... 5 very excited children started school for the first time. Up until this point we had only homeschooled. This year, we decided to do something different. There are a variety of reasons why.
We knew there would be challenges.
Jacob (Tall one on the far right) was supposed to get an IEP. He was assigned a case manager and a special ed teacher prior to the school year starting. He needs some modifications to his school work ... and with a few adjustments, he can do everything. His challenges we knew would come from social adjustments. And sure enough, we had some difficulties in that area - including some major bullying. But we got that handled and the rest of the year went smoothly. I CAN report, however, that as of today, he still has NO IEP. (groan). He'll be headed to 6th grade this next year. He is very proud of the friends he made.
Kaley - in the pink shirt. Finished 4th grade with the most amazing teacher EVAH! We knew there would be some challenging academic subjects ... and they were. But she has "intelligences" that don't show up in academic arenas. This little girl has some amazing gifts and she is going to be doing great in life - whatever she chooses to do! She says when she grows up, she wants to do "Nothing ... just like Mama"! LOL We figured her challenges would be in the area of health. And while she DID miss quite a few school days due to her special need, we were thrilled at how many days she was actually able to make. She's headed to 5th grade.
Sam - in the middle, just finished 2nd grade. He pretty much held his own this year. He loved going to school. He easily made friends. He was popular with students and teachers. His teacher even made the comment about how Sam could light up his day with his smile. He was rarely in trouble (even very few warnings) and loved every minute of school. He's a math whiz. He's headed to 3rd grade.
Luke - in the blue shirt was our 1st grader. He has some challenges emotionally and physically but did a lot better than we thought he would do as well. We knew academically he would do great but it's the other areas that can swallow him up sometimes. I gave his teacher one of his secret motivations ... CANDY ... and kept her well stocked. And sure enough, he worked hard for her. He couldn't read at all at the beginning of the school year and now he is a reader! Still doesn't like it but can do it. And he's a math whiz too! Headed to second grade.
Zoe - far left finished preK and is headed to Kindergarten. We put her in mostly for speech. While we can understand everything she says, most people cannot. We thought it would be beneficial to her to have to work a little harder to be understood. But ... it didn't work out that way. Her first school actually REWARDED her for not talking all day! Seriously. So she got a new school. Wished we would have found the second school sooner as they were great with her. Teachers were kind and gentle and worked with her special need. She didn't learn much academically during the first school either so she is a bit behind headed into Kindergarten... but we'll catch her up during the summer.
So all in all, we survived the school year. I would give this experiment a B-
Most Moms I hear are dreading having the kids home for the summer. I am actually looking forward to it! And I know Manny is thrilled to have them here. They play with him in a way that is way more fun than I can do and while they do that, I can get some housework done. (Who am I kidding? I use the time to write blogs!)