelling test. Reading and writing is something that he has been struggling with, so I was prepared for the hard prep work. Homework for him every night was pretty tedious, it’s not much and would’ve taken him twenty minutes but turned into at least an hour a night. It was a struggle and it drained me and I’m sure him every single night. After homework I would drill him on his spelling words to try to prepare him for his test. By Friday morning, he was pretty confident with his words: girl, boy, it, and like. These small words may not seem like much, but they are to him.

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When I picked him up from school that afternoon, with knots in the stomach, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But to my surprise he aced it..100% and even got the bonus word of “I” correct!! I was beyond over joyed and finally saw a bit of hope that he can and will be able to do this! I wanted to make a huge deal to show him that hard work does pay off.

Madison Square Park happen to have a LEGO exhibit going on, so we stopped by and checked out all the life-size LEGO figurines. I left the girls with my mom so we can have one on one time together, and make it his day. The rest of the afternoon, I kept telling him how proud I was of him and because he put his mind to something, he was able to achieve his goal. I think he was pretty confident and smitten with himself too. We then went to the new LEGO Store and he picked out a new Star Wars set and some fun key chains for his backpack. I told him that every time he scored a 100% we will do something special and he will get a prize. Whatever works right. Afterwards we enjoyed Shake Shack and he came home to tell my mom and Jason all about his test! I knew for sure he was on the right track and it will somehow be smooth sailing, or somewhat, from here. Right?

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Fast forward to this week, the kids were off on Monday, and I knew we would only get three days to study his new words. He came home without homework on Tuesday and at first I thought hmm maybe since it’s a short week they didn’t get homework. But after a few text messages to friends, there was indeed. I just asked for the spelling words and immediately started studying with him. They were in fact harder this week, and he was completely disinterested. I kept my patience all week trying to get him to learn and memorize these words, and he completely didn’t care. I thought our special afternoon last week clicked and he wanted more of that? The night before the test was a total breaking point, he was out of control, clowning around and totally unfocused. Not to mention the homework battle was a lot to handle all week as well. Finally at the nth hour, I said I am not going to push you, you need to want this for yourself. He was shocked at my reaction and decided to go to bed.

I was upset and kept questioning myself and actions thinking if there was a better way to handle this. He definitely has an attention issue and I am practically standing on my head trying to make it fun for him. I’m also a complete wreck trying not to put any type of pressure on him, but he is that child that needs to be pushed. The morning of the spelling test I asked him if he wanted to review one more time. He obliged.

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We practiced more on the walk to school and I stressed again about how he would do as I left for a press trip after dropping him off. I had limited WIFI on the plane and kept checking the time that he would be out of school. And sure enough just as my WIFI was about to wipe out, I got the text from my mom….he got 100% and the bonus word too!

I’ve definitely aged a year or two from this week and probably will throughout the school year, but I must be doing something right!

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2 thoughts on “First Grade 101”

  1. You are AWESOME!! and he is AMAZING!! I think as moms you just want them to “get it” because we’re already thinking 10 yrs down the road and they’re thinking how to jump from the couch to the chair without falling lol but sticking to it and the constant prep will pay off! Good job Mom and Ryder!

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