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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Weaknesses Vs. Strengths

I've had an interesting week and a half. There's been lots going on behind the scenes over here. Much of it including sick children and a husband who's been feeling under the weather.

We're on the mend this week (Thank the Lord!) but we've been the kind of busy that has us barely holding the family routine together. Needless to say, chores have suffered. The laundry is piled high, the kitchen needs mopping, and the pool turned green from the rains we've had. And I'm to tired to care much about it today.

It was report card week for our children. ALL of them show improvement over the last trimester. We were thrilled and celebrated with big ice cream sundaes!

However something was communicated to us which we had known, but hadn't known to the fullest extent.

One of our children is significantly delayed in language arts right now. By about a whole grade.

I was well aware of the struggle for the two years I home schooled. I knew there were some delays, and had asked about them but never received a response that indicated concern. This same student, unfortunately has had THREE teachers over the course of the year. One was injured shortly after school began, one recently left for reasons unknown to the parents since it was never told to us directly (she was the one I ask talked with about my concerns) The newest one seems to be the best since she is the first to really communicate with us so far.

At this point I am not sure if the entire class is behind or just our student. Regardless we're been working overtime to try to help boost our child's skills. This includes after school tutoring and working at home at night for about an hour after that. It's been quite intensive. So far this student has been a willing participant but I keep wondering how long it will take for her to tire out.

As a mother it's difficult to watch one of my children struggle while the other two school-aged siblings sail right on through, ahead of most of their peers. I'm so thankful our student who struggles isn't insecure about it (for now. I PRAY that it stays that way.) Dustin and I try often to highlight the concept that we are well pleased with our child's best efforts and that we never compare her to anyone else. We like to draw attention to the idea that she was created for a specific purpose, one that gave her talents and strengths all her own. We try to comfort her by explaining that our weaknesses are those areas in our lives where we are able to experiences God's grace and provision the most.

My mother, having been held back to repeat second grade, has strong feelings about keeping our student behind. She says she never felt the weight of the difference until she was held back, and that it created major insecurities in her which took years to overcome. My mom told me recently that a friend (who was her same age) asked her why she wasn't in their year book. My mother felt embarrassed all over again to have to respond by informing her friend that her picture could be found in the junior class section.

I am not sure how things will turn out for our student. We are prayerfully considering what to do about next year. So far the school has not mentioned repeating the grade. I am requesting a conference with the teacher and principal ASAP. I'll let you know how that goes.


Sassy Granny ... said...

It's a rugged challenge for parent and student alike. Our youngest had similar struggles; and holding him back in the 3rd grade was actually a very positive thing. He was relieved at not having to strive to keep up; and we were relieved to see him flourish at a pace best suited to him.

That's not to say he ever became a student. While he's now 36 and maintains a significant job as Regional Manager for a large commercial flooring manufacturer, he opted out of graduating from H.S. (Lots of reasons ...). We were so-o-o concerned for/about him, but I needn't have worried.

While our other two stood tall in the academic arena, this younger one did not. Yet ... he stands tall in ways hard to explain; a man that's made the best & most of his life in other ways.

Praying peace & wisdom as you ponder options.


Stacey said...

I'll be praying for wisdom and understanding for all of you! I've seen my sister in law struggle over holding back one of her little guys. So far he seems to be adjusting well and feels great about the choice they made! It's hard for any parent to have to decide these things though!

Gina said...

Recently I have learned that 1 in 5 people have dyslexia, and thought maybe you should check out the symptoms. Maybe this could be what your child has since you said the delay is with language arts. My son has many of the symptoms, and the public school never caught it. Half of his schooling was at home, and I knew that language just didn't click for him easily, but I never knew why. Now I know.