I had parent-teacher-student interviews with Jericho and Soren today. They finished school at lunchtime, came home and ate some toast, and then we went back to school so we could meet with their teachers.
Soren had been able to choose three things to show me, and he’d picked his handwriting book, a maths test that he got a great result on, and his brochure about the Murray-Darling basin. He’s doing so well. Really his teacher just said how much he enjoys having him in the class because he’s such a good worker and can always be relied on to listen and do what he’s asked to, and he said that he likes that Soren is getting a little bit more confident about speaking out. I said that we were really proud of him; that he always does his homework and reads a lot at home and that we think he has a great attitude towards school.
Jericho had also chosen things to show me (his prime minister project, his improvements in some testing results between the start of the year and the middle of the year, and his project on wind energy) and had written down some goals he wanted to work towards in his learning, so we looked at those things. His teacher is really happy with his progress and results, as well as his behaviour. Jericho said that he’s trying to speak up more and share his writing, and she said she has noticed and hopes he keeps doing that because it’s good. She said he needs more confidence in his own abilities, because he’s smart and can be a leader with the other kids.
Then she sent him out of the room and brought up to me that Naomi had told her about Jericho being depressed, and I said I knew about that. She said that she told the AP (psychologist?) and they had made a note about it but hadn’t pursued anything because they hadn’t seen any specific evidence of actual depression, although she has been keeping a closer look out. I said that I didn’t think he was necessarily clinically depressed, but he’s at risk of mental health issues, is extremely negative about everything and highly anxious, and that this has pretty much been an issue for most of his life. We were on a ten-minute time limit for this interview and she was already running late, so I asked if she thought we should make another time for a more in depth talk and she said yes, so we’re going to do that. It would be really good if she had some ideas about how to help him, because he worries me a lot and as hard as I’m trying I don’t feel like I’m able to make anything better with him.
Emma did a Write-A-Book-In-A-Day activity today. I had to drop her off at school by 8am and pick her up at 8pm, and they spent the intervening twelve hours in the library writing and illustrating a book in groups. It sounds like such a fun activity, and she was so happy when she came home- she had a great day and already said she wants to do it again next year.
Nicholai has found an old ipod, put music on it, and given it to Jericho. This is so unusually thoughtful of him – I mean, I’m sure he’s highly motivated by just trying to get Jericho to like what he likes, but he also gave a lot of consideration to what might appeal to him. For some weird reason Nicholai has decided that Jericho is going to be an emo teenager (well, okay, it’s not totally out of left field) and I guess he feels that this needs some musical accompaniment.