September 24, 2008
Nick has been back to school for a couple of weeks now. He was sad to see his summer end, but has quickly adjusted to the new routine and is thrilled to be surrounded by all of his good friends.
The first week went very well, lots of excitement and getting to know all the new fifth grade teachers. This is the first year that the kids will be switching classes for almost every subject. Last week we had our mandatory parent meeting to find out what was ahead for the new year.....It is a year of letting go and teaching our children independence.
Every teacher that spoke said that organization was the key....I felt a little relieved because the one area that Nick excels, is organization. That being said, I was still a little concerned about the upcoming year.....
When Nick was in first grade, the teacher suggested that we get Nick some reading help....he was struggling. They had pulled him for small group instruction and then we sent him for a series of tests....
Diagnosis.....A form of Dyslexia.
The school was extremely helpful. They made special arrangements for Nick when it came to taking tests and recommended a tutor for after school.
By the time Nick was in fourth grade, we saw a huge improvement. I was so proud of him.....he knows that studying and school work do not come easy, this kid gives 150% all the time.....he had the best year ever....each quarter that passed his grades improved. We never expect perfection, we just want him to try his hardest...and that he did. It seemed all of his hard work was paying off....this was the year that it had come together.
We continued to have him tutored over the summer....In Nick's case, he needs a lot of repetition and if things are fresh in his mind, it will make going back to school a much easier transition.
I noticed this past week that Nick was getting very frustrated with his homework. We have been trying to help him, but we cannot do the work for him. Last night he was almost in tears....Now, he has been sick....really bad allergies and I know his head is feeling foggy, so I chalked this up to his Allergy Medication.
Today while at work, I got a phone call from Nick's main teacher.....they are concerned about what they see. She said that he is such a hard worker and participates in class....he even puts his hand up to read aloud, which is not typical...he is very embarrassed by the fact that he reads slower than most of the other children.....She noticed when they were reviewing for a test the other day....that he knew every answer. Today, he took the test and got all of the answers wrong.
Over the years, we have found that because of his dyslexia, Nick has learned to compensate....he has become an incredible listener....he knows if he hears something, he will remember the information....If he reads it, he is too busy trying to decode the words, to understand what he is reading. When he is forced to learn solely by reading large amounts of information by himself, he shuts down.....he is too overwhelmed.
I am so thankful that his teacher reached out to me now instead of waiting for parent teacher conferences at the end of the quarter. They are going to continue to have him take tests like every other child, but then they will ask him all the test questions and have him verbally answer so that he has every opportunity to give the correct answer.
As they say....Two steps forward, one step back.....It is not going to be an easy year....I worry about Nick....he is such a compassionate and sensitive boy....I hate to watch him struggle like this. He has already said he wants to give up soccer because it is too hard to do his homework on the nights he has practice.....I think he needs to have an outlet.....school is important....but a kid still needs to be a kid and soccer is his one and only activity. I pray that we are just going through an adjustment period and he will find his groove.....