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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Our SILVER SCHOLAR

This morning Mason went to school as a 1st grader.  He came home today a 2nd grader and a SILVER SCHOLAR.  MSA recognizes academic compliance on four levels: platinum scholar maintains a 4.0 GPA, gold scholar maintains a 3.75-3.99 GPA, silver scholar maintains a 3.00-3.74 GPA and bronze scholar maintains a 2.5-2.99 GPA.  Mason received a medal, certificate and plaque as a silver scholar.


Now.  If you would've told me a few months ago that Mason would be a silver scholar, I wouldn't have believed you.  As a matter of fact, I'm still in disbelief.  As another matter of fact, we didn't even go to the academic awards ceremony last night because I didn't think he was receiving an award.  I know.  That sounds awful.  So imagine my shock last night when I got a text from my friend announcing that Mason was listed in the program as a silver scholar!  I nearly fell over.  


We had a great first semester.  But we had a very difficult second semester.  First grade just wasn't our friend this year.  Mason has struggled in reading, and that affected his other grades when, after Christmas, his teacher could no longer read test instructions and problems to them.  So when he took those five-page multiple choice social studies and science tests that are written like standardized tests, he struggled.  The same thing happened in language arts and, of course, reading comprehension tests.  We had to do a lot of work at home during the past few months to supplement the reading instruction he was receiving at school.  We have 200 sight word flash cards that we review daily, nonsense word sheets, consonant blending workbooks and phrase power points.  People kept telling me to "find something he likes to read."  Well, we've tried, and I still don't think we've found anything he "likes" to read.  We've been to the library, book store, book fair.  He's picked out his own books, we've picked out books for him.  He just isn't interested.  He'd much rather be doing math problems!  Math is his thing.


We had some really tough days with homework.  There were tears from both of us.  But the one thing I can say about Mason is that he never gave up.  He never complained.  He just kept on and on and on, even when it really seemed like we weren't making any progress at all.  I often felt like his GPA should be a 4.0 given all the extra practice we were doing!  But he still continued to struggle.  Within the past month, I've finally noticed some improvement.  We still have some work to do to be fully prepared for 2nd grade so you can imagine what we'll be doing this summer!  But I'm determined to make it fun so we'll see how that goes.  


I didn't give much thought to the awards ceremony.  When I checked Mason's grades on-line as late as Monday evening, there were still a few test grades not posted, and it didn't look to me like he would be receiving any kind of academic award.  At that point though, I didn't realize that they use the student's overall, final GPA and not the individual GPAs from 1st and 2nd semester for awards.  So his 1st semester GPA enabled him to maintain silver scholar status even though his 2nd semester GPA fell somewhat.  He had a 1/2 day of school today so Hannah Kate and I went to pick him up.  I was so proud when he showed me his awards.  After I received that text from my friend last night, I explained to Mason that he had received an award and what that meant, and I apologized that I didn't take him to the awards ceremony.  He was such a sweet boy about the whole thing.


Having said that, we now know for next year!  And we are so excited to be saying goodbye to 1st grade and hello to 2nd grade!

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