Monday, December 18, 2006

Haikus Heaven

I had a conference with my son's teachers and school counselor today. {Heavy Sigh}Well, heavy sigh was what I was thinking. However, the conference was far more good than bad. {jubilant shout} Essentially Brandon is doing fantastic. He has a few quirks that need working on, but overall he is great. This is night and day from last year. I was used to having conferences with most of the staff, and none of it was good other than they all agreed that Brandon was bright. However, he used his powers for evil.

So, Brandon doesn't like homework. What child does? He either tries to get it all done before school ends (really. I was shocked too.) or he does it at his daycare (again, dumbfounded look from confused father). Usually it is worksheets and easy stuff. The hard stuff, writing, he never brings home. It has become a battle between him and his teacher over whether it even makes it into his backpack. I must say that Brandon wins more often than not, and he never tells me about it. So what is this assignment that vexes him so? He has to read a section of a story, write a few things about the section, and talk about it in a group on a specific day. Now, to do it in just one night is daunting. It is a lot of reading and writing, with some emphasis on actually thinking with the writing. Brandon is capable, but rarely willing in the evening. It is his time to play.

Our discussion tonight centered on the fact that he has three evenings to do it, not just one. We (more or less I told him) talked about some options for reading, writing, etc over three nights to ease the burden. He did the assignment very well tonight and with little complaining. We'll see how it goes tomorrow. :-)

I have an analogy to share. Brandon has a problem understanding his place in school. He wants to lead the activities. He wants to choose when he is ready to move on, etc, and usually believes he can talk his teacher into changing the plan. I told him he needs to change his perspective. I had Brandon look into a box and I asked him to envision a maze with high walls, a beginning, and and end. Brandon was then asked to pretend he was a tiny mouse in the maze. He runs back and forth, not knowing the way, not able to climb the walls, and cannot get to the end. His teacher looks over the maze and has the map. She directs him where to go and when so that he makes it through the maze every day. When he doesn't listen, he gets trapped and lost. He also holds up the class from getting to the end. I asked him to start thinking about listening to the directions and doing what he is told so that he is successful everyday. I told him the teacher is there to help him be successful, and she really wants him to be successful. I then explained to Brandon that as he gets older, he will then tower over the maze and begin to plot his own course. He will be able to see the thousands of destinations for his life and he can begin to make his own way to them, but right now he is not there and cannot know the way, so he better listen to his teacher.

I know it is probably way too abstract for a nine year old. My biggest problem is thinking and explaining at his level. But hopefully it will help in a small way.

So, what does all of this have to do with haikus? He had to either create or find a haiku. I love poetry, so I wanted him to write one. He digressed and said he would rather copy one. I told him I could make one, and he said he would take that.

Huge white waves bursting
Exhilarating freedom
Rocketing Flying

It sparked him. Off he flew to write ten of his own...

Hateful and Deadly
Very deadly storms of doom
Bringers of Sadness

Whirlling pools of doom
Whirlling pools of no return
Vortexes of doom

Endless doom and pain
Bringer of Monstrous evil
Timeless and Endless

Big fluffy blankets
Very soft cuddly pillows
Fluffy cotton rows

~Good night to all~

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