Friday, May 8, 2009

Finding his voice

Today I had a parent-teacher conference with Owen's teacher (Justine) about his development. One of the (many) things I really love about the preschool OM attend is their understanding of early childhood development and varying personality types. Specifically, I like how when Owen stands off to the side and watches his friends play on the playground they don't try and make him get involved.  They realize that Owen is an observer and they are perfectly comfortable with that. At first it would make me sad that Owen never wanted to interact more with his peers while they were laughing and running around but then I started looking at it from his point of view.  He's perfectly content taking it all in and learning that way. He's happy. I use to be that way too (okay, I'm still that way) and it always bothered me when it was constantly pointed out how shy I was, as though it was a bad thing.  And, as the year moves on I find him playing more and more with his friends outside. He's slow to warm up and no one there rushes him, it's refreshing.

So, Owen is good at following directions, clears his space at meal times, prepares his napping area without reminders or assistance and is able to sit through group time without getting distracted or becoming a distraction.  In small groups he likes to ask questions and make predictions about stories.

His areas of improvement are with his verbal expression.  At lunch time (it's family style so you have to ask your friends to "please pass the bread") Owen remains pretty quiet and doesn't ask for anything.  Justine said he will look at his empty milk cup, look at her, and then look at his empty milk cup again.  She's encouraging him to pour it himself or ask for help.  

He never resorts to physical "communication" when another kid hits him or takes his toys but he doesn't verbally communicate either.  He'll either move if he's getting hit or let the kid take his toys and not say anything.  

So, I'm going to keep encouraging him to speak up at meal times and when conflicts arise. It's hard b/c at home he's different and will snatch toys away from baby sis.  Justine suggested I use those times and relate them to what happens at school.

The photos are from school today. After the meeting Maya and Owen had snack w/ his classmates and then we played outside for a bit.

Owen & Scott in front of the tadpole aquarium.  Maya was fascinated with it too.  There are like 100 tadpoles in there.  His class is focusing on transformations...lots of gardening projects, books about caterpillars and now a whole pool of cool tadpoles that Owen loves to feed (lettuce and spinach so far)...

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