Friday, May 4, 2012

Alex's School Progress Report



Song:  Once In A Lifetime

Group:  Future World Music






Now...
I must, first of all, stress that this is merely a progress report...
and not his final grading for the last quarter of the year.

He still must complete his finals...
and turn in more of his reports.

However, we don't expect his grades to drop in the next 3 weeks.

His Math and Study Hall is where he does his advanced Math, online...
in the school library (Geometry).

He has only been going to his school for about 3 months.

He had been exclusively home schooled prior to his entry into his present school
(Home Schooled for the past 2 years).


Alex has improved so much, and in so many areas...
since enrolling at his school
(Coral Academy Of Science).

His organizational skills have improved dramatically...
as well as his writing, research, and presentation skills.

His school is doing such a good job in educating Alex.

This is NOT a lowered standard school where A's are easy to come by.

Alex has had numerous reports expected of him...
as well as an advanced curriculum to adhere to.


I've not had to teach Alex writing skills lately...
as he has had plenty of practice in the normal course of events
through his school.


I merely had to bring him up to speed initially...
as he had timelines to meet...
and many reports to complete
(with 3 weeks left...he has another 2 reports to turn in...
as well as a special project...in addition to preparing for his finals.
Don't get me wrong...I think it is great.
His school is preparing him for higher education by placing
rigorous performance demands on him...
as well they should).

We are also preparing him for his SATs
(which he will take this June).


Are we happy with his progress report?

Yes...
however, it is his drive to excel that makes us the happiest.

Alex is self driven.
He has the want to learn...
the desire to achieve.

I realize that there are many children who also excel in school.

What makes us so happy...
 is that Alex has come so far...
and in such a steady fashion...
since when he was first diagnosed with Autism...
and had many compulsions...
and neurological deficits to conquer...
as well as an inherent weakness in the areas of
organization and conceptual understanding.

It is his attitude and drive ...
as well as my wife's strong academic leadership...
 her demonstrated love and affection...
 and our constant encouragement of his daily achievements
(positive reinforcement of daily objectives)
that has made all the difference
(along with his excellent initial ABA in home therapy...
which had given him such a great start in life.
We will always be grateful for that).


We were careful to inculcate the love of learning... by design...
using closely spaced and achievable daily objectives coupled with 
a copious amount of great praise upon achievement of them...
along with a steady amount of proper stimulation of the basic three areas
(Intellectual / Physical / Emotional)...
while guarding against over stimulation (beyond his adaptive capabilities).


By starting simply...
and slowly increasing the demands...
using a lack of desired results as the limiter...
we have been able to strike the balance between 
under stimulation and over stimulation
(under stimulation would result in boredom and stagnation...
over stimulation would result in rebellion).

Always remember...
with adaptation...
 comes supercompensation.

This is how progress is made...
and ever higher demands are exceeded...
one small bite at a time...
and repeated daily.


When we saw the results of Alex's progress...
well, we just had to, once again...
eat out at a special place  :)


As everyone in our family loves seafood...
we had to try this restaurant in the Silver Legacy Casino.





Alex choosing his meal.


My face was quite sunburned from our earlier Lake Tahoe cruise. 



My wife, and I, had each chosen the Ultimate Combination Seafood Pan Roast.


Alex had chosen the Fish and Chips.



Alex, and I, had chosen the Boston Cream Pie
(as it was my first time eating one...
I had asked the waitress why they called it a pie...
since it, clearly, is not one.
My wife merely rolled her eyes at me   :)



My wife had chosen the Key Lime Pie
(see...THIS is a pie :)


Alex is presently working on a particularly detailed report.

My wife, and I, work with him on his daily homework...
(my wife usually covers the math portion)
and with his reports and projects
(guiding him...NOT doing for him...this distinction is crucial).

We constantly check his progress and review his answers...
to not only guide him...
but to demonstrate our interest in his academic achievements on a daily basis.


All children are smart.
They more heavily weigh that which we do...
over that which we say.

It is our actions...
and our lack of actions...
which tell them what we truly consider important.

By caring enough to be there...
to guide them in their studies...
and in life...
our actions become the template for their priorities...
and so, their subsequent actions.


Perhaps most importantly...
always apply very liberal amounts of 
love and affection throughout each day.

4 comments:

  1. You and your wife have done an outstanding job with Alex, particularly with inculcating him with the love of learning and drive to succeed. It is something we are still working on with our son, so it is good to be reminded of how you found success.

    On the Boston Cream Pie, I'm with you... why do they call it pie? :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I especially love it when Alex comes to my room to tell me he had finished with his homework...and for me to check it. He has pride in his voice and a gleeful and energetic walk back to the table while leading me to view his work. He is so happy to show me what he had accomplished. Although, I, at times, must have him correct certain things in his work...he knows that it is to make him better. I am also careful to praise all the good points of his work each time...not only to encourage him...but to let him know he is on the correct path for future reference.

    My wife is the one who really gets most of the credit. She had shouldered almost all of his academic instruction before I retired. She was, also, the parent who handled all of the day to day operations...as well as researching all of the future opportunities for Alex.

    It is because I had initially seen the great maternal instinct that resides within her that I knew she would make an excellent mother. Besides her maternal instinct, it was her intelligent eyes (indicating the depth of her understanding as we spoke) and her solid bone structure and general build that made her a good mate in my eyes. She excelled in the three categories of concern...Emotional, Intellectual, and the Physical. My greatest accomplishment, concerning my son, was in my picking a potentially excellent mother for him (and as it turned out...actually). My wife is responsible for almost all of Alex's accomplishments. Only recently (since I retired) have I been able to contribute to any great degree. As Alex grows...more and more will I be teaching him about the world and how to lay his own path in it...to his desires.

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  3. I don't know much about the kind of school your son attends, but I suppose study hall is so important. Alex got S in study hall. it's great.

    Your blog is really interesting to me. Please keep blogging :D

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  4. Study hall is an elective used by Alex to do on-line advanced math. Since he is more advanced than his grade in math....they allowed him to take study hall and to get High School credit for Geometry since he is doing it alone in the library. Since Study Hall is essentially self paced and it has no teacher...it has no grade.

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