Mr. Chocolate told me this past summer that second grade would be a tough year for Drake. I didn’t really think too much about it in truth because Drake did so well in 1st grade. He is a generally bright boy and my personal experience had second grade as one of my favorite years in elementary school. Schools, however, have changed a lot since I last was in one and as curriculum and testing have grown in complexity and frequency, second grade has become a big year of preparation for all the standardized testing that begins in grade 3. Still I had confidence second grade wouldn’t be much different than first grade in the end.
One month in now, I can understand what Mr. Chocolate was saying. We are having a bit of a rough start with second grade. Between a few notes from the teacher about incomplete class work, to seeing more S grades vs E grades which we had on everything last year, to small points taken off tests and grades for careless mistakes, it’s been a little overwhelming, disappointing, as well as eye opening in some ways. While I was a little naive in thinking Drake would coast through his school years, I also am wondering about the direction of help he might need as he gets older.
Most of the issues we are encountering now I feel are more related to Drake’s lack of focus and attention than his actual understanding of second grade material. One time he was sent home to complete some class work he didn’t finish as he missed an entire page when turning. Many of his mistakes in math I attribute more to rushing and carelessness rather than actual inability to answer the questions. Every ding he has been hit with on spelling and reading tests have to do with missed punctuation, forgotten capitalize letters, and poor penmanship. Sitting next to a seven year old and making them rewrite a word because of legibility is about as joyous as it sounds for both parent and child. Part of me absolutely hates it as much as Drake does.