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Truth Be Told

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The other day Simon came home from school, walked into the house, and told me "My star was in yellow today."


His school uses a star program. Essentially green means no problems, yellow means something came up/not following the rules, and red is when you get in big trouble. Simon is no stranger to yellow stars, not the majority by any means, but they definitely popped up from time to time throughout kindergarten. 


"Uh oh. What happened buddy?" I asked.


"I was sneaky." he said and proceeded to tell me about how he was caught sneaking out to recess before the kids were dismissed as a group from lunch.


I've never heard him use the word "sneaky" before and it was hard not to giggle a bit as the word crossed his lips.


It wasn't that long ago that asking him what had happened each day at school resulted in zero response. In his case it was more of a lack of back + forth communication ability then avoiding the question.


These days when he comes home one of the first things we do together (after the shoes come off and the coat gets hung up) is to open his communication notebook and see what the aides have written about his day. They include activities he participated in, things he struggled with, and what he is working on in the classroom (behaviorally and academically). This is a vital part of helping us understand what's happening at school and has become a way for Simon and I to share together how things went over the course of the day.


On this particular day one of the things I was most thankful for was him simply telling me what had happened even before I read it in the notebook. He was truthful and forthright and he wanted to share even when he had gotten into trouble.


I am sure there will be challenging days ahead (obviously, as there always are), but on this day there was a good solid line of communication happening. I love progress. I celebrate those little (and big) moments.


After he revealed that his star was in yellow we chatted a bit about being sneaky and following the rules. He agreed that he wanted to follow the rules and keep his star in green.


So far, so good.

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76 thoughts

  1. vdalton says…
    09/24/2008

    GREAT STORY!!
    I think being sneaky is just part of being a little boy.
    {vicki}

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. scrapwordsgirl says…
    09/24/2008

    Simon is doing so good. What a sweet story:)
    My son Jackson was always having his "card pulled" at that age. He was one ornery little guy! Now he's nearly 14 and (sadly) grown up a bunch.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Artful Yogi says…
    09/24/2008

    And who isn't eager for recess to begin? How great of you to encourage and celebrate green cards.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Jenny Alfonso says…
    09/24/2008

    What a great story. I also was laughing when Simon said he was sneaky :) I'm so glad he is loves going to school. Congrats on a great conversation!

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. HeatherC says…
    09/24/2008

    Congrats on the progress -- that has to be heartwarming.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Jonnelle says…
    09/24/2008

    Thank you so much for sharing that story!! I just love hearing how Simon is growing and blossoming. My little guy is autistic and is in kindergarten, love it when he tells me bits and pieces of his day - and don't even get me started on the new words, they melt my heart!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Karen Tabor says…
    09/24/2008

    Ali,
    That is such a precious story. Simon is making such progress and I love how open you are to discussing things with him and being so understanding. I taught kindergarten for many years and it is so wonderful to see the communication between home and school. Tell sneaky simon to keep up the good work.

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. jonipossin says…
    09/24/2008

    I love Simon stories! Just wait until you hear the words (hee, hee) that he'll come home with! Your eyes will bug out! So many children hear wild language at home and come to school not knowing that 'those words' are not appropriate.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Karrie Baker says…
    09/24/2008

    He is so stinkin' cute Ali. I don't know how you can keep a straight face when he tells you something like that. LOL I would have been busting a gut over the whole "sneaky" thing. :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Cara says…
    09/24/2008

    Thank you so much for sharing your struggles and accomplishments with Simon. The way you write about his good and bad days really makes me appreciate my own small victories.

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. sue Treiber says…
    09/24/2008

    This is a really cute story, and it's really such normal behaviour!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Anna Aspnes says…
    09/24/2008

    Ella is a green star girl. The world comes to an end when we get anything other than green. Luke on the other hand will likely be on the oppposite end as with anything else. I think we all push the boundaries once in a while and when children do it, it's just another method of learning. Cheers to Simon and progress :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Mary Rogers says…
    09/24/2008

    I can totally picture him being "sneaky" to get a little bit longer recess...the communication is so improved ali! I am excited for both you and simon.
    thanks for sharing his story...I see many more steps forward in the future : )

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Deborah says…
    09/24/2008

    My son had a similar system in kindergarten last year. I became so frustrated with the teacher's focus on the color zones. When Benjamin came home usually the first thing out of his mouth was "I stayed in green!" Or I was in yellow today :( He was more concerned and sometimes obsessed with the colors than with sharing with me what center he worked in that day or what book they read. Ah... it's a struggle to find balance. Continued good luck communicating with Simon and his teachers!

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Nikki says…
    09/24/2008

    Oh yes, the color system, we know it well! My oldest used it in preschool and it was amazing what yellow could do! She now uses a token system in kindergarten and she isn't reacting as well. Talk about sneaky - last night I asked her how tokens might be taken away from kid in class. Her answer was "well, if your Mom sends you to school and tells you that you have to eat all of your lunch, you get a token taken away." So, go Simon, for being so honest about the sneakiness!

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. bev says…
    09/24/2008

    I love watching little boys figure out how to be good people. My son had his many moments of sneaky,yellow star days, and even some red star days, too. It can be a struggle some days trying to help them figure it all out. It's all just part of growing up. Great job.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. amanda says…
    09/24/2008

    Great story. Also, I find it very neat that they use the colours like that. I have never heard of that before. My two (twins) started junior kindergarten this year and I have noticed huge changes from my son as well. You are doing great with simon!

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. JJ Sobey says…
    09/24/2008

    It's a triumph when kids who DON'T struggle with communicating actually tell their parents about a yellow star moment.
    Good for Simon - sounds like he really 'gets it'!

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Panamomma says…
    09/24/2008

    I wasn't around for it, but I am pretty sure that my husband had yellow stars many days and probably a few red ones too - however his mischief is one of his greatest qualities. I think it is what puts a twinkle in his eye. So we struggle with how to handle these situations with our own children. I think we handle it similarly to what you are doing with Simon. Keep them safe, help them learn to function in the world, but don't lose the twinkle in the eye. That picture of Simon shows it all.

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Anne says…
    09/24/2008

    How awesome that Simon told you on his own! I admire your ability to notice and celebrate Simon's progress in your daily interactions. Thanks for sharing it with us!

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. alexandra says…
    09/24/2008

    So cool! Simon's turning into quite the little man - love the photo!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Brené Brown says…
    09/24/2008

    I've had my share of sneaky, yellow star days. And I'm not even talking about my kids.
    Ellen and I always start our after-school check-ins with "pin talk." Did you move your pin (from green to yellow)? Who moved their pins?
    I give Simon a big, old gold star in communicating. Awesome!

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Jessi says…
    09/24/2008

    Oh Lord...I have three boys and yesterday my 1st grader came home with a blue dot...same thing as a yellow star. He didn't tell me and of course I didn't actually look until this morning! He is my best at home and sweetest, but at school he does seem to have problems focusing and with interrupting...bless his heart!
    Pray for us mothers during the school years!
    Jess

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. kristina says…
    09/24/2008

    That's wonderful that he was upfront about being sneaky. Hee hee! I think we're all sneaky from time to time. ;) So sweet and so glad the communicating is going well. Simon is such a cutie patootie pie, Ali! :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Helen says…
    09/24/2008

    Love the story and love how you told it, it's made me smile inside, thinking of all I have to come with my little one (who is just 2 at the moment). I could read your writing all day long ;)

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