This morning, for what might be the first time since second grade, Connor told me he wanted to go to school. The context was that today was his last SOL (state end-of-year test). He has learned that after the SOLs are finished, school actually gets pretty fun.
For starters, his reading group was self-selected. And even though he has had outstanding groups all year, it's a nice treat to be surrounded with friends. Nicest of all was that three of the boys are natural fit partners, and the fourth seems like a good fit - though I'm not sure Connor has ever noticed him much. The three grouped quickly and the fourth was looking for a group so the three boys invited him in. It was a nice gesture that made me proud. Connor has been a real "tester" of my nerves lately, so I needed a reminder that he's not a surly turd all of the time.
His gifted teacher scored a few robots from the PTA, so he knows that programming is coming up, which should be fun. Related, I was looking for report card folders a few days ago because both children's teachers sent me a note that I still needed to turn the folders back in with my comments. (My former self used to get these returned a lot more quickly!) I ran across Connor's third grade folder, and noticed he had scored a 98 percent in math...on the beginning of year pretest. I didn't absorb this much at the time, but looking back - all I can think is "just what exactly did they think they were going to teach him?", given their utter lack of creativity in deviating from the curriculum. Ed pointed out that they could've just given him a school computer and told him to create a video game. It would've allowed him to develop a useful skill (programming logic), it probably would've been fun for him, and it wouldn't have required much in the way of additional resources (certainly not anything beyond what Ed and I could provide). Programming now? Awesome. Programming then? I think it would've been a good fit.
His math class has turned into a fun design project that will require a fair amount of math application. He's interested in the project, and reports to me about it pretty regularly. Oh, where was this project all those days he was bored?
I still have absolutely no idea what he does in writing or Social Studies.
Science has kept him interested the entire year, and there's a sense that it's only going to get better.
I remember last year, about this time, the gifted teacher and I were talking and queried "why can't we do this kind of learning all year long?" because the classes really do come alive.
And of course, there's field day, fifth grade lock-in at the school, and a few school parties yet to enjoyed.
I do believe we're going to get to the end. Now...to keep from crying when I say good-bye to Helen's teacher for the final time since she's retiring this year. I am grateful every day that Helen had her as a teacher. She was a perfect fit teacher for both Connor and Helen.