21 September 2015


Roan had his first day of Kindergarten on September 9th and it was at a new school, Brooklyn Prospect Charter School. Roan has now been to three different schools in three years so he seemed to adjust pretty quickly. While he had a great year at PS20 last year we became increasingly convinced that Roan wouldn't be able to get the support at PS20 that we know he needs. 

Roan is not a "go along to get along" kid.  He doesn't sit and stay on command, he is not obedient or cooperative or patient or attentive.  This, I know, makes him sound like a spoiled asshole, but he's not.  He doesn't lack discipline or structure, he lacks a control dial to keep his mental RPMs in check. The thing I find myself saying to him most often (despite his assertion below) is "SLOW DOWN". He is a very perceptive and empathetic and thoughtful boy when you can catch him.

In the playground this makes him fun, but in an academic setting it makes him the "problem child" because he commands so much attention from the adults. He has had an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) since age 2 when his preschool teacher came to our house and told us that he was at a loss as to how to contain Roan in class. Roan's "problems" are not really his problems at all; he is quite happy going at 80 miles per hour. He's like Road Runner. They are our problems because we have an absurdly homogeneous way of teaching and managing children.

After years of OT (Occupational Therapy) and a SEIT (special Education Itinerant Teacher) to help us understand what makes Roan tick we have learned a hell of a lot, most importantly that if you really want to help him to slow down and take things in you have to work from the inside out (helping him to learn to get out his energy and then calm his body before trying to work with his mind) rather than the outside in (reprimanding him for not sitting still by making him stay in during recess).

Brooklyn Prospect is, as best we can tell, very much an inside-out school.  We were very very lucky to get a spot there.  AND, by sheer coincidence, one of Roan's teachers just happens to be one of my sister's very best friends.  How's that for kismet?

ANYHOW,  I am starting a tradition this year which is the Annual First Day of School Interview.  Here are his answers (written by me) for Kindergarten.

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