Friday, October 24, 2008

Thankful For Small Glitches

For some unknown reason Blogger was down yesterday just when I was on the edge myself. I needed to vent. So I went to Word and typed there. After the tears, frustration and illogical thought patterns all subsided I reread what I had written. I no longer feel this low, but I decided to post it anyway just in case anyone else ever feels this way. You will get through it!

And yes, the boy is still alive and still in our favor, and no, the boy will not be standing at the bus stop Monday morning waiting for "big yella". On to yesterday...

"Something is just not clicking with my boy. I have been homeschooling him since the beginning (he is now in third grade) and his light bulb has yet to “turn on” when it comes to reading. He reminds me of a halogen bulb that is still warming up, but not quite to its full potential. I know it is there. I apparently have no clue how to cultivate his abilities.

In the beginning I thought it must be my curriculum, or the way I was teaching. If that were the case (and it probably had something to do with it) the girls should be following K.Z.’s footsteps. They are not. Xena is actually surpassing K.Z.’s skills in school at the present. We start school and she zooms through it in 3 hours max. Usually it only takes her about two and I LOVE teaching her. Lately K.Z. has been dragging out his lessons for hours. I am about ready to crack with him.

We joined a cyber charter school last month to get some direction for him and a little more accountability. The curriculum is excellent, the teacher he has been assigned seems very helpful, but I am still in tears by the end of the day with threats of eternal exile in his room, hanging over K.Z’s head. When do I admit defeat?

The only next logical step is brick and mortar school and that thought makes me cry even more. But what if it is the missing link that he needs? The biggest problem is that since he is not on grade level, he would either be held back or put in “special ed” classes to help him catch up. Both would be absolutely belittling to him and frankly, it would set him up to be picked on. Mr. Clean has brought the hammer down however. This is either a benchmark year for him (attitude wise when it comes to school) or he is on the bus. Since private school is not an option financially, he would have no choice but to go to public school.

I am absolutely beside myself with this. We do have great days (yesterday was one of them and this morning was as well, until it crashed and burned this afternoon), but then they are followed by horrible ones where I get nothing accomplished whatsoever at home except for trying to get school done through tears and anger (both mine and his). If our family actually does expand by one more, how does this all balance out?

I do not want to paint K.Z in a bad light. He is a good kid with a type A personality. If he can’t do it perfectly, then he isn’t going to do it at all. Which in turn, starts the flow of tears and anger in both of us. The little ones get neglected and the day goes to pot. I am rambling so my thoughts probably are not terribly coherent, but I had to “vent” a little in a community I felt would understand. Forgive my ranting."


Mamma D said...

Even though you homeschool, you still have testing services available to you through the PS - the cyber school should have info as they have to provide the services as well. We used these with Big Brother and they were very helpful. I found out through them that he has a "Visual Processing" problem (mild dyslexia), as well as a physical problem that his older brother and I also have. If something like that were the case there are plenty of supplemental things you could use with your curriculum to help work it out. There may be an underlying issue that is keeping him from those positive results. Let me know if you want any other info... I was on a very similar path as you last year. We are doing much better now.

Amy's homeschool blog said...

Oh. Do I know how you feel. And we have talked about this. I wish I had an answer. But I would say just keep trying. If you ever want to swap kids and lessons, let me know. He can come here and I can do some lessons and the next time you can have Ellio or Quin( And The Good Lord only knows which kid would be easier ,lol!!) But I am MORE than happy to try that out!!
I am in the same place with Quin and often Elli. Quin hates to read. Elli just takes forever. Quin is passing Elli in math too.. It sure does make homeschooling hard when a younger sibling is passing the older one. But that is life.
Anyway... I'm here if you need to talk!

macokjc said...

I do totally understand your frustration, and have been there myself. What I'm going to say might not be popular, but I hope you understand my heart. Sending our two oldest to school was the best possible thing we could have done. It got to the point where I felt that I could not adequately give everybody everything that they needed. Even though I felt like something of a failure, I realized that homeschool was not the best solution for my children at the time. My son needed to be in a class - and even though there are other kids - he needed a teacher who was just a teacher, and a mom who was just a mom. The oldest two are completely thriving, and the youngest two are enjoying mom's attention.
I know that several private schools offer scholarships - maybe you could look into it. Also, growing up in a Christian school and being a teacher, I was somewhat anti-public school. Since then, I have realized that they simply have the resources that other schools don't. There are good public schools, and bad private schools. There are good teachers and bad teachers. My best suggestion would be not to totally dismiss it until you have explored all of the option. If you can, talk to the principal of the schools - find out what they would do w/ his case. Have him tested for placement. The results might surprise you. It doesn't mean you have to place him there - and no decision is final. When people asked us how long we would homeschool - I alwasy said "Until at least tomorrow." I did not want to dedicate myself to something for years if it was not working for the family or child. Right now our son is taken out of class for extra help w/ dyslexia-type problems. It doesn't bother him in the least.

Mrs. Sam said...

Sister...NEVER admit defeat. I (you) can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you. My son is 10 and the bulb lit a bit last year and this year it's on. He still struggles decoding words but until your little guy is at least 10 I wouldn't put the pressure on him or your self. There may be something there, but time and maturtiy help the 'feelings' get through in great tact. There is one thing I did last year that I think made all the difference. We read every book together that we could. I would read to him, so he could hear meter and tone and inflection, and he would read to me and I would help him not make him struggle for the word, but give it to him. Reading became something he liked because there was no pain attached. I hold a pencil in my hand and circle or underline prefixes, suffixes, blends and the like. A silent 'e' gets and arrow up and over to it's vowel. What ever it took, I was willing to drop all subjects to get reading mastered. We are not all going to be great at every subject or master readers. It's okay to not be perfect, and taking the pressure off both of you could be the best thing you can do. Besides, who dosn't love cuddling up and having a story read to them. Try some books on tape with the book to follow along. Once he's hooked, look out, you'll have a hard time getting the books put down. Believe me, we went from Magic Tree House to The Hobbit in one year. It CAN be done.