We met with E’s grade 3 teacher and the learning support teacher on Monday afternoon.
We were fully aware that E was behind in reading, writing and spelling, which is why we had her assessed this past summer by an independent learning group.
What we did not fully realize was just how far behind she is. Not only can she only just read at the grade one level, her level of frustration is so intense that she has been having daily blow ups at her teacher. She completely shuts down and says she can’t do it, even with things we know she can do like basic math.
Her teacher, bless her heart, has taken it in stride and is learning strategies to get E to calm down and proceed.
However, they are recommending a whole host of testing and assessments from everything to having her vision checked to a referral to a pediatrician. They are also asking for a psychological analysis be done as well as putting her back to grade two.
When I look at my child, I see a normal little girl who struggles with reading. Not a child who needs to analyzed by a psychologist. I know her strengths and I am certainly not blind to her weaknesses. Yet, this is the third recommendation. They recommended it in the summer when she was assessed, the new school recommends it and we found out she was on some sort “watch list” at her public school for it.
A “watch list”. Watch list for what? Doesn’t that sound just a wee bit creepy to you? I know she gets frustrated. Haven’t I been tearing my hair out over the sibling bickering this summer? But frankly, it all just seems to normal to me. Maybe I’ve just lived with her outbursts too long.
The downside is that they want us to get her private assessed as going through the government funded channels can take upwards of two years. There are that many learning disabled kids in the system. However, we could be looking at as much as $1400.00. This from us who are just stretching ourselves to pay for the private school on top of her extra assistance classes after school.
With all that extra driving around we need to put our second car back on the road but we need insurances and new breaks and it just goes on and on.
We haven’t made any firm decisions yet but the school want quick answers. I know in my heart it makes sense to put her back a grade because there is no way she is capable of the grade 3 work she’s being given. Yet, I’m going to have to face this little girl who already feels badly because she hasn’t learned what she knows she should have by now and tell her that she’s not going to be in grade 3 anymore but grade 2. How’s that going to help her self esteem?
Should we keep her slogging away at the difficult work until she completely shuts down? I don’t think that’s fair to her at all.
Like I said, in all senses she just seems normal to me. Of course being a mom, I can’t help feel guilty. If we hadn’t been so busy and stressed these last three years, if I had more patience and was more supportive and understanding. If I had of worked with her more (without getting frustrated) and not just left it up to the school. Then maybe she wouldn’t be so extreme in her reactions, to learning. Maybe she wouldn’t feel stupid.
Regardless, she’s my girl and I love her.
This year is all about new beginnings for us as a family. A new beginning at a new church, new school and even a renewed zeal for our faith. I thank God for directing us to this school that can see my girl as a whole person and not just as a problem that needs to be dealt with. They’ve set the ball rolling in one week of school that they haven’t even touched on in three years of public school.
This isn’t a bash on all public schools. You have to admit that all school districts are not created equal and in some places there are just too many needy kids and not enough resources. I get that I do. I just wish I had been more informed.