Thursday, March 3, 2011

A New Journey - The Daughter's Tale

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7
My children are a gift.  I like to remember this when they are driving me to distraction.  I was told before I got married that I would never have children.  We talked about it and decided that if the Lord wanted us to have children he would provide a way.  So it was definitely a surprise when I became pregnant a mere 3 months after getting married. 

Even as a itty bitty, my beautiful daughter was precocious, always on the move, full of energy, showing no fear; cute in a 2 year old, annoying in a preschooler.   Yes, the parent – teacher conferences started in preschool.  After kindergarten her teacher wanted to hold her back because of developmental issues (she wasn’t developed enough).  The school asked that we have her tested.  She was diagnosed with ADHD.  And, of course drugs were suggested.  My husband and I made a compromise, no drugs, but a small, Christian school with loving teachers and tolerant classmates. 

School progressed.  She loved it, she struggled with it.  Hours of homework, even in the early grades, because the classroom was too much for her.  Poor testing, low grades, although not failing.  It was not completely hopeless; teachers tried, and there was one on one speech class, and for the most part, her classmates and friends were supportive.  She was not alone in her struggle, but every year, June came with a sigh of relief. 

Fourth grade was trying for a number of reasons, and the Christian School tuition was becoming a strain on the budget.  We talked of taking her out and trying homeschooling, but then the money showed up, so we decided to give it one more try.  Something nagged me in the back of my brain.  At the end of the fourth grade year, I had had a conference with the speech teacher. She was so positive about the Zippy's progress and how  engaged she was in her class.  Then the classroom teacher joined us for the last few minutes of the meeting, it was a totally different story; Zippy was distracted, not working, not engaged.  The light bulb was starting to dawn, maybe the classroom wasn’t the right environment for my daughter.

In fifth grade we hit bottom.  Up to three hours of homework a night, failing grades and growing frustration on her part and ours marked the days and weeks.  What she hadn’t learned in the earlier grades was becoming obvious, but with the pressure of assignments bearing down we didn’t have time to redress the issues.  Then came that fateful Tuesday night, when it all came to a head.  Screaming, crying, the final realization came that we had to do something different, and we had to do it now. 

My husband and I talked, prayed, talked with the daughter and decided, with a heavy heart, to take her out of the school and try homeschooling.  I was guilt ridden. I had put so much of myself into this school.  I felt like I was abandoning them. She was relieved.  That sigh that came in June, now was here in January.  And every person, without exception, told me that I needed to do what was right for my child.  So I did.

Every day isn’t perfect, but it is easier on all of us.  I’m still getting up to speed and subtly testing her to see where her strong and weak points are, but we are making progress, even in the short time we have been doing this improvement has been made.  I am encouraged, and so is she.  Now we are on a new path, pursuing a new adventure.

1 comment:

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