Drug testing

Just Average

What do you mean average? Not good? Just doing good enough?

That's what came out in Joshua's report card recently. Looking back, I wasn't too bright a child either. Sure, I did well enough in the BIG exams but my toes curl in fright when I think about MY OWN report cards when I was younger. Let's just say there were more reds than blues (or blacks) in there and my favorite letter begins the word "Favorite".

My parents did not see much of my report cards, during those days because I would hide them in my closet. I would go back to school telling my teacher that I lost my report card. My teacher would issue me a new report card the next semester. The cycle repeats itself the next semester.

This is not the first time I am receiving my son's report card. I received the first one last semester and we (my husband and I) giggled over it a little. I looked, relooked, analyzed and checked everything in the report. Was I proud of the report? Erm, half-half. I was proud that my son made it this far and it warrants a report. I mean, someone is GIVING me a report?not the other way around.

It sort of makes me feel like a President or something, you know. And it confirms my status as a "Mother-with-a-school-going-child". But I was rueful about what was actually IN the report. I gripped the report tightly in my hands and stared at it ? someone is reporting my son's progress to me and this is dead-serious business!

This is what the teacher had to say about Joshua's performance in school. "Joshua's progress is slow but steady. He is proficient in his numbers and phonics but weak in his motor-skills". My focus was on "slow" and whatever the teacher said next in the report was irrelevant.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN WHEN YOU SAY SLOW? A thousand things went through my mind: You mean, he's not good enough for you? Do you mean he's not even average? Does it mean he's not performing as fast as he should? Did she mean that his other classmates are performing far better, a little better or outrageously better than him? Why did she start off with "slow" and then end with "weak"? Does this mean she thinks he really sucks in school?

Then my mind wandered off to other kids in his class? How are they doing? Are they able to form words by themselves without help? Can they READ? Can they do simple maths already when my son is still struggling to differentiate between 6 and 9? Can the other kids count to 100 when my son can only count to 10? WHAT WHAT WHAT?

Yup, this mother is worried that she is raising an under-average kid? Is it her fault? Not enough fish? Too much chicken? Not enough pork? Not enough vegetables in his diet? Maybe I should give the kids three tablets of Multivitamins instead of One.

It bugged me, to say the least. It shook me and made my mind whirl uncontrollably to think of the possible contributions I have made to his slow progress.

But you know what? Does it matter?

Joshua is THREE and a HALF years old!!! What was I doing when I was 3 ?? Did I even realize that when you place letters together, they form words? Can I even count to FIVE (I am quite sure I can count to THREE)? Is there actual pressure on my poor son to perform in KINDERGARTEN? He's not even due for kindergarten yet.

To my knowledge, there are parents who send their toddlers (18 months old) to school and I am like, what? These parents may be using the preschools for various reasons and most of them are valid ones.

Then how come time for the report card, and everything catapults out of place?

Give the guy a break! He's not even dry by night yet and you expect him to spell "Mississippi"? I can't even spell it right without using the Thesaurus function in the Microsoft Word program, ok?

But I AM definitely proud of that tyke. For instance, he can count till 15?except for the three-teen, two-teen, one-teen, five-teen?.etc. But it works for me. Does it matter now?

He knows "M" makes the sound "mmmm?". Does it matter when I say "M is for Mommy" and he says "No, M is for Monkey" and I say, "M is for Mommy too" and he shouts and growls like his tail is on fire. Does it matter?

Probably not. "M" can be for "Monstrous", for all I care.

Marsha Manung is a freelance work at home graphic designer and writer who resides in Selangor, Malaysia with her husband, Peter, and 2 kids, Joshua and Jared. She is the author of "Raising Little Magicians" and "No products to sell" and other work at home books. Visit http://www.marshamaung.com for more information.

In The News:

University of Oregon scientists have found the first confirmed dinosaur bone in Oregon, Fox 12 Oregon reports.
Sometimes it is just better to just let nature run its course, that's the message from officials in Colorado
NASA is joining forces with US defense giant Lockheed Martin to build a state-of-the-art test plane that could pave the way for the return of supersonic passenger travel.
A teenager was mauled by a shark while spearfishing off the northern coast of Australia on Sunday, authorities said.
Extremely rare artifacts that belonged to Alexander Hamilton have been loaned to the Museum of the American Revolution by the Founding Father’s fifth-great-grandson.
Researchers have created a new device that can trigger partial limb regrowth in frogs. The findings could lead to limb regeneration in mammals somewhere off in the future.
Forget solar panels. Researchers are eyeing mushrooms to generate electricity.
A major new climate study in the journal Nature got worldwide media coverage for finding that the oceans warmed dramatically faster than previously thought — but now the researchers have retracted that conclusion after a man in the United Kingdom blogged about flaws he discovered in the paper.
A long cold winter could hit space in months bringing record low temperatures, NASA has warned.
Keep your eyes peeled this weekend.

Empty Nest Syndrome

Paula's last child had just gone off to college and... Read More

Non-Compliance in Your Children, Some Tips for Parents

Non-compliance is the family therapist's big word for your child... Read More

Parents --- Homeschooling Can Take a Lot Less Time Than You Think

The time you will need to teach your children the... Read More

Beginning the Special Education Process

Like anything else in life, there's a method to the... Read More

Keep the Little Ones Safe, Follow Pool Safety Guidelines

Pool safety should be on the minds of every parent... Read More

Preventing Obesity in Young Children

Do you have a young child whose weight or eating... Read More

Books Around the House Make A Difference in Literacy Rates

We need a grass roots campaign targeted towards parents to... Read More

What Do You Do When Your Child is Smarter than You?

We adopted our first child when he was three months... Read More

Five Ways To Build Super-Strong Relationships With Your Children

One of the questions I ask in parenting presentations is... Read More

Parent Involvement: Finding Your Way in Middle School and High School

In elementary school it's pretty straightforward: bringing in cupcakes to... Read More

Muscle Pain And Children Do Not Mix

I am in pain. I've been in pain all day.... Read More

Teach Your Kids to Cook Well, Eliminating Excessive Health Care Needs in the Future

We are all aware of the child obesity epidemic that... Read More

A Call For Fathers

Dads, please let me encourage you to change some things... Read More

6 Tried & True Fun Ways to Educate and Entertain Your Preschooler

1. New Word of the DayIntroduce your preschooler to a... Read More

Stay at Home Mom You Need to Raise Cowboys

Now I know that is not how the song goes,... Read More

Kids: Channeling Mania Towards Productivity

More and more kids these days are diagnosed ADD, ADHD,... Read More

Build Character with this Delicious Triple A Recipe!

Vinegar or honey, what do kids really want? "Toys, candy,... Read More

Picky Eater - Fighting the Good Fight

Often, the struggle at dinnertime with your picky eater is... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: How to Respond to Manipulation

Q. My daughter has gotten very good at manipulating us,... Read More

Help Your Children to Love Reading

It is so important to create an environment that promotes... Read More

Who Are You When the Professional In You Meets Baby?

Are you a professional?Notice how the questions differs from, "Do... Read More

When Your Chicks Leave the Nest

When my son was 18 (and had finished school), he... Read More

How To Be Your Childs Sex Educator

The debate in many towns continues throughout this country about... Read More

Couch Potatoes Beware!

It's no surprise that the self-image and self-esteem of overweight... Read More

Create Your Dream Family

There has been much attention in the media of late... Read More

induction tunnel new street lights Pete's produce ..