Thursday, June 22, 2023

School Days - Grade 6

E is finishing up Grade 6 next week. His school goes from JK to Grade 8 so no change in buildings for him next year.  They do switch into "Junior High" though and will have a bit of a different format for classes throughout the day and are allowed to leave the school grounds at lunch.  

The school year started out with E with the teacher I had "requested" for him (I often ask the principal for a certain teacher assignment and for a non-split class and they say they can't make promises but it usually works out) so I was happy.  I heard she was tough and did a good job of preparing the students for junior high and high school.  Then they had to reorganize the classes and E was switched to a split class (Grades 5 and 6) and a new teacher. I wasn't pleased but when I went to curriculum night, I felt comfortable with the teacher and he seemed like he would have high expectations of his students.  E also had a few friends in this new class that he has grown closer with over the year, they are all a great group of kids. 

In terms of school work, E does not struggle with understanding and learning the material, his challenge remains getting it down on paper or on the screen.  He did tutoring twice a week where they worked on reading comprehension, writing complete answers, and doing so in a neat way.  He enjoyed going to tutoring and I think we will continue with it next year.  I didn't see much of what E was working on throughout the year (which is probably my fault for not asking more questions) but they hardly ever had homework, besides the odd math worksheet, and although E told us about projects he was working on, he never seemed to have to work on them at home.  His teacher always had nice things to say about him at all the parent-teacher conferences, with his only critique being E needs to work on answering the questions being asked and to do so neatly (hence the aforementioned tutoring). Honestly though, I don't really understand what is expected of them in school anymore. The traditional way of learning, like how I grew up, seems to be in the background, but there is also a lot of computer work and PowerPoint presentations, which is something I loathe.  We will continue to help E with the basics and hopefully will be alerted to any major problems as he goes forward into junior and senior high school.  

The current debate around here is whether E should have a phone.  He is one of the only kids in his grade and definitely the only kid in his class that does not have a cell phone.  I am on the side of not getting one yet, Dave thinks he should have one so he is not left out of the group messages and making plans, and E wants one but doesn't really give us a hard time about it (this is keeping with his usual demeanor of being pretty easy going).  I don't want to go into the full debate in this post, but current status is "We'll see". 

All in all, I cannot really complain about the school year. I'm hoping as we get farther away from the pandemic, the education system kicks back into gear for our kids and that I can better grasp what is expected of them and support accordingly.

Ready for the Grade 6 Overnight Trip at the Sheldon Education Centre (owned and operated by the Toronto District School Board).  He had such a great time and by his account was a superstar at all of the various activities.

He walked everyday with his buddy B. They never once asked for a drive even in the rain, cold, and snow.  He will really miss B when he moves away this summer :(

Some homework and reading help.

Poppies for Remembrance Day (not a holiday in Ontario).

E's group of friends at his birthday party.

Unfortunately he has grown out of this blazer now, so we'll need a replacement, he loved wearing it.

Cross country run day.

E and B, good buddies.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like E has had a great school year. I know what you mean about how different learning is compared to how we were taught at school and I'm way older than you. Sam had a few personal interest projects which he had to work on during the whole year for a few subjects. That meant that he had to choose his own topic, research, write drafts, write the final assignment and then do an oral presentation. There were also group assignments and powerpoint presentations ugh! It's great that E is doing tutoring and that's helping him get answers down on paper in a neat way. Oh my goodness that was always a struggle for both of my boys. I used to say that based on their illegible handwriting they would make excellent doctors!