Monday, September 10, 2012


Last week was.

There are several factors at play: an old school teacher, much more rigorous academics than I had anticipated (or think is developmentally appropriate), and then there is the OCD factor.

Any one of those things could create too much homework... all of them?... well it's created a nightmare.

Kid wants to go to school, she just likes to be in that setting around large groups of kids.

I think it makes it easier for her to socialize when it's A) consistent, as in every day and B) organized activities so you don't have to work as hard to interact.

Homeschooling went very well for us.  It was a great fit for us as a family.  It had amazing academic results for Kid, since her OCD doesn't flare up as much when she isn't anxious.  But homeschooling has never been the perfect social fit for her.

While there are numerous (more than numerous... overwhelming even) social opportunities and extracurricular classes for homeschoolers where we live.... if you have social anxiety seeing people once a week doesn't break that down.  Even if you went to one every single day (and we did) you don't get the constant presence of the same kids in your everyday life.  It's just different.  Kid knows that about herself.  If she is in school full time she has the best chance of having a GOOD time when she is with her classmates.  If the activity is once a week she doesn't have time to break through her anxiety and she isn't as comfortable and doesn't have as much fun.

Kid is amazing, in that at 9 years of age she completely understands herself.

So, last week she had 2.75 hours of homework on Tuesday, 1.5 hours on Wednesday, and 2.36 hours on Thursday (that's with me foraging one assignment and dictating another.... which I don't take lightly but I also think things had entered into a level of torture that was inappropriate).

Kid wants to go to school so badly that she'll do this.  She'll torture herself and sacrifice all down time, play dates, extracurriculars, and family time.

It's heartbreaking how badly she wants this.

This thing that is such a bad match for her learning style.

At some point we have to make a decision about what is in her best interest as a whole being.

It feels ironic that we want to say "You can't go to school, it's not a healthy choice"... about school... not eating junk food or riding your bike without a helmet or watching TV all day.

It's hard to hold your sobbing daughter on the couch while she accepts that this is too hard for her... not everyone else.... but her.

That she isn't like the other kids.

She can't have the one thing that she really wants.

"I can't learn that way."  Kid whispers out between sobs.

To make everything more convoluted is that she is still getting all As and Bs.  The work is NOT too hard for her. Which is partly why the teacher is not willing to make any long lasting accommodations for her. Even the Bs were 100% correct just not completed in the way the teacher expects (but had not issued clear directions for... trust me... I can't figure out the expectations)... which adds another layer of frustration when you spend 2 hours on your homework get all of the answers correct and still get your work marked down!  The problem is the amount of work being assigned and the level of independence expected of the students to manage that workload.  Kid just can't keep track of that much work and manage her time during her day... and I don't think it's even developmentally appropriate to expect that.

This week we're allowed to have her print all of her work at school and at home and see if this allows her to get more work accomplished at school.  The cursive has been a real OCD trigger and she'll often erase a word 3 times until it's all perfect and she's obsessed with writing it as small as she can (smaller than typed font) and she said she just can't let it go.  We've also been given a 1 hour homework time limit.  After an hour whatever she hasn't finished should be exempt from grading (I think).  So, we'll see how this week goes.  If it helps hopefully the teacher will be more open to letting us keep these changes.

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