I was a nerdy, book-loving, honor roll student, and I always imagined if I had kids, they would be too. So the day my son’s first preschool assessment arrived in the mail and that crummy little chart revealed he scored “Below Expectations” in Every Single Area, it came as such a crushing blow that I just sat down and cried.
I cried because I was sure he was the smartest kid ever, and now I had this paper telling me my son wasn’t meeting the minimum expectations of a preschooler.
I quickly tried to wipe away my tears when my son came into the room and asked what was wrong. I wanted to shout that these tests were obviously wrong! The school is wrong! And I was ready to shove that assessment right up the butt of whoever did this so-called “assessing.”
Instead I threw the offending paper in the trash and decided to take my son to the library so we could get a few new ABC books. I wasn’t going to let him fall behind. I know he’s smart and clever, and everything will eventually click.
So today when I dropped my son off at school, I stayed to watch him through the window, to see how he did on his sign-in sheet. He smiled and waved and blew me a kiss as he walked toward the paper. There was a big T at the top of the sheet and a lot of T’s all over the page from other kids signing in.
So then my son very carefully drew a big “K” and then what I think might be a circle with legs.
He turned around with a big smile and looked so proud that I gave him a big thumbs up.
We’ve been working on this sign-in sheet thing for a little while. Working on letters and spelling. For example, I’ll ask him to spell CAT, C-A-T, CAT. He’ll then answer, “B-5-7-A.”
That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works! Some of those aren’t even letters!
I don’t know if he is just being silly, not good at following directions, or really can’t comprehend what it means to use letters to spell. It’s frustrating, but I don’t want him to know I’m frustrated about this whole scoring below expectations thing.
And then sometimes I suspect he’s just messing with me.
I am going to be interested in seeing his second assessment results and hoping he does better. I didn’t know we’d already be feeling school pressure in preschool! It’s ridiculous really. Anyone else go through the dreaded “Below Expectations” assessment experience?
2/22/20 – Update after 2nd assessment: We just got the latest results and he is now Meeting or Exceeding expectations across the board! He scored highest in vocabulary and phonological awareness, but doubled his scores on everything. I’ve been making a big effort to try and turn things he loves into a learning experience, because he refuses my efforts at teaching him in any kind of typical manner. I’ve had the best experience using gaming as a learning tool, because he understands the more he learns, the better he gets at his games. I am so happy to see that it is working!