I get so much great crap in the take-home folders, I just love it. Also, I think it is the perfect stuff to highlight here because it's usually already distressed from the book-bags and the bus ride and the, well, nearly eight-year-old boys, and often wouldn't even last until Mom gets home. It is, frankly, temporary; crayons and construction paper and washable markers and pencil are not exactly archival quality, so I scan them and they're good 'til someone forgets how the internet works, or however that ends.
That being said, there is another reason I am so drawn to them, perhaps a symbiotic reason: they are immediate. They are reflective of the now of these little boys lives. The things they write and draw and gather and craft at school are as revealing as a photograph, and yet so much of it is given a cursory glance then thrown away. I often wonder how they feel about that, seeing that project, on bats, say, they worked on so diligently and earnestly in class and then explained to you so eagerly and proudly at the dining room table, seeing all that work just thrown away.
Oh don't get me wrong, it must be thrown away, the sheer volume of output from the schools would bury most homes in just a few years. I try to honor them by looking at it, savoring it, even, if I can admit it, milking it a bit. Every now and then they want to save something, I do, and some of it I offer up here.
Z did this assignment this week:
I don't feel the need for my secret kid-to-adult decoder ring I so often needed when they were younger as much these days.
So, what can we learn about this Zack. It says his favorite movie star is Charlie Brown, that's either sort of sad or, very, very adorable. Likes his Wii. He's got a good friend in class (I smeared the name because I refuse to implicate others in any way around here) "because he helps me." That is a good friend, I am glad for him. He likes the songs on his iPod, cool, I am glad Marci found those old things and spent the time loading them with music. A good "restrount -" seriously I can barely spell that word and I was in that biz for thirty years - Skyline; it's a local thing, chili. His favorite place is his house, awwwww...
I can only assume the assignment was of the "a day in the life" variety so overused in elementary schools and Irish Literature. Let's see what Zack did.
"A day in the life of..." (yeah, yeah, yeah, that kid really likes to write his name) "today I woke up and it was a new day I woke up and I drew a pitchure (picture) of a knight." Oh wait, that drawing is still on the table upstairs... Here ya go:
"And then I played with my brother. Then for our breckfest" (breakfast, but I do like that spelling) "we had blue berry muffins. They were delishes (that means yummy.)" (Don't patronize me, boy, jeeze) "and they were super. In fact I ate 3 of them! after that I got on the bus and had fun at school. At school we wrote about our favorite things. I wrote these answers: My favorite movie star..."
Yeah, he looped back to the beginning there. It's like when you tried to pad a college paper, or a short chapter in a novel, just as an example. Novelists never pad their chapters.
I think you can see he is a happy, productive kid. I draw strength and encouragement from this sort of thing. It makes me feel like we are doing things alright around here.
The same week N brought this home and handed it to me as he got off the bus...
I hesitate here. There is something I don't want to bring up, not because it implicates someone, or is bad, or would shatter a political career, no, I don't want to bring it up because it hurts me when I think about it. It hurts me in a way, in a place, that is deep and vulnerable... and then I cry.
Briefly, Nick has been suffering some deep anxiety about things that happened in place far away in a school, somewhere else. But, not far enough away for a sensitive, naive boy who is afraid of cartoon villains and Wagnerian minor chords. He's been quiet and withdrawn a little at school and becomes very distressed when he is tired here at home. He's coming to terms with it, as am I, but, I often ask him how he's doing and reassure him that he's safe and that sort of thing.
So, as he got off the bus, he fished around in his pocket and handed me this:
I'd like to be able to say I easily recognized that, well, creature, on the front there, but, nope. After some consideration, and I am only speculating, I think it's a "Little." They have tails, and wear gourd hats and utilikilts... I'm not sure about the football connection, maybe it's a rugby ball.
The inside reads: "I ham (am) having a grate (great) time at school today. Today is gym, some people got to have an esta (extra) gym I did "oh and Mucik (Music)." We finist (finished) are (our) math. I don't know when testing is. do you? Sorry that I forgot my folder fore (for) two days. Love, Nick."
I love that "oh and Mucik" is in quotation marks, as if it just popped into his head little voice style. And I do get annoyed when they forget their folders but, but...
...I think he wrote this to reassure us, to show us he was doing okay, "grate" even. I know he knows we are concerned and this was his way of showing us that he was getting better. Dear, sweet boy.
So there you have it, a little take-home folder nonsense - explained. I was going to link some of the other posts of stuff from school but, seriously, it's like half my posts, but a good example of one is this post in which I lament "The Last Take-Home Folder" of First Grade.
From Marci's "... things you don't expect to hear from the backseat ..."
(Daddy's attempt at a philosophical conversation)
D: "What do you think is the difference between a house and a home?"
N: " A house is H-O-U-S-E and a home is H-O-M-E."
*thanks, kiddo, that clears it up* :)
There is no 'u' in home... huh?
(I responded to the Sandy Hook tragedy in a post called Chase Kowalski and in this post as well.)