They Are Smart Ones

Today is report card day, and it solidly confirmed what I've always known – my children are nerds. They are set to inherit the thrones of the next generation of World Geeks.

Kyra and Jaiden (3rd grade) both earned straight A's. Kyra's grades ranged from 96-99. Who the hell gets a 99 in math? I sure as shit never did. Jaiden's grades ranged from 92-98. His academic style is such that he absorbs everything as soon as it hits his ears, but he'd much rather speed through his work so that he can get back to reading his "pleasure reading" book that he makes careless errors here and there. He is occasionally off-task in the possible-makings-of-a-class-clown-but-he's-so-damned-cute-with-his-brilliant-mind-and-quick-laugh-so-everybody-likes-him-even-the-teacher-so-he-can-get-away-with-being-goofy-sometimes kind of way. His desk is a disheveled mess with books thrown haphazardly inside and papers hanging every which way. He is the one who most reminds me of myself when I was a student, which half charms and half horrifies me. I was a brilliant mind indeed right up until around 4th grade. The brilliance remained (I am a Smart One, after all), but that brilliance was smeared with a healthy dose of boredom cum procrastination, and by the time I reached middle school, it had morphed into full-blown underachiever status. I do sincerely hope that Jaiden continues with his nerdy but affably-harebrained personality.

Kyra, on the other hand is Miss Priss in the classroom. Unlike her brother, she rarely has time for pleasure reading because despite absorbing knowledge faster than a sponge sucks water, she meticulously double-triple-quadruple checks her work until it is perfect. Her desk has her books neatly arranged a la OCD from bottom to top/largest to smallest on the right half. On the left half of her desk are her personal notebooks and folders, scribble-free and arranged by color. Her pencil box is a perfect arrangement of glue, scissors, crayons (boxed in ROYGBIV order by gradient shades), and assorted writing utensils. Every once in a while, in a Scarlett O'Hara God as my witness tone, she bemoans something to the effect of, "Mama, I had such a headache today because people wouldn't stop talking even though Mrs. Scott told them to stop. I had to focus hard to tune them OUT because my work was my priority and I WILL NOT allow myself to be distracted by people who don't care as much about their work." What I say is, "Good, Sweetie — it's good that you're able to focus and do what you need to do." What I think is OMG, people are going to think she's a goodie two-shoes freak and she won't have any friends because no one will want to play with the teacher's pet who always blows he bell curve and she'll end up one tease shy of pulling a Carrie and killing a quarter of the student body with just a look of her feline-slanted eyes. I need not worry, though, because she has plenty of friends who love to giggle over scented stickers and chase the boys on the playground. Besides, any kid who writes stories like "The Clumsy Boy" (new story on her blog) is bound to be considered One of the Cool Ones by her peers. (Note: I did not edit her story. I simply opened the Compose screen, went to give Kaelyn a bath, and fifteen minutes later, voila – "The Clumsy Boy." That work is 100% Kyra's, and the grammar, writing, and overall storytelling is impressive for an 8-year old, I think.)

Jordan's report card made me squeal because as he is in the first grade, this is his first report card with REAL grades. In my school system Kindergarten students receive grades of DNM (Did Not Meet), Meets, and Exceeds (EXC) for an assortment of skills and concepts, so for me first grade always feels like the true telling of how my kids are handling school. Jordan also earned straight A's, with grades ranging from 96-100. ONE-FREAKIN-HUNDRED, in both Social Studies and Science. He has the same teacher that Kyra and Jaiden did for first grade. She's kind and loving but academically tough.  She treats her 6 and 7 year olds like miniature adults so while you
will see her greet them with warmth and love, you won't ever catch her
using sing-song kidspeak with them. I adore her. She takes a no-nonsense approach to teaching and challenges her students as much as she can without pushing them to frustration levels, so I know that Jordan isn't exceeding just because she's watering the material down or making it too easily accessible. Jordan is the one who had me showing my personal freak flag when by the age of 3, he showed little interest in learning his letters, didn't give a squat about numbers, and could hardly be bothered to pick up a crayon and coloring book. By the time they were 3, the Twinz could identify both upper and lower case letters and knew most of their sounds, and by the time they were four they were heading into learning sight words and developing decoding skills. Jordan showed little interest in learning too much of anything until he was actually in Pre-K. Then he just SKYROCKETED. One thing that has always been consistent about Jordan is that he is laid back. He was the easiest of all our babies and is just overall a pleasant kid. He's a weird blend of quiet and loud. Introverted and extroverted (but probably more introverted). Bookish and athletic. Sensitive. Kind. Smart. Very easygoing…developmentally speaking, this kid never did anything early, but he was never late, either. Like with walking – he did very little cruising or practice walking. I wasn't exactly worried, but I still had to keep reminding myself that he was his own child and comparing his timeline of milestones to that of Kyra and Jaiden's wasn't right. Sure enough – one day Dani held out a chicken nugget to almost 1-year old Jordan and the boy stood up and RAN several steps to it. Who needs to take one first step when you can run several? And so it has been with Jordan and school. He is running away with it and I am clapping like the village idiot for my MonkeyBoy.

The Teej (4th grade) has grades which range from 72-98, with the highest in Language Arts and the lowest in Math. We are so proud of him, and what's even better is that he is proud of himself. One thing I don't think I ever shared about TJ is the fact that he has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Academically, he struggles a bit with Math. His understanding of Reading and Language Arts as a whole is stronger, but he's hit or miss with various concepts within those subjects so depending on what skills are being taught, he's either quick with mastery or needs remediation to achieve it. Either way, he works hard and is a dedicated student who truly enjoys learning even though he knows he needs extra help sometimes. Last year got off to a bit of a rough start both academically and behaviorally. On his first report card he had an F in Math and very low C's in Language Arts and Science. We don't have D's here, so in actuality he was just a few points from those also being F's. Those grades didn't come as a surprise as his teacher stayed in close contact with Frank and me throughout. He received extra help both at school and at home and still struggled. The kid just couldn't stay focused well enough to control his behavior (fidgeting, attention bouncing, talking, etc), so it was hard for him to focus on the remediation he received. After much consideration, we discussed it with our pediatrician. Feedback from the teacher and our observations helped him determine that TJ did indeed have ADD, and he prescribed a low dose of Concerta. He only takes it on school days and it has made a world of difference. He still has all the same academic struggles, but at least now he has the attention span to be able to focus on and absorb the help that he gets. So today when upon my arrival at home he ran out of the house waving his report card yelling, "AUNTIE KYM! I DIDN'T FAIL ANYTHING AND I GOT A "SATISFACTORY" ON CITIZENSHIP INSTEAD OF "NEEDS IMPROVEMENT" AND I GOT A 98 IN LANGUAGE ARTS…I'M SO PROUD OF MYSELF!," I jumped and yelled right with him.

It's been a good day for the Nerd Herd.

Do I sound like I'm bragging?

Because I totally am.

19 Comments

  1. In Due Time on October 15, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    I’m looking forward to getting K’s grades…even if she is 21. LOL!
    Congrats kiddos!!



  2. Kristin on October 16, 2009 at 1:06 am

    You should brag. Your kids ROCK!



  3. PJ on October 16, 2009 at 3:16 am

    Kyra’s story is awesome! “busting grumpies” LOLOLOL! I love that she’s keeping a blog!
    Most of my kids keep their desks clean because they never know when the “desk fairy” will come overnight and leave them her calling card and a treat. When that doesn’t work, I just casually dump the contents of their desks on the floor and have them clean up. That usually gets the point across. Usually. 😛
    Great post!



  4. Moxie on October 16, 2009 at 6:40 am

    Guess whose type of desk I had when I was in elementary school? The Nice Desk Fairy never came to visit me. The Evil one dumped my desk once in 4th grade. In the middle of class. With like, everyone sitting there staring at me. Scarred for life, I tell you. 🙂
    LOVE the Nice Desk Fairy idea…maybe with the chance of surprise treats I would have kept my desk clean, too! 🙂



  5. a on October 16, 2009 at 8:08 am

    When I was in first grade, my desk was sooo messy that I actually started putting stuff in the empty desk next to me. Then I had two desks full of stuff. I’ve improved since then.
    I don’t think you’re bragging. Bragging is when you say your kids are better than anyone else’s. Praising their excellent work (and excellent personalities) to anyone and everyone is just being a mom!



  6. niobe on October 16, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Yay! This is such great news! Jordan reminds me a little of Gray, who insisted on doing things at his own pace. While Gray learned to recognize letters early, he had absolutely zero interest in learning to read until halfway through first grade.



  7. Jendeis on October 16, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Oh, I cried at TJ. You and Frank are such awesome parents – it shows with your fantastic kids!



  8. Melody on October 16, 2009 at 10:51 am

    Thank you so much for sharing Kyra’s blog. I LOVED her story. 🙂



  9. Quiet Dreams on October 16, 2009 at 10:58 am

    I love this bragging. LOL, the nerd herd…I would have fit right in…Jaiden reminds me of me ONLY in his rushing through his work to get to his pleasure reading. The only time I remember getting in trouble in elementary school was because I was reading my book when I was supposed to be doing something else.
    And I LOOOOOVE THE TJ moment (of course).
    Hell, I loved it all. 🙂



  10. Beautiful Mess on October 16, 2009 at 11:05 am

    It’s great that they are all doing so well! Good work to them and you and Frank! Brag away, hon. You deserve the rights!
    Zilla was a slow learner, too. It took him awhile to get the hang of reading, last year. This year he’s doing better, but still at his own pace. It’s nice to hear that your guy and Niobie’s were the same way and they are smart young men. That makes me feel very relieved!
    *HUGS*



  11. JJ on October 16, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Brag away, you deserve it! Way to go, kiddos!



  12. Io on October 16, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Good job kids! Go nerd herd!



  13. jill on October 16, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Oh my, I just about bawled! I’m teary-eyed for sure! Thanks for sharing!



  14. Trish K on October 17, 2009 at 9:03 am

    You have every right to brag! Those grades are AWESOME!



  15. chicklet on October 17, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    I’d soooo totally be bragging if I were you. You didn’t get just ONE smartypants, you got ALL of them! And obviously with good work ethics too, which to me is even more important than being smart, cuz if they work hard, they can do anything. Wahoo!



  16. Sunny on October 17, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    I’d say the bragging is well justified! Congrats, Smart One, on on the Smart Kiddos you have there. 🙂



  17. El Cinco's GranGran on October 18, 2009 at 9:16 am

    I so raised you right!
    I already gave you your cuddle hugs! Love you!



  18. cindi on October 18, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Congrats on the Nerd Herd. Keep up the good work mom, you have every right to be proud of all those great grades.



  19. Jill on October 21, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Wow! Your kids sound like a great bunch! You have every right to be proud and brag… 🙂
    ~ICLW~