When Master Frugal moved up into reception class, his confidence took a massive hit. He struggled with his reading which not only had a bit of a knock on effect on all of his learning at school, it also affected the way he saw himself.
He thought he was ‘stupid’ and ‘not as clever as the other people in class’ and I think this is what caused him to almost retreat into himself a little as he made no attempt to make friends and was often on his own at play times which always made my heart break a little when he told me as I felt so helpless to do anything.
It got to the point where he was so far behind his peers in reading that he was selected to take part in the school’s reading recovery program and the difference was almost immediate. He did so well during the program because he was desperate to learn – it was just that no matter what we did, nothing clicked until this point.
He now actually has a reading age that’s well above his classmates and he is quite advanced in most other subjects but they’re just added benefits to me, the main thing is his confidence level in himself.
He now has so many friends throughout the school – not just in his own class and he is very outgoing and a little cheeky (not rude cheeky just little boy cheeky). He has lots of friends and although he’s still a worrier, he doesn’t worry to the point that I worry about him worrying anymore (yes, I’m a worrier too).
When we were away last week, something happened that brought a lump to my throat and made me realise just how far he’d come and I wanted to share it with you today.
We were on holiday and the apartments were set in blocks, with each block being built around a grassy area where you could sunbathe and the kids could play. We were on the first floor and the balcony overlooked this grassy area where we could see two brothers who were a little older than Master Frugal playing football.
Master Frugal was dying to go and play but isn’t at the stage where he could just walk up to them and ask if he could join in. Instead he stood on the balcony and shouted down that he liked the ball that they were playing with. He said his friend at school had the same one and it was ‘pretty cool’.
They looked up at him, gave him a smile and said thanks, then they carried on playing.
(I was watching from behind the curtain so I didn’t cramp his style – I couldn’t not)
The he said something about how he wished he’d brought his football as he liked playing. He said he’d brought his rounders bat and ball instead.
Again, they looked up at him and one of them said they liked playing rounders but preferred football. They boys carried on kicking the ball between them and Master Frugal must have decided to up his game.
He went down to the grassy bit (me still hiding behind the curtain) and asked them if he could have a kick. One of the boys kicked the ball to him and that was that.
Firm friends for the rest of the week.
A bit of a cheesey lesson in life for us all too:
Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.