Much has changed over the summer. I wrote in the previous post about how busy it’s been, but it has also been a time of discovery. I recently enrolled myself in the local junior college. I have arranged my school schedule so that I will be in a classroom for only 6 hours a week. (Which leaves me taking my Intro to Statistics class on line, yikes!) When I tell people that I am going back to college, the first question out of their mouth is always, “how are you going to homeschool?” Well, I’m not. I really have mixed feelings about sending the boy back to school for Kindergarten. There wasn’t the big growth and developement spurt that I had hoped would happen over the summer. There wasn’t an amazing ADHD medicine or cure discovered, we tried yet another stimulant medication, and it made him not be able to go to sleep for two days. I didn’t teach him to read, though we did some flash cards and he’s got his upper and lower case ABC’s down pat. I read to him some of “The Magic Treehouse” series, and lots of nature books and magazines. We did some rythem games, which are said to stimulate parts of the brain that need to be stimulated in the ADHD child. But mostly, it was just summer vacation. We were outdoors often, but the mosquitoes or the sun or the rain caused us to have plenty of days where we played too many video games, and watched too much tv. I wasn’t as industrius with the boy as I had hoped to be.
In a way, I feel like I’m throwing my son to the wolves -so to speak- by sending him to the local public school. Not that there is anything wrong with public school, I just am afraid that this year will be the same as last year, and he’s going to be spending more time outside of the classroom, trying to get himself under control, than actually sitting in the classroom and learning. I am actually pretty stressed about it. He is still the same squirmy, falling out of his seat over and over, can’t make eye contact or pay attention, kid that was unsuccessful at school last year. The whole point of requesting the Positive Behavioral Assessment was to get the boy the help he needs to be able to stay in school for an entire day, and actually learn the criteria. The results of the assessment were that he would have anywhere from 1/2 hour to 3 hours with a special education teacher every day. I don’t feel that this will be enough, what will happen with the rest of the time? All I know, is that my son has a right to an education, and I will push for the help that he needs. The school is going to hate me. I will be there on the first day of school, requesting a review of his education plan and requesting an Occupational Therapist to do a “sensory profile” on the boy. (I am absolutely positive that he is very sensitive to noises, lights, large spaces, he has been since infancy… which is one of the reasons why I wanted to home school him in the first place.)
Why am I giving the public school system a try, rather then home schooling? Social, social, social! Many homeschooling moms would beg to differ. There are all kinds of organizations for moms to get their homeschooled children with other homeschooled children. I have researched and found some in our area, but I have not been able to contact any of these moms over summer vacation, so I am not positive that he will be able to have social interaction on a daily basis. Over the summer I have slowly watched my son’s social skills decline. I have watched him “build a bird’s nest” at the base of a slide and then proceed to yell at the children to not slide down the slide and ruin his nest. It took me several minutes to convince him to build it out of the way, and to tell him that it’s not nice to yell at the children, and that the slide is for everybody. Then he built the nest behind the slide and yelled at the kids that ran by his nest…*sigh. The other reason is schedule, schedule, schedule! I try to have us on a schedule, but I have found that when mommy and son spend every minute of the day together, son tends to buck up against mommy’s authority…almost constantly. I have tried the sing-song voice, the “lets make it fun” technique, the “it’s 10:00, this is what time we do ___, every day,” and the offer of rewards. I have found out that if it’s not fun for him, it’s going to be torture for me. So for the time being, I am going to allow the trained professionals to do what they’re trained for. Wish us all luck, I think we’re going to need it.