Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sorry This Has Taken Over...

the blog and my entire life (waking and sleeping... which is hardly ever).

Last night I heard Kid screaming and wailing in her bed.  It was so unusual that I thought Baby must have been having a weird tantrum with Mr F about going to bed (not as unusual).

After awhile Kid came out and said she's done, she wants to drop out of school.

I don't know why I'm conflicted, I guess I don't like to quit things either.

Or I don't like to have to confront the teacher and principal and say I'm removing her (ding ding ding).

On the one hand she is doing more (and better) than I ever thought possible.

On the other hand I told her last night ...

"I think you might have a learning disability"

and she said "Oh, I've always thought I had a disability."

And I said "What do you mean?"

And she said "I don't know." (of course).

And then I pressed her because I really do need to know what she means and what she thinks.

She said "I have always thought that."

"For how long?"

"Ever since I was ever in school."

"But in what ways?"

"I take much longer than everyone else to do things and I never understand what I'm supposed to do."

Which for a minute just try and imagine what that feels like every single day.

And after reflecting on everything I know about her school history and with working with her at home... I think that that pretty much sums it up.

I put her in this school because she got a perfect score on the entrance exam and so I thought "good, it won't be too hard for her!"

BUT the entrance exam was given one on one, and when she didn't understand the directions the principal EXPLAINED them to her.  (which is what I've been able to do for her at home).

Without that crucial piece in the puzzle, as hard as it is to understand, she does not understand written instructions.  BELIEVE me... I cannot tell you how many times I would get extremely frustrated with her while homeschooling that she hadn't followed directions correctly (that I thought were pretty self explanatory).  I always chalked it up to her not bothering to read them or pay attention.  It never occurred to me that someone who can read and comprehend 6 grades above her level could not read and comprehend 2 part directions.  It seems crazy... but I now think that is the crux of it.

Well, anyway, I am torn between get her tested and seeing the recommendations and seeing if the school will implement.  And taking her out and just implementing them myself.  I worry that we have gotten an extremely stubborn teacher who is going to dismiss that this is even a possible disorder.  I'd really hate to force Kid to suffer through however many months it will take to get a diagnosis and then possibly not get the desired result from the teacher anyway.

But I also want to say how impressed I am with Kid.  She has really risen to a very difficult challenge.  She had to learn all of the books of the Old Testament and she did it (on top of homework mind you!) in 3 freaking days!  She also has been getting A+s on her math homework and spelling tests.  When she understands the directions she is clearly at the top of her class.  BUT the work they do in class she is often getting 50-75% correct and when I review it, it is ALWAYS because she didn't follow the directions not because of a lack of comprehension on the topic.  Unfortunately, she has a teacher that seeing something done incorrectly does not explain the directions and give you a chance to correct it... she marks them all wrong and that is the end of it.  In my gut I don't think this is a teacher that is going to work with us... I think she is a teacher that we would have to live through.

And for the record I don't really believe in that.


Brenda said...

Will keep you guys in my heart while you figure all this out. I left more than my share of comment yesterday...

On another topic, I wondered if you have thoughts on this:

Hugs to you.

Mrs Furious said...

well things are getting pushed toward pulling her out...

today she was humiliated in front of the class during a math game where you have to solve the problem up on the board and the last one to solve it loses. She froze and just stood there... twice... the teacher never intervened just let it happen AGAIN. Kid says this has happened 10 times in the past 3 weeks. I had no idea that was happening. I really can't allow for her to made to feel inadequate and shamed like that.

Nutmeg said...

Thinking and feeling for you guys while you work through it. Not bored here, just hoping you get the solutions to the problems... is it possible to try to work with the teacher, then pull her out for the year if she doesn't work with you.. then try again next year with the next teacher?

I can totally relate to the understanding thing, related to reading. My problem was not as pronounced as Kid's, and I didn't really notice until College... when I was able to skip classes and I tried to rely on READING notes and textbooks and journal articles to convey meaning and information to me. Turns out I did so well in high school because I had to be in the room and hear the teacher speak (even if I was barely paying attention)... I have to read something three or four or more times to understand it. It took nearly failing 6 different college classes before I figured out if I don't go and sit and listen to lectures, I will fail.

I experienced my first weird thing with Eli (who DEFINITELY has some hand/writing issues) yesterday. He was supposed to color pictures that had matching letters in a row of three pictures. When I asked him to just show me the matches beforehand he pointed them all out correctly with no problem and no pausing. Then he immediately sat down to color the matches and messed them all up. Then of course, he flipped out, threw himself on the ground and cried because he messed up his paper.

I can't wait for more of this! I am crossing my fingers that the obvious kinks he has get worked out, or that he has as much heart and stamina as Kid does (I don't think he will)

Nutmeg said...

Oh poor kid. :(

Kellie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kellie said...

I was tested for a learning disability 3 times, once in each elem, middle, and high school. I guess ADD wasn't really something they tested for at that time. My parents had hired tutors, had me tested for learning disabilities, done everything they knew to do. But, finally in high school I had an Algebra teacher that really advocated for me. She watched me struggle and knew it was beyond me not 'trying'.
The psychologist that tested me actually came and watched me (unbeknownst to me!) and said she could tell even without testing me that I had ADD. She tested me and was correct. I started meds, but I don't know that they helped much at that point. My long term memory was below average and my short term way above average. When I would take a written test and do poorly on it, but given that same test orally I would make an A. That was the only thing that made a difference and fortunately a few of my teachers were willing to do that for me. It sucks when you have a teacher that won't.
I also don't know what your laws are there, but my daughter was in private school and her teacher told me the public school system still had to provide testing etc. I was surprised and she said why are you surprised, you pay taxes. So, it could be totally different there, but might be worth looking into.

Hope you find some resolution for her soon. Reading about this makes me feel bad for both of you! And that making her stand in front of the class mess, shame on that teacher!

Brenda said...

The math game sounds awful. Poor Kid. Shame is never an appropriate motivator. Ugh.

Mrs Furious said...

We definitely can get her tested through our district. There is a debate about whether that testing is going to be as thorough and helpful as getting a full neuro psych done. Yes, I've thought about talking with the teacher and having them test her (they use the district people) and seeing how we could accommodate her. But, honestly, after this afternoon I'm pretty upset with the teacher and don't think it could possible resolve into a healthy supportive learning environment. Kid's been having breakdowns all afternoon... it's just too much for her now. She was doing a very good job of sucking up the bad for the first couple weeks but as it goes on I think she's kind of lost her resolve to keep that up.

hmm... that sounds a lot like Kid's early schooling behaviors. She tore up or trashed a lot of mistakes. With time she's gotten much better about that and only freaks out and ruins things if she's really stressed. She just did it on a writing assignment, but she'd obviously been pushed to her limit. That type of thing is really common in perfectionists.

for the love! I don't even have words for my disappointment about that. On top of that she came home with a writing project that must be done in cursive... didn't we just get an accommodation for that?! Apparently it doesn't apply to this assignment?! So, I think I'm right in my pegging of this teacher. I think she'll try to bend or ignore any accommodation we agree to.

Julie Box said...

Oh I am so sorry you Kid are going through this. I can empathize. My 3rd grade son is in a private Christian school and we are experiencing the same problems. He does not understand what is being asked of him in written directions. But he is not as self aware as Kid and he doesn't know that he doesn't understand. I am sure he has some type of LD, along with his ADD and OCD, which he is medicated for both. He was tested in public school in first grade and there wasn't enough of a discrepancy. I spoke with a drs office today about the neuropsych eval and I think we will pursue it. I haven't spoken to his teacher yet because I wanted to start at least one school year thinking everything will be Ok, even when I know it won't. I am not sure how his teacher will respond and what she will accommodate. My gut tells me to pull him out and homeschool. He loves school and doesn't worry at all about it...just argues with me about homework...because he doesn't understand that he doesn't understand. I worry about this all.the.time. It would definitely be less stress for me to pull him out. I hope Kid feels better. This grown-up stuff sucks!

Mrs Furious said...

Julie Box,

" I haven't spoken to his teacher yet because I wanted to start at least one school year thinking everything will be Ok, even when I know it won't."
yes! Now I think that plan kind of backfired on us with this teacher. I didn't go into her anxiety or other issues since I was really hoping that it would magically not happen at this school (hello wth was I even thinking?!). I'm not sure that being up front would have helped (it didn't in PS) but now I think the teacher has had too much time to firm up who she thinks has the problem (me!) and is out to prove a point with me (and Kid).
wow we're living parallel lives. You should come over and stress/obsess with me ;)
I felt just like this when we tried PS for 2nd grade and it ATE ME UP until I finally pulled her out at Thanksgiving. This feels the same and I think that homeschooling is the healthier choice (for her and me!). All of this consumes my life and then the homework consumes all of our family time. It totally sucks. Homeschooling was much less stress and I know that the education was better. She's becoming more and more miserable about it but still is on the fence. We have set a one month deadline (I really don't want to keep paying if it isn't a better situation!) and if things haven't improved, or she isn't really happy socially enough to make this shit worthwhile then we'll take her out. 60 days is definitely long enough to know how things are going.
Good luck to you and your son!! I know it's so hard to know what to do.

Kiki said...

Just for the record I care very much what is happening in your life and if this is what is going on and you are trying to find your way....then I want to hear about it. I hope you're not apologizing for writing about your life because it is why I'm here. You are amazing and this fight that you're in to find the best solution for Kid....I am interested.

That said I'm always upset when I hear that a "Christian" school is acting in an un-Christ-like manner. As a Christian (I know it's unpopular but it's true) I know there are schools out there that are wonderful, warm and's just a shame this is a terrible representation. Shaming is NEVER ok and I will go to my grave shouting that!

Keep fighting Mrs. F, we're all cheering you on and believe that you'll find your way!!! And lots of love to Kid!!

Mrs Furious said...

thank you :)

The principal and K teacher (husband and wife actually) are the two most gentle loving people. Of course they were a primary contacts when applying to the school. I think we probably have the worst teacher in the school. Ugh. It's really an unfortunate and heartbreaking turn of events. I had really believed this would be a perfect fit for her :(

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