Saturday, January 19, 2008


having a school aged boy has taught me some things. one, of which is that any matter their age...when asked how their day was, will answer, "fine." i used this tactic all last year while colton attended kindergarten. i always got the same generic answer. "fine". everything was always..."fine". i would ask about what he was learning; how his relationships at school were; who he was eating lunch with; and how he felt about the things that had happened that day. it was like pulling teeth...that weren't even loose. so, this year...i had a lightbulb moment that has changed our painful, generic afterschool conversations into ones that tell me everything i need to know about my oldest son and his school experiences. i started thinking...i already know what he is learning because the work comes home in his folder. i already know that he is a terrific reader because i know that he is in a special reading group for the students who are above grade level. i know what he is learning in math because i see him counting money and telling time and telling chase about subtraction. i see the story problems and the way the teacher is teaching them to make charts to figure them out. science experiments come home and we have so many art projects that we may have to buy a bigger house so that we can have an extra room for art projects alone. i hear him talking about martin luther king and can see that he no longer calls his black friends "brown". i have figured out that i can find out everything i need to know about colton's day at school and most importantly, how he treats his friends, who he is spending his time with, and how he feels about himself with just one question...

..."what happened on the playground today?"

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