Friday 16 October 2009

To draw or not to draw

I've been somewhat concerned for many weeks now that all Ads seems to do in school is draw. He spends 3 hours every day, from 9 am to 12 noon, drawing. Which wouldn't bother me all that much except that for 850 bucks a month, it would be nice if he actually learnt something once in a while. I was about to talk to one of his teachers about this but fortunately Teacher M herself brought up the topic.
First she asked me whether he watches any TV.
Can you wilt in guilt? Cos that's what I did. I'm sure she noticed. Ads watches much more TV now than he did before Y was born, but I wasn't admitting that to Teacher M's beady disapproving eye. I admitted that he watches a little bit of TV (HA!!), mainly real-life action videos like firefighters, police officers etc and yes he has watched some of the DISNEY movies as well. The school has a strong distaste for cartoon characters. You are not supposed to send your kids with cartoon-or superhero-themed clothes or shoes. No lunch boxes or bags with such motifs. And definitely no Halloween costumes. It has always seemed a little extreme to me, but that's the rule.
Teacher M says that Ads needs to stop watching movies or videos because he gets so involved with the characters and the stories that he wants to spend all his time translating his imaginative thoughts onto paper. They have asked him several times to learn a new lesson or do some other work and apparently he always says "I'm not done with my drawing yet". Teacher M says I need to "stop the flow of information" to him so that he concentrates on other work also, in school. I was happy to concur.
So Ads and I had a little chat later that day and he has agreed to a) confine his drawing to when he is at home b) take a new lesson or practice existing lessons everyday at school. I used the opportunity to sneak in another bit of legislation that I wanted. They get about 15 minutes of outdoor playtime everyday which Ads spends inside the classroom when I would much rather he stay outside and run around. I negotiated that he could keep his existing TV privileges as long as he played outdoors every morning.
So far, it has been working well. The good thing about all that drawing of course was that it improved his fine motor skills to the extent that he has started writing alphabets and numbers by himself, with little or no intervention either by his teachers or by us.

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