Some of you know Caedmon barely made it through the end of school last year. He is our only child who has not been homeschooled (which is so strange when I think about it since we did homeschool for quite a few years).
The kids in our homeschooling years. He was just a baby still (though a big one), not even three.
At the end of his first grade year last year, he was hating school soooooo much! He had a great teacher, a wonderful Christian lady who had been my homestudy teacher years before. Her methods however were more pragmatic and contained. Her way of letting the kids get out their wiggles was to have them all stand and do organized stretching. We almost pulled him out because his attention span was not there, and it was starting to effect his academics. Plus, it was KILLING me to hear him say how he hated school every morning. That works on a parent.
We prayed about pulling him out to homeschool. Making the transition to public was so huge for us that I wanted to make certain it was the right move. My gifts are creativity, not follow through (or academics) so I know by now that this is not plan A unless God says so.
The teacher even suggested that we could pull him out and homestudy him for two weeks. I knew better than to do that. One because he was asking to be homeschooled (not really knowing that it's not getting out of work) and it's not a good habit to give into kids just because they want something. I knew I had to have more certain reasons than this. Two, because as any homeschooling mom knows, two weeks is NOT long enough to get through the honeymoon phase of such a transition. There is one of these when you switch to public also. At some point, any educational process is realized as work you have to stick it out.
So, the prayerful decision was to put him through the character building process of toughing it out. We crawled over that 1st grade finish line and were all relieved when it was summer break.
We knew 2nd grade had some fun prospects. Emma's awesome teacher Mrs.M (who had been her first public teacher after homeschool and a God-send to us all) was to be his teacher. He was excited to go to start, and even more excited to return to school each day.
Then, after the honeymoon phase of the new great teacher wore off, he started to have attention problems again. For him this includes lack of focus, lots of hand raising to try to state random information which may or may NOT be related to the teaching, and drawing on his worksheets. She is really good about giving him time to draw in the day but when he draws on his work, it means he is not focused on it at all.
She cracked me up one time when she showed me one of his math tests. The first page he was power brain, all math work. The second page there was one or two little stars drawn in the upper right hand corner. The third page had some stars and some tiny figures. By the time you got to the last fifth page of the test, he was gone and there were huge full page figures drawn with animated accessories. She laughed with me and it helped me feel better. I love that about her. She really understands that kids have brains that have to get there when they get there and pushing them does not good. Still, she encouraged him to be patient with his hand raising comments, and try to focus on the worksheets.
Well, sure enough, his little brain went through some growth. In the last two months his reading level jumped up a whole year to 3.6 grade level, and he gained the highest scores in the class on language and math. 90 for one and 96 for the other. He has been the first one to get his morning work done (work on the board every morning when they come in) and there are no more drawings on worksheets. This is HUGE for him and I am so relieved.
Caedmon with is 100th's day project (100 Characters) at school this year.
He still loves a day off from school and time with his Lego's and Bakugan, but when he is there he's not out on another planet anymore, he is engaged and learning. His reading amazes me, it has jumped so much.
I think boys just have to go through this. For us, having him home would not have helped him, it would have hurt him. He tends to be a mama's boy being the only boy and the baby of the family. I would have been overwhelmed delivering the reality of doing all the same work here at home only with mommy telling you to sit still and listen. I have a lot of joy that we prayed about this trial as it came and did not make any hasty decisions. He needs to be there being with other boys and being encouraged out of his comfort zone. God knew he would catch up and I'm thankful for the improvement. I'm learning to be more patient with my kids through these growth spurts be they physical, mental or even spiritual. God is teaching me to wait on His working and not always think I will "get-er-done" if I put my messy paws on everything trying to make it right, right now.