The dreaded day has come....and gone...and it's now time to face reality! Parent teacher conferences! As you start to read this, you might be thinking - dreaded day...parent teacher conferences ...umm they are 6, it's first grade, how bad could it be! LOL! Well, it’s no walk in the park with three that’s for sure. After it was all said and done, I left school and once I was by myself in the car, I literally started balling... really... my child(ren)??!
We have definitely got some work cut out for us before the semester ends. So right now our daily schedule looks something like this. Wake up by 6:30-6:45. Rush around yelling at the kids/constantly reminding them to hurry up and get ready as they take 20 mins to change their clothes...YES 20 mins (we shower in the evenings because otherwise we'd have to wake up by 5am). It's now 7:05, so we have to rush breakfast and by 7:15 start putting on shoes and socks. We have to be out the door by 7:23 otherwise we are so far in the back of the drop off line. We drop the kids off to school because their bus comes super early which means waking up at 5:30 - ummmm no thank you!!
Okay so drop-offs takes about 15-20 mins so by the time I’m back home it's 7:54 and that gives me a little bit of time before I have to start working. We have put the kids in after care as they get out so early and I am still working for a couple more hours it would be too insane to try to juggle these 3 + work + homework + etc...(oh, the snowdays are painful)!!
I usually pick them up around 6:00 which means we don’t usually get home until 6:30/6:45 depending on how long it takes to drag them out of the place (they are never ready to leave)!. We get home, eat dinner, check backpacks and get in a quick 5 min shower. Then it’s bedtime by 7:30 which sometimes goes until 8/8:30 depending on which child doesn’t want to go to sleep or feels thirsty or has growing pains for the day, etc etc. this routine leaves very little time for doing homework, independent reading, etc. they are supposed to finish their homework at after care which right now is a couple sight words and writing sentences using those sight words.
Now you might be thinking, just keep them up a little later so there is more time to get some of this "other" stuff done.... but if I were to do that, it's a nightmare the next morning because (1) I now need some downtime and (2) they will NOT wake up and will be tired for the rest of the day! So our upstairs where all the bedrooms are is basically designed as a square where all three of their bedrooms are next to each other. So I start with the first kid and once I "think" they are awake or at least got them standing out of bed, I'll move on to the next kid. Well, by the time I have gotten finished with the third kid - #1 has conveniently gotten back in bed... hmm!!! You can just imagine what happens next when we need to be out of the door by 7:23!!
I’m usually home by myself trying to get this routine done because daddy works very far away - his commute is anywhere between 1.5 -2 hours one way. He rarely gets to work from home. Anyway we try to read nightly but I can’t ever give that 1:1 attention that I know they crave/deserve. So I try to make things creative by all of us reading one page at a time taking turns. There are also online apps they can use (school sponsored - dreambox, raz kids, etc..) but that ends up being extremely limited on the weeknights as I can not monitor all 3 at the same time and knowing these 3 they are off to somewhere else if they think I’m not watching. So now it’s bedtime - they are finally asleep and so I’ll try to log in a couple more hours of work. And the days repeat and we are now closer and closer to the end of the school year - oh how time flies! I thought the saying was time flies when you are having fun! :)
To get a better sense of what we are up against, here is a breakdown of my three:
A - she is the sweetest girl ever! She is super smart and amazingly creative. However she lacks that confidence in some areas which makes her wanting to try new things a little difficult. She does NOT like reading around others. She doesn’t think she knows the answer so she just shuts down and doesn’t try. She’s afraid of getting the answer wrong so what’s the point of trying, right? WRONG!! This leads to her not being where she needs to be at the latest grading assessment period.
B - he is also one of the sweetest boys and every time I complain people think I’m crazy! He is also very intelligent when it comes to things like math and playing video games. Apparently he’s got magic fingers, but reading - not so much! It’s not because he doesn’t know the words, but according to him they are not in his brain bank! He is a very emotional boy full of lots of energy. He lets his emotions get in the way of his thoughts and can’t control them sometimes or a lot of the times. Lol! He is always thinking about what’s next and doesn’t stop to think and focus on the task at hand. This leads to him not being where he needs to be at the latest grading assessment period.
C - she is the brightest of the bunch and not because she is smarter then the other two she just tends to pick things up quicker. The down side to this is she knows it and tries to rub it into the others by always saying “oh I know the answer”, but when she’s wrong or one of the others get it’s right - boy o boy does Sour puss you know who appear. She is excelling at reading, reading chapter books, but not so quick at math where B excels, so she will get upset instead of trying and here comes the attitude. Also she does NOT like to lose or be last!!
So the outcome of the parent teacher conferences (which I didn’t have for C - no news is good news??!!) is that there is the possibility of holding back A and B to 1st grade again. Of course, nothing is set in stone, but it's better to be prepared. This is devastating for us to hear as parents, but at the same time the most important thing is what’s best for the child. This is setting up their future and the outcome will play a role in the rest of their lives. Of course we are going to do everything in our power to get them prepared for their next assessment and gain confidence, but only time will tell what the outcome will be. Also how they do at home can be very different then how they do at school and vice vera. There are so many factors to consider.
How are they going to feel being triplets and one of the three is always in a grade ahead, experiencing new things before the others, moving to a new school, graduating from high school earlier then the others, going off to college leaving the others (B and C are so attached that this) worries me.
The ongoing comments/questions - wait they are triplets, but not in the same grade??!!
C is already so competitive that I can see her throwing it in the other 2s face that she is “better then them” because she didn’t have to repeat! Though she is also the most compassionate, so who knows...
And the thoughts keeping going on and on and on and on....the mental and emotional turmoil....
The pros! A and B will have a chance to flourish and shine and build their self confidence. They will be setting themselves up for success instead of failure as they won’t be constantly trying to play catch up. Though the downside to that is what if they catch up “early” and then get bored and this now causes a whole load of “behavioral” issues.
We are currently at a loss and feeling a bit down at the moment. I would love to hear from any others that have dealt with something similar to this? Any tips, tricks or changes to really see a difference in a short period of time. Doesn't just have to be a multiples situation.
How did you make your decision and what were the factors you considered? What effect did this have on your child and also on you? How did society handle this??
For others of you reading this and can relate, not sure what to do, please know you are not alone!