4 More Weeks of 1st Grade

Ian's.Sentences0003It is amazing to me to think that there is only one more month of 1st grade.  This year has flown by! It has been a great one with many changes for Ian.  He has developed into an amazing student who I am really and truly proud of.

He has learned to work hard on his studies and do his homework.  He does well on his weekly spelling quizzes, enjoys math, and reads to us each night. I feel very blessed that our child enjoys learning and realize how rare that really is.

And, for the times that he doesn’t feel like doing his homework, which do happen, we remind him that he doesn’t have a choice.  It is his job to learn and do his best.  That usually works, or the threat of no computer time or toys being put away for a while.  We have to find what works, don’t we?!

Ian wrote the above sentences using spelling words, which are underlined.  I have to agree with his teacher who said they are great sentences.  I continue to be amazed at all he is learning and doing.  Some of the words are written phonetically since he doesn’t know how to spell all of them.

There is still much to do in the last month of school — a walk to raise money for our PTO and our programs, many Cub Scout activities as he finishes his Tiger cub year, a cookout at school, the holiday, receiving his yearbook, and finally the last day of school.

I have mixed emotions but am looking forward to summer and the next chapter and the next grade.  There will be many transitions of a new PTO board, new teachers, a new Cub Scout rank, new friends to be made, and much more.  As with anything in life, we will have some old and new and some good and bad.

I wonder how this next month will go?  I hope and pray that it will be a good one and that things will go well for us.  Hope it will for you too!

Homework and Quizzes

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA“Mom, first grade is hard work,” Ian told me yesterday afternoon.  He said that as he was finishing his homework.  “Yes it is Ian,” I said, nodding in agreement.

“I don’t like this homework, Mom,” he added.  “Ian, I understand, but you can do it and you are a smart boy.”  He seemed to like hearing that. “And, your job is to learn and part of that job is homework,” I explained.

Homework.  I remember it well from my days in school.  Some days the backpack was very heavy.  Speaking of backpacks, while we were eating dinner, Ian asked me, “Mom, did they have backpacks when you were in school?”  I told him, “Yes there were backpacks.”

He also informed me that a boy said he wouldn’t be doing his homework.  I told Ian that wasn’t a choice for him.  He will be doing the homework that is given to him.  I also said that boy will more than likely get in trouble with his teacher if he doesn’t do it.  “Ian, your homework helps you with learning and is part of your grade,” I told him. He seemed to get that.

So the routine of homework each night begins.  It is taking some getting used to but I know that he will get used to it.  We just need a few weeks to adjust to this new routine. The nice thing is that his teacher is primarily giving homework from Monday night to Thursday night, so we will have a break on the weekend.  At least for now.  We will certainly do our best to enjoy that!

This week, he has one book to read each evening.  A piece of paper comes with the book, for the student to initial, a parent to initial, how the book was read (by self, with parent, or by parent), and how long it took to read it.  We read his book for school and were done very quickly.

Before he read the book from class, he spent 45 minutes reading a chapter book, Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  He had picked this out at the school library.  I helped him sound out words, but a lot of them he did guessing on. Clearly he loves to read and is doing very well with that.

I have to say I am very proud of him and love to hear him read.  It is an amazing gift that we started back when he was a baby and we signed him up for Imagination Library.  That is a program that is fantastic and provides books to children from birth to 5 years old, at no cost to the family. It was a great way to instill the love of reading.  We also regularly went to the library and have been reading to him ever since.

The thing that is new is the word study or spelling.  Each week, we will receive a list of words to work on with our child.  Then on Friday, there will be a quiz.  This week the quiz is a day early, on Thursday, so there isn’t as much time to prepare.  He is familiar with all of the words so he should do fine.  This afternoon, we will do a practice quiz.

Each evening we have been practicing and that so far seems to be working well. After school, he gets his snack and has a short break, and then right to the practice/homework time.  I told him we have to do that before time to play.  He may complain some but is understanding this is the way it will be done.

I wonder how the rest of our first week of real homework will go?  I think it will be fine.