Thursday, August 28, 2014
1st Day of School
Matthew had an awesome first and second day of school! He had a great first and second day of try outs for soccer! He says he's already made a lot of friends. He made it through the first round of cuts for the soccer team and was pretty excited about that.
The last two days he has been pulled out of mainstream classes for 45 minutes each day for ESL testing. I received a call yesterday afternoon from the school counselor that they are going to go ahead place him back in 6th grade because he cannot read or write in English or do any math. I'm thinking that he's at "information overload" because he knows how to read at a 1st Grade level and knows his times tables up to the 4's. He came to America knowing none of that so he's making strides of improvement. Anyway, in 6th grade there is remedial help, so the one-on-one help from the ESL professionals will be exactly what he needs. They said he could stay in 7th, but their recommendation was that he go back to 6th, so with went with their opinion. They are the education experts and we trust their expertise.
Unfortunately the school rules are if a child is not in 7th grade they cannot try out for middle school sports so he was pretty bummed about that. We are hoping to work with him a little bit with his soccer skills and then next year he will go back even stronger for the team. He had absolutely no problems with the fitness and speed portion of the tryouts. His areas to work on is the foot work and ball control since he has never been taught those elements to the game. Since Tim and I both played soccer back in the day we have plenty of ideas and time to work with him. The coach has a handout with drills and such we can work on. We hope to send him to a few soccer camps in the area and definitely next summer and those will also really help build strength and skills.
His first day when I drove him to the school I asked him if he'd rather I park and walk him in to his homeroom or if he wanted me to drop him off at the door like all the other kids. He was quick to say that he wanted me to walk with him. It was a good thing I did because they had changed his schedule again for the 4th time and he had a whole new homeroom and a whole new team of teachers. I stood for a minute making sure he was headed in the right direction for his newest homeroom and held back the tears. He turned and waved at me several times looking scared, but determined. I waited until I got to the car before the tears spilled out. He looked so small in that big school!
Anyway, we are excited for him this year. There are a great bunch of teachers and administrators that really seem to care about his success. They have encouraged good communication between us and them so we know exactly what is going on. We think he is going to do an amazing job and grow so much this year! God is good!