Thursday, May 28, 2009

Every girl has her price

And my daughter's is ice cream! Yesterday was her pre-school "screening test." Isn't it silly that 3 year olds get screened? But she did.

On our way in I was prepping her. I told her that we were going to meet a teacher and could she please answer the teacher's questions like a brave big girl. (It really is a crap shoot on how Olivia will react to new people.) Her response was, "Well, I might be shy for a few minutes."

My response? "If you can answer the teacher's questions bravely, we can go and get an ice cream treat afterward." I am not above bribery and I'm sure Super Nanny would have a few strong words about my tactics. But you know what? It worked!

We walked into the class room and Olivia bravely told the teacher her name (she very rarely does that.) And then it was on to the test. Parents were invited to stay with the child but I chose to sit near but not with Olivia. Good thing too because there were several occasions I was so tempted to give my two cents.

O had to identify letters. (This was the first activity.) The teacher simply pointed to a bunch of letters and asked O, "Do you know this letter?" O answered no to all except one of them. It was KILLING me. I'd probably make a really good stage mom to one of those little pageant toddlers
'cuz that's how I was feeling on the inside. "Come on, Olivia, that's an A, you know A. Geez." But thankfully I was able to sit there and keep my dang mouth shut.

Next up was color identification. Thankfully things turned the corner on this one. She was 12 for 12 on her colors... YESSSS! Following colors the teacher gave O a pencil and paper and asked her to draw a picture of herself. O thought about it for about 3 seconds and said, "No, I'm going to draw a bird." Great. If that was a test on following directions that got a real clear insight into how things go down around here. Lovely. So, she drew a picture of a bird.

It is so crazy how warped we are. How Olivia performed in no way shape or form reflected on me as a parent. I know that. In fact no one in that room was thinking about me-- except for me! And although it was subconscious at the moment, later I realized the reason I wanted O to perform well was not for her, but rather for me. So that I appeared to be a mom who has taught her good stuff. Gross, huh?!

Finally she ended with a word identification activity. The teacher said a word and O had to pick the matching picture from the page. Every page had 4 choices. Some of the words were rather easy, like penguin. But others were more complicated like pasting or sewing or patting. The chart was not facing me so I could not see if O was choosing the right pictures. I was trying to tell from the teacher's face if she was getting them right or not but she was doing a good job of being indifferent, dang it.

Afterward, the teacher told O she did a great job and that she was surprised at how many words she knew. The teacher explained to me how the test revealed her vocab level. O is 3 years and 3 months and has the vocab of 4 years and 3 months (at least according to this silly test). So, embarssingly enough, I did manage to work into the conversation how I was surprised that O didn't identify the letters since she is clearly so smart and advanced for her age (well, I didn't say it exactly like that but....)

All in all it was pretty fun seeing O interact with a teacher, be challenged in some areas and show an interest in the school building and the activities in the classroom. On the way there she was pretty excited to go to school. "Turner can't go to school because he's too little. But I'm a big girl so I'm going to school." Here's hoping she gets accepted, in spite of the bird drawing incident.

Finally, we ended with a mommy/daughter date at Dairy Queen. We sat, talked, ate ice cream and laughed. It really was a special afternoon.


jenny said...

Wow! Sounds like a pretty intense screening. None of my kids would have "passed" that stuff at 3 yrs. Some of those things are even on Kindergarten screening. I wouldn't worry too much about the bird drawing....sounds like she did just fine! :)

riley said...

That shows how accurate those tests are. I don't know anybody with verbal skills of a 4 yr old that uses the word antagonize correctly!