- He needs to get into the routine and rhythm of a proper school day. That means he needs to start when the other kids start, leave when they leave. Today he arrived at 10:05. Unless I pick him up personally, I can't get him to school on time. I'm sure a bus would come by his house but maybe mom just can't get him out of bed and ready by then.
- He needs proper nutrition. Today he was sent to school with a small container of Pringles and a small Gatorade. That's it. No other snack. Nothing for lunch. No lunch money. The teacher saw to it that he had some crackers and milk for lunch. He could have had an orange, but no fruit appeals to him. Proper parenting might need to rear its head here and see to it that the kid gets enough to eat. Mixing in some non-crap pretend food might be a good idea too.
- He needs someone to spend time with him working on his academic health. It doesn't appear that the child is getting much devotion to his future at home. I don't know this for a fact, but, I see the other kids getting excited about learning. He isn't. It's truly a teeth-pulling exercise to get him to do the work. Wonder if mom reads to him at home? I sense not.
- He needs to see responsible adult role models somewhere other than school. My mom wouldn't have considered dragging my ass into school after the first class had begun unless there was some sort of emergency like the car breaking down. You just went to school, and on time. It's not an activity that you "somewhat" commit to. Set an example. Correction: Set the RIGHT example. He's seeing an example, it's just a lousy one.
- And one other thing I cannot provide is love. Not overtly, anyway. But this kid probably needs a hug. He probably needs someone to spend real time with him, to read with him, to ask him about his schoolwork and to follow up on it at home. School doesn't just happen at school. Well, SCHOOL might, but EDUCATION is around-the-clock. An engaged parent should look at school as a chance for their child to learn and reach their potential. It seems like some people may look at it as babysitting.
Yeah, this probably sounds a little ranty. I got mad at myself today for not being a miracle worker. A lot of my new cohorts offered strategies and support, and I know the best thing is to just try as hard as I can, don't dwell on the tough stuff and hit the reset button so I can come back upbeat again tomorrow. I believe that carrying myself with a positive attitude pays off. And there's nothing I can do about the kid's life beyond the schoolyard. I've just got to hope for the best there.
But it bugs me. With every day that passes, this boy teeters on a precarious perch that he might not be able to alight from. He has ability, but without reinforcement at home, he will always be fighting this battle. He could always be behind. And if the school system is the ONLY party invested in helping him, he's facing really long odds going forward.
He's six years old. Six.