Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"Mom.....I don't like school."

Jennica told me tonight that she doesn't like doing "school" with me anymore.  I almost said, "Too bad!" which is what I was thinking.  But I rubbed her back and sounded sympathetic so she would go to sleep.  And tomorrow.........we'll do "school" again.  :)

You daughter made TREMENDOUS social gains in kindergarten.  And really, she made pretty good academic progress, too.  But she's still academically behind.  So......she's attending "Mom's Summer School."  We only work about 15-30 minutes per day and my goals are reasonable!  And she's being heavily rewarded (or bribed, if you prefer).  But I'm specifically working on the areas that are difficult for her, which means she is resistant......and she's letting me know.

I will admit.......its exhausting.  If I push too hard, she quits altogether.  If I don't push hard enough, we won't make any progress.  I don't have any grand illusions that she's going to be a model 1st grader by September, but she needs to be more fluent with several skills or she's going to really struggle.  She might really struggle anyway, but I'm going to feel a whole lot better about it if I've genuinely tried over the summer.  Thankfully, she will move on to first grade with a 1:1 para that can provide her with sensory breaks as needed.  (I'm becoming even more aware how rare it is to have a child with only an SPD diagnosis receive the services that my daughter receives.  Thank you thank you thank you....)

The one area that Jen really needs work???  Oddly enough???  Testing!!!  Seriously!  When put into a 1:1 situation where she needs to tell someone what she knows, she turns into a little mouse, hunches her shoulders, and refuses to speak above a whisper.  This is an extroverted, outgoing kid!  A sensory-seeker.......a swing from the rafters type kid.  But not in test situations.  So anyone that doesn't know her well and observe her in a regular classroom setting ends up thinking she knows zilch.  Which is NOT the case.  So.......I'm trying to teach her to "test".......which basically amounts to being able to sit with a "stranger" across a table and point out ABCs and 123s on a piece of paper when asked.  She's fully capable.....but dragging it out of her is another issue!

And lastly......I'm compiling a list of "changes" for her IEP.  One of my "beefs"???  Our school district is standards-based grading, and her PE teacher gave her a well-below-standard grade for PE.  Part of me says........"Who cares?  Its PE!"  And another part of me is horrendously annoyed.  This is a child that can count to 17 while hopping on one foot (without ever putting the other foot down).  She can throw a ball.  She can run and dribble a soccer ball.  She has NO gross motor delays.  The reason she got a below-standards grade?  She can't function well in a noisy gymnasium with a busy group of kids!  She has auditory and visual issues that make that environment impossible!  But you know what?  She's there!  She is managing to stay in that environment and is learning to tolerate it!!  She needs to be recognized for that accomplishment, because its HUGE!!! 

Okay......enough of my ranting...........being a schoolteacher is hard work.  'Nuf said.

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