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Poor baby!

By Richie Ann Ashcraft

I had parent/teacher conferences this week with Jonas and Marek's preschool teacher.

She starts with Jonas because "he's going to be the easy one." He's reading like a champ, know simple addition/subtraction, has learned all the basic preschool skills like lines, listening, and sharing. He's more than ready for kindergarten next year and seems to be ahead of the game at this point.

Then, we move on to Marek.

"I'm so sorry," she says, "because I didn't realize that he couldn't count until we did his testing."

I didn't know he couldn't count either. Oh. My. God.

She shows me his testing results. Shapes are okay, colors are excellent, writing not so good, counting not good at all.

"He says one, firteen, nifth, aaaaateeen," she says.

She apologies because she just didn't realize that Jonas, she means Marek, hadn't been catching on to counting.

Um, yeah, I hadn't realized that either, then the guilt set in.

Whereas I spent a lot of time working with Soren and Jonas when they were three, scrutinized the kinds of television they watched, and read book after book that counted cows, and stars, and slippers, I have not been doing those things with Marek.

Marek just tags along with whatever we're doing or watching, and much of that doing is more kid-appropriate rather than toddler-appropriate activities.

I spent a lot of my time teaching Jonas how to read this winter, then read to Marek, without testing him on comprehension.

It's my fault, not his teacher's.

And I've vowed to focus more on my baby. Now we count before bed. A trip to the store for a workbook is on this weekend's chore list. And, the older boys are going to be forced to give up some TV time to accommodate their little brother.

I feel bad that I've dropped the ball. That he's neglected as a younger child. But, I'm gonna make it better.


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He’ll be fine. “Dropping the ball” is if he graduates from high school and can’t count. He’ll be counting in no time. Plus you can have Jonas and Soren help teach their little bro the basics.

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