Well, it’s been three months since The K Man started the Beyond Tutoring program at Oxford Learning.
When he started in late-July, on his way into grade one, his reading was assessed at a JK level. Obvious disappointment and guilt aside, we made a conscious effort to really stick to the program — even at home. He progressed really well, and actually enjoyed his time with his Oxford teachers. And while it’s challenging to find space on the calendar during a very busy school week to fit in two one-hour tutoring sessions, we do it and often with a smile. Rarely do we have to push our little guy to go, even though it means “school” on Saturday mornings.
Every six weeks, I’ve had meetings with Joanna from Oxford Learning Courtice, and each time, I’m thrilled to see the progress The K Man is making from month to month.
But in all of this, there were two markers of success for me:
- Could he catch up to his peers?
- Would we spend our own money to continue at Oxford Learning once our review period concluded?
First, yes. It’s thrilling to tell you that, yes, The K Man — by mid-October — was assessed by his elementary school teacher with an early grade one reading capability. I wept with joy and pride the day we heard that result. And I may have also eaten a few happy feelings that night, celebrating with chocolate cake. (Just maybe.)
But second? Again, yes. We decided to continue the Beyond Tutoring sessions, twice a week, until the end of grade one. Paying for every cent of it. While there’s no question that I’ll have both kids in Oxford’s summer program, I don’t want to risk playing catch-up again. I want him to sustain the momentum that Oxford’s given him, and be excelling as he enters grade two. I firmly believe that’s worth a few hundred dollars a month. Honestly, it works out to missing two nice meals a month. I’m sure The Keg will understand.
In the grand scheme of things, three or four thousand bucks a year is a joke for quality education. If you think your tax dollars can support schools like they used to, you’re wrong. It’s why we need to make play dough for our kindergarten classrooms and provide pencils, toys and art supplies for the older grades. Teachers are spread thinner and thinner with class sizes growing bigger and bigger. Something’s gotta give, and it’s the average kid who will bear the brunt of these financial burdens for publicly funded schools.
As long as my kid continued to do OK, he would probably be swept into the next grade. The kids who are failing miserably across the board and the ones who shine brightest are the ones who get noticed.
It’s unfortunate, but it’s true.
So, while I hope The K Man turns out to be above average, I need to take matters into my own hands to get him there. With extra attention at home and a boost from Oxford Learning, I think his future’s looking pretty damn good.