Saturday, September 1, 2012

Year 2 is round the corner

He absolutely loves his new school bag - a Disney Pixar Cars, Lightning McQueen bag!

He starts Year 2 on Monday and I'm the one who's nervous and worried.

Although he has come far, there are still many challenges for him to overcome in the year ahead. One of the biggest being, his ability to focus, follow instructions, complete his desk work independently and on time. The other challenges are of course related to his neuromuscular condition.

He has started on different therapies this year as and when I come to know of his need for it and the availability of it.

Vision therapy has definitely helped him but there is still so so far to go in that area and I worry that his progress might not be fast enough now that he's in Year 2 where there is a greater demand on his visual skills - reading smaller font text, more text on a page, more writing etc.

The school does not have a teacher's assistant for each class, beyond Year 2. So this is a crucial year for him to progress in being able to learn independently.

Sure, I can have him practice his buttoning, buckling, changing clothes, fitting books into his folder, double clicking a mouse etc, at home. But as always, there isn't enough time in a day to fit everything I'd like him to do. I've already cut down on the academic side where I teach him maths at home and he seldom reads by himself nowadays (I read to him in order to save time, except when he's sent home a book to read as homework). Then there's the physical therapy sessions which he seriously still needs especially when he's physically growing so fast. Vision therapy homework is meant to take only 20 min in theory (5min each for 4 exercises), but the reality is that after factoring in his whining about being tired from school (which is valid), and giving him short breaks in between each exercise, it takes an hour to complete. Thankfully in Year 1, there was very little homework - spelling, ejaan, reading.

I'm hoping that I am able to strike that elusive balance to get most things done without frustrating him and tiring him out too much. I'm hoping that he will make great progress in being able to learn independently this academic year. I'm hoping he will continue to be blessed with a great teacher and wonderful friends. I'm hoping that the current therapies and future ones (Samonas!) will create breakthroughs. I'm hoping that he continues to build his self confidence.

As for the month long "year end" school holiday which ends on Sunday, he has had a great time, with playdates, lots of shopping, two movies, a local beach holiday, and a visit to a themed attraction. I think I had to put in that last sentence to give a more balanced view that it's not just all work and therapy for him (even though he had a therapy session almost every weekday this school hol).