Eight days down...that's right people - we've made it through 8 days of a new year and my house is still standing and my family is all alive.
The beginning of a new year is often hectic around here. Lots of new activities start and many plans seem to come together. I actually like the madness a bit. I love to see my kids active and 'doing'...although we are still deep in winter (what is with this cold...10 degrees for a high is NOT something I enjoy), it starts to feel like a melt is happening at my house. I know the holidays are important and such an integral part of family life - but really...it's basically just a time for me to lose track of what day of the week it is and often, pray for school to start again!
I was happy to see my kids jump right back into the thick of things - bringing homework home on day one of going back...that's what I like to see. However, it underlined, yet again, that DS2 is falling behind. I'm back to fighting the good fight. I went to see the principal where I was told that it's good for a parent to 'let their child fail' - to which I replied:
GREAT - NOW TELL SOMEONE TO ACTUALLY FAIL HIM!!!!!!!
There was no response. It seems that to leave no child behind means that no child has to learn what should be learned. I'm frustrated. I look at his work and wonder how he's 'average'? I was also told (in 'school talk') that I had expectations that were too high for him. This was after I pointed out that not one week this year has he copied his 15 spelling words from the board to his planner correctly. Not once. Often they are so mispelled that I can't even decipher what word it might be. So, the answer seems to be to set the bar lower...maybe he can only be responsible for writing 10 words correctly...and I should, apparently, share these lowered expectations with him.
Yes, I know that parenting a child with 'special needs' is different - but I do not agree with lowering the bar to the level he wants to achieve. I just wonder when it became wrong to want your child to succeed. The principal seemed to think that I was talking about this behind DS2's back...NOPE. We are honest with him - he knows what we expect. We give him great kudos for doing his best - which is not A's all the time - and that is just fine. Seriously. I just want him to learn to achieve...something...anything. Instead he sits at the bar and tells me "I just have to turn in the paper. It doesn't matter at all if any of them are right".
I can't argue with that because it's true. He's been turning in blatantly wrong homework all year and NOT ONCE has anyone but me noticed. It gets stamped "practice" and sent back home. So, how do I sell that to him? How do I convince him that it's important to do your best when no one else seems to care? How?
Egads...I sound like a negative Nelly. I don't like that.
So, the good is that DD started a new dance class and really liked it - so she's tumbling and dancing through the rest of winter/spring - highly anticipating her first season of competitive softball coming in August. DS2 is ready for his winter indoor flag football league and upcoming track season and DS1 is playing basketball, slightly overlapping the start of his last baseball season before trying out for high school. AND - we registered for middle school for DS2 and high school registration is next week for DS1. See...so much fun...and weirdly, I'm a little sad to see it all going so fast.
We are debating our options for DS2 right now. DH and I are supporting each other through this. The goal is to find a school environment that will give him more one on one instruction, hold him more accountable and give him one more year to gain maturity (really, I am not excited about the concept of him in a locker room with 50 boys that are heads taller than him...not worried about him...worried for THEM)...that means public middle school is not the best option and we know that. We'll figure it out and have some things percolating! At least there is something out there...I just have to find it!