Days Coming Up: Grade Three

I last posted in April – freakin’ April!

Since then I attended AdAstra 2016 and Limestone Genre Expo 2016, travelled on another Disney cruise, enjoyed a visit with the in-laws, and didn’t enjoy a failed camping trip. Now I look forward to Torran’s upcoming (joyful) return to school.

Grade 3. The Big One.

I’m nervous, even though my wee man proved himself capable of keeping up with Grade 2. Why nervous? His neurodevelopmental doctor told us that Grade 3 is the pivotal learning year. Torran is a great reader, which is a good head start. Kids who don’t know how to read have a harder time reading to learn (the “Matthew Effect in reading”).

the Matthew effect

photographer: taliesin,

He learns from what he reads, however, reading gets Torran into trouble.

Mr. T has a great deal of echolalia (quite simply verbal regurgitation), especially when it comes to phraseology and figures of speech. We try to teach him common idioms, with little ground gained. At least he understands that people sometimes say one thing but mean something else, and isn’t afraid of asking us if we’re joking or being serious.

Thanks to Torran reading David Walliams’ books, I feel like we’ve been living with the comic, or at least a version of his adult humour. Some of these titles have less than desirable phrases like, “sod off,” and “shut your cake [hole].” Torran says them to us without understanding the insult. A teacher won’t take too kindly to being told to “stop being my stepmother” (or worse). Cute, but not cool for school.

I doubt he’ll tire of talking about penises, boobs, bottoms, or belly-buttons.

Third grade increases the application of abstract concepts to classroom academics. My son has a problem with non-concrete thinking. It isn’t unheard of for him to talk about “killing” someone as a means of making them stop talking (if he’s trying to watch a video, say).

Torran knows that when a person is dead, they aren’t able to speak. He misunderstands the abstract concept: that killing someone is morally wrong and illegal – a killer will be arrested, put on trial, and go to jail. If I say people who kill go to jail, he’s more concerned with the concrete. He inquires, “Will you call 911,” or “Are they going to shoot me?” Torran cannot grasp the non-tangible idea that we just can’t go around killing each other.

A new grade. A new teacher. A new process.

Grade 3 also introduces EQAO. Tests assess student performance and rank schools across the province. Ranking provides services for each of the schools, such as reading recovery. Given Torran’s various “things,” I don’t even know if he can sit through EQAO testing. The school provides support, but I’m not sure what this looks like.

However, I enjoy having more time to myself during the school day for my creative and freelance writing. The Queen’s Viper is a semi-finalist in the 2016 Kindle Book Awards. I’m eager to finish the next book in the series. I finished a stand-alone teen horror that needs pitching. I am a new member of The Ed Greenwood Group’s Sessorium of Creatives, with pending content in their Hellmaw, Stormtalons, and Winterknight Towers settings. I look forward to writing further contributions to Urban Mommies magazine.

You see, I need those school hours too!

September, time to step up!