Back at home, things are pretty normal. Lynley is back from Anaheim and the kiddos are back in school. Last Friday did bring some good news though. All of the kiddos brought home their report cards. As always, I am extremely proud of Sydney bringing home yet another set of straight As. Somehow she even managed to bring home an 'E' for behavior and work ethic in one of her classes. Yes, this report card was as good as any one we have ever seen from her. Here is to hoping we can keep the streak alive.
Moving on. They changed 1st grade grading this year. No longer are they following the traditional A, B, C scale. They, too, have the massive list of skills similar to what we saw in kindergarten. Each skill is marked with a 1, 2, 3, or 4 indicating whether they have mastered independently, they are progressing, progressing with teacher assistance, or not progressing on each skill.
Let me be clear.
I despise this grading system. With a traditional scoring system I know exactly how they are doing in each scoring area for each period. However, while I am sure academics get great value out of knowing how each student is progressing on each individual skill they are working on it is absolutely useless to parents. I have no idea of how what they are working on relates to these specific skills. I have no idea if they are doing well or poorly. In fact, my only indication that they are not doing something would be a "not progressing" mark which would mean to me a complete failure (which, by the way, I don't believe any of my kids would ever fall into this particular situation without us knowing about it well before hand.) With this grading system there is no way for parents to know what areas they should be spending extra time on with their kiddos. Yes, we do have a nebulous list of tasks to complete or skills to acquire by the end of the year but how do I know whether they should be progressing, progressing with teacher assistance, or mastering on any given task. What is good? What is bad?
It is a ridiculous system and I hate it, hate it, hate it.
Is that clear? Perhaps a little over the top?
I don't care. It makes me mad.
So, regardless, Graham has a ton of progressing, and progressing with teacher assistance marks. I have no idea whether he is brilliant or an imbecile outside of my own observations. Thankfully a meeting with his teacher at the end of the week will hopefully clear that all up.
Ainsley? Well, Ainsley has an entirely other grading system. Hers is a page long list of skills with Xs and hashmarks. I have no idea where she stands either but at least I am use to seeing that grading system. I can compare it to Sydney and Graham's previous report cards to see how she compares. Yes, I know. It is all still very nebulous. The good news is that we will get to meet with Mrs. Lewis later this week as well. I will certainly have a better idea of where she stands than I did throughout all of last year but, keep in mind, Mrs. Lewis is an expert educator well studied in the art of avoiding my questions of how Ainsley compares to the rest of the students. However, I will come out of our meeting with some very concrete skills to work on with Ainsley. I know that and, while I hate the grading system, I also know Mrs. Lewis will lead us in the right direction.
So, there you have it. A complete report on the status of the kiddos education.
You feel totally informed?
Yeah, me neither.
I guess I will get back to purpose then.