The new school year is underway and you’re probably starting to feel the heat, am I right?
Well, let’s get straight to it and figure things out, shall we?
Remember when J used to say that Primary 2 (P2) was the best year ever? Well, he’s right. Cos the change from P2 to P3 will see a steep jump in terms of the content his younger brother C will be learning this year.
As this is already his 3rd week in P3, I’m guessing you’re starting to sense the seismic shift, right?
For instance, English has been kicked up several notches.
No more spelling simple words like ‘ground’, ‘scooter’ or ‘crayon’. Now it’s ‘miserable’, ‘regretted’ and ‘exclaimed’! (Those may well be your “call signs” this year — Yikes!!)
And there aren’t just six words to learn each week, plus one or two dictation sentences. He will now have more than ten words to learn, including an entire paragraph to memorise!
Every. Single. Week.
Oh and by the way, English isn’t the only subject churning out spelling lists every week (I’ll explain later in this letter)!
As for grammar rules? They are gonna blow your mind and send you running for cover!
The “Dork” Side
Now from this point on, I’m gonna ask you to put away your suave artsy side.
Why? So you can steel yourself to embrace the stinky “dorky side” of course!
You see, a brand new subject has now replaced what used to be called Discovery in C’s first two years in Pathlight. That’s right. You’re gonna have to help ease him into this new and scary subject called…Science.
[Cue Wierd Science soundtrack]
Please stop screaming.
Look at it this way. At the very least, Discovery had helped C learn about different types of materials (plastic, metal, rubber) that exist in our world. Not to mention stuff like properties of material — soft, rough, waterproof and so on. Which means, you don’t have to start from ground zero, thanks to the firm foundations Discovery laid the past two years.
Now, C just needs you to explain a whole host of other stuff. Like how things in this world are diversely classified (eg mammals, reptiles etc.), and how matters interact (eg magnetics).
You alright? Still with me?
Oh, and remember I said earlier that another subject will also be dishing out weekly spelling lists? Yeah, that’s right buddy. This is the one! With words like “classifications”, “characteristics”, “microorganisms”….
Deep breaths ok? Deep breaths. You’re past 50 now so take it easy.
And then there’s…err hmm…Math.
What’s that? You need smelling salts?
Those dreaded math worksheets
Yeah okay I remember you wrote about the dreaded math worksheets (by the way where’s the follow-up to that post huh?). I also remembered the time C kicked his mom during homework time (and yes it was math then too), and how she kicked him right back!
So I’m trying to ease you gently into this whole new ball game alright?
Look. Let’s face it. Numbers are never gonna be our ‘thang’. You don’t need your “future you” (me) to tell you that. Unless you’re hoping I’ll reveal to you that in the next ten years, you’re suddenly gonna turn into Einstein.
Sorry mate. Not gonna happen.
And really, didn’t C say math was his fave subject last year? So hey, that’s something you can build on. Maybe it was because Ms A was such a good and patient teacher last year, and he’s still just getting use to the new teacher Ms P. But that doesn’t have to mean C will change his mind about the subject now, does it?
But it’s gonna have to be up to you Mr Daddy-O! Ya gotta get into the math trenches with him. All the way up to your neck if you have to. He’s gonna need to know he’s not alone. That you’re going to navigate through all those number orders, angles and fractions with him this year.
Come hell or high water!
Most of all, in this brand new year, you have to continue to love and care for him, and for his learning; let him know you’ve got his back!
Our son will frustrate you at every turn and drive you mad! There will be days where his autism will be cranked up to DEFCON 5! It’s just his way of coping with the changes brought on by the new school year and its new academic rigour.
When that happens, don’t quit ok? Don’t give up on him. And don’t give up on you.
Take your own breaks whenever you can steal them. Bring him outdoors to regulate his anxieties (and yours!) even if he continues to resist you. Let him know that even as he melts down, you’re staying solid as a rock and being that immovable anchor he needs to help him get back to shore.
I can tell you that things will get better.
Really, they will.
So hang in there, “me”. Hang in there!
Ya got this!
Your “future you”