Monday, January 4, 2010

Review: I don't Want to Go to School

Yesterday was the last day of winter break. Our two boys had some gift certificates to spend at a local book store. When my husband and I saw I Don't Want to Go to School written and illustrated by Stephanie Blake, we had to get it.

I didn't read the book first and now regret buying it because it's really too young for us. The hero, Simon, seems to be a kindergartner who is afraid to go to school. The guy we were thinking of is eleven and in the fourth grade.

Also, unlike the hero, my guy has autism and his problems with school go way beyond anxiety. (He just doesn't like it, and we're still trying to figure out why.) Anyway, by the end of the story, Simon decides he likes school so much he doesn't want to leave. That is great, but it makes me wish that was the case with my child. He always wants to come home!!!

Don't get me wrong. The book is cute. My six year old liked it a lot when I read it to him, though it seemed a bit young even for him, let alone my eleven year old. I also noticed something a bit off about the book. It's a picky point, but Blake depicts Simon writing his name in cursive on one of the pages. This is something a second or third grader might do, but certainly not a kindergartner on his first day at school! Further, there are signs all over the kindergarten room on one page in the book. All the signs written in cursive. I've been in many a kindergarten room and usually all the signs are printed.

So, that is another thing my son does not have in common with Simon. He might not ever write in cursive. It's hard enough for him to print his name. C1's team at school and I think his problems with school might have to do with writing. My team and I learned about how to solve writing related problems at START. Hopefully, I'll blog about the topic of hand writing soon.

As far as this book goes, it seems most appropriate for young children who are just about to enter primary school (though I like Wemberly Worried, a similar book, by Kevin Henkes a bit better). Blake's pictures are bright and cheerful and the story depicts Simon having a lot of fun at school, but as a mom of older children I wish I had passed on this one for something more age appropriate.


Corrie Howe said...

Thanks for the review. Although, I have to tell you, they were teaching my daughter cursive in pre-school and kindergarten. It wasn't a full curriculum but she did know how to write her name in cursive. I was dumbfounded, because my two older sons did not learn until 3rd grade...same school system and school.

Julie L. said...

Corrie: You are welcome. : ) I kind of wondered if that wasn't the case with the cursive writing.
Thank you for confirming that. They continue to add challenges to preschool and kindergarten, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Am hoping to segue into writing for my next post.

Lynne said...

I'd love to see you write a book to help kids with school reluctance. Moms know best, I bet you have a lot to say. Go for it! Lynne

Marla said...

I don't think M will ever write in cursive either and to be honest I don't even see that as a problem anymore. I know a lot of NT adults who barely remember how to write incursive. I have had to pick our struggles when it comes to handwriting.
I am very fortunate in that right now M likes school. When she was younger it was a huge challenge and like you a mystery to figure out what was going wrong.
Hang in there.

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