daycare progress report
We just received Munchkin’s spring progress report from his daycare. It was all Cs, with a smattering of Ds mixed in for good measure. This took us aback initially, especially since one of the things we most liked about the FSI daycare is its non-academic nature. Then we looked closer and saw that D stood for “Developing” skills and C for “Consistently” using said skills, the highest “grade” on the report.
There were two pages covered with various indicators pertaining to gross motor skills, language and cognitive development (“Vocabulary it’s wonderful,” noted his teacher before appending a smiley face), social-personal development, and emotions and feelings. In the latter category, the Munch earned a D for “using materials with purpose and intention.” “Lots of throwing,” was scrawled underneath, which arguably can be an excellent indicator of feelings and purpose, though probably not the way his teachers want him to express his intentions.
He also received a D for “sharing/taking turns.” Several entries later, under the same heading, he earned a C for “becoming possessive.” These two seem to be in direct contradiction to one another, but the result is hardly surprising. This is where the school setting comes in direct contact with life’s hard-knock lessons. To wit:
Munchkin’s great-aunt visited recently and brought him a dump truck, which is a fantastic gift for a little man who enjoys playing in the sandbox and loves construction vehicles. Excited to give the new toy a whirl and armed with a small plastic shovel-and-bucket set to go along with it, Munchkin led the way to the sandbox. The bucket was the first item to go — after all he has only two hands. Next, an older boy unceremoniously prized the truck from his hand, and while Munchkin looked on timorously another older boy took the shovel he had dropped in disbelief.
To his credit, Munchkin suffered the imposed “sharing” of his toys with aplomb. He didn’t cry or whine, and he didn’t run to papa for help. D had been observing from the bench, and only got up after it became clear that Munchkin’s great-aunt proved unsuccessful in reasoning with the little bully to return the truck. The next time D took Munchkin to the playground, he kept a tight grip on the new toy and made sure to never let go of it, even when bending down to scoop up sand with the shovel, which made for a comical sight as he had parked the truck on a high ledge. When a slightly older boy tried to take it, Munchkin stiffened and tugged back until he had regained sole possession of his toy. This isn’t to suggest that we don’t favor him developing sharing and empathy skills; we do. It’s just that the law of the playground is not unlike the law of the jungle, and we’re ok with him developing a little bit of backbone first.
The report concludes with three small boxes for goals, strengths and interests, and progress made. His teacher twice noted that Munchkin is a sweet little boy who has become much more confident and outgoing since beginning daycare, even as she lamented that he has a hard time sharing with his friends. He also loves art time, is very talkative, and is always giving input on the books the class is reading. We sometimes wonder how Munchkin spends his time in daycare and how much his personality changes when he is away from us. Judging from the report, he’s not too different when he’s at school than he is at home.