4.16.2012

GETTING PERSONAL…YET AGAIN

Tomorrow is the day I’ve been waiting for for the past 7 years.  I’m not sure how schools work in other states, but here in Georgia, there is a lottery set up where children at the age of four can attend pre-k free of charge.  For my oldest, he wasn’t lucky enough to be chosen so I kept him home with me and my at the time 3 and 2 year olds until he started kindergarten the following year.  When he did go to kindergarten, my 4 year olds name was drawn in the lottery so they both went to school together!

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Fast forward two years and it is now time for us to place my youngest son’s name in the lottery drawing (tomorrow).

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To say that I am beyond excited to possibly have 3 children out of the house for seven hours is an understatement.  It’s been a LONG time coming and I can just imagine how the first day will be.  I will actually be entering a new stage in my life.  For those of you with multiple children, I’m sure you understand where I’m coming from.

Well, here is where things get tricky.  For starters, they may not pull Brendan’s name tomorrow (which I have already prepared myself for).  But what I haven’t prepared myself for is the fact that I may have to homeschool my oldest son which means I could possibly be home with TWO boys AGAIN…

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Since school started back from winter break, my son has had behavior and emotional problems.  On top of that, I noticed that he wasn’t retaining things like his target words and some of the subjects being taught to him.  His behavior has stemmed from him being sensitive to classmates teasing/picking on him.  He’s a sensitive kid already (I’m a sensitive woman!), but he’s even more sensitive when he thinks someone is picking on him.  On top of all of that, he stutters.

The last few months have not been easy for me (or him for that matter).  From evaluation after evaluation (speech, occupational, ADHD, behavior), I’ve been trying to figure out what is wrong with my baby.  I have never seen him behave like this before.  He cries all of the time at school and home, I receive phone calls or written reports on his behavior, he has even been suspended for hitting. I know that he’s mostly reacting to the children that pick on him and because this has been going on for the past few months, it seems like it is easier for the teacher to remove him from the class or call him “out” instead of everyone who is involved with the situation.

Let me tell you the things I know about my son:

He stutters… He has been evaluated for speech and therapy will start soon

He does have  a hard time focusing.

He loses his temper easily. <-------------That’s what concerns me the most.

But even with all of that, TJ is really a good kid.  Seriously.  I know every mother say that about their children, but no, he really is.  Trust me, I have one that isn’t!

For some reason, he is able to understand when he has done something wrong, but he can not control himself to not do the wrong thing (like losing his temper, or finishing his schoolwork).  Everyday when I ‘m dropping them off at school he kisses me and say “I’m going to do better today mom, I promise”. And I respond with a hug and a “I know babe, because today is a new day”. But when I pull off, I can’t help but shed a tear because I know that out of 5 days of school, I’m going to get at least 3 days of bad reports. 

To make this long story short, I have considered (and have turned in all paperwork for) homeschooling.  After talking with a friend today, we talked about how my youngest will finally be out of the house and then she asked if I was sure I wanted to homeschool.  Before her question, I was set on doing it.  I felt like it was my only option and possibly the BEST one for him.  Then she asked me WHY I felt like that.  My response after crying was that I felt like I owe it to him.  I feel like maybe this is coming from him not getting enough attention at home being the “oldest”.  I also feel like it will keep him safe from being teased.  And then I feel like if he needs one on one attention, who else could be better than myself…

But that’s how I felt before she asked me that question.  Now, I don’t know how I feel.  I can’t help but think about my youngest son’s name being pulled tomorrow and how I will finally have all three boys in school.  How I will finally have seven hours a day and five days a week to just be Lakeitha.  I can’t help but have a few selfish thoughts going through my mind right now.

I can go back to school. 

I can get a part time job

I can do absolutely nothing for seven hours a day

My friend told me to think about it more before I finalize any decisions.  So here I am, thinking.  Weighing my pros and cons.  I don’t even know what the pros and cons are anymore.  This is definitely one of those times where I feel like I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t.

Thanks for listening.

 

 

 

 

23 comments:

Emily A. Clark said...

Praying that God will give you the wisdom to make the best decision. You're a good mom, Lakeitha!

niaknowles said...

Prayers for your decision. Ive home schooled for 6yrs...3kids home almost daily ( when not in tennis, art, or dance) and I always feel like pulling out my hair but it's beautiful...and I would not trade it..
I personally feel I must protect my babies for many things that could impact -stunt their growth and being the unquie people God created them to be.
We know our kids better than anyone.. We know how to ensure they over challenges such as stuttering (my 11yr old had a slight stutter and was on her way to being embarrassed by it- I can tell you another day how we over came this)
But, not to preach to the choir... If we do what God called us to do, they will grow up to be awesome people!
If you do home school, but unsure how or don't really want to leave public school support, try www.k12.com you can also get free speech therapy in a private setting :)

Shannon said...

Oh Lakeitha, I'm so sorry for your little boy. I don't know what the right decision is, but I'm confident you will make the right one. Praying for you and your family.

Shelby@Perfectly Imperfect said...

Bless your heart! I too have a son that struggles in school. I know what it feels like to not know how to help your baby. Not a day goes by that I don't worry about him.

I know my son's time to shine is not as a student but I also know he has so many beautiful gifts and will do great things in this life.

I do not have any answers, just follow your heart, celebrate his strengths and know you are not alone. You are in my thoughts. ~Shelby

Latoya @ The Scott's Crib said...

I recently purchased a book and home study program on preparing the next generation for success. According to it most of the time some of the issues you discussed above stem from people's inability to deal with different personality types in a way that is effective to everyone. I'd be willing to send it to you, just le me know. Praying for you and your little ones. I only have one and she is two so I know that you have your hands full with three:)

Carmel @ Our Fifth House said...

Praying for you as you make these tough decisions. Being a mom is so hard. You're doing a great job. Your boys are so lucky to have you!

Angeline said...

You have the voice of so many concerned mothers behind you, around you - supporting and encouraging you and your beautiful boys.

La Monica said...

Lakeitha, I can relate to your excitement of the possibility of having all of the kiddos in school and the prospect of some much-needed "mommy" time. My 5 yo is finishing up her GA pre-k program and heading to K in the fall. My 3yo, has a late b-day so I've got one more year with him at home. But like you, I'm looking forward to that day when they're both in school. However, as much as I'm looking forward to it, I will say that if I felt the need to homeschool any one of my kids I would do it - AFTER much praying and probably many tears. lol I did some preschool homeschooling with my daughter and off and on now with my son, and I can tell you that there are soooo many resources online. I've found homeschooling mommies to be very helpful, creative and resourceful. Don't be afraid to ask questions! GA has a big homeschool expo every summer, so you may want to check into that. Also, there are a few online homeschool programs that are a part of the GA public school system, so you may want to check into those.

Anne said...

If you had asked me 4 years ago whether I would ever homeschool, I'd have said, "NEVER."

I'm now I'm closing out my third year of homeschooling two kids.

It's a sacrifice. There are days when I envy the moms who send their kids off to school and have the entire day to get stuff done. It's not without its stresses and anxieties. But what you need to keep in mind is "NET POSITIVE." One of the reasons I decided to pull my son out of school and homeschool was because his personality had changed. He didn't have the same issues as your son, but he went from a sweet boy to a crabby, surly, always-tired, frustrated kid who argued constantly with his little brother. My time with him was spent nagging him, correcting his behavior, etc. I'm pretty stubborn and I wouldn't accept that just because he was of school-age, I had to start spending my time with him undoing the behaviors he was learning at school (or which were exacerbated by school). My relationship with him wasn't going to suffer - he was only 7!

If it's on your heart to try homeschooling him, I say give it shot. What do you have to lose? Give it a semester. A year. Don't pressure yourself. Focus on teaching him, giving him a breather and help him to mature emotionally without the daily pressures of needing to BE so emotionally mature with the stress of teasing classmates.

God can't do great things with us if we're not willing to step out in faith and put ourselves out there. I also think it's on your heart for a reason. At this point, the status quo isn't working and you have nothing to lose.

Brandi said...

You received a lot of great advice, Lakeitha. Thankfully, you have a wonderful circle of women that truly care for you. Your children are fortunate to have a mother who loves them as much as you do. I wish you the best in your decision making.

MichelleBee said...

First of all, hugs to you I know this is tough because I have been in your shoes. My son was struggling and unhappy at school and it broke my heart to know he needed my help but I didn't know how. I know now what he needs for the most part (he has Asperger's syndrome) but it wasn't easy. I demanded answers from school officials and his doctors all the while doing my own research until I got the attention my son deserved.

My advice to you is to not be so hard on yourself. Weigh your options. You can try to homeschool to see how it goes and/or look at other schools that are more understanding of your situation while you get answers. You do not want him in a setting where he is being made to feel less than worthy.

Mrs. Chic said...

Big Hug! I know you msut have so much on your mind, I've been in your shoes before with my now tween. He has having hard time in Kindergarten and 1st grade. He was having a hard time expressing himself with his words. I learned and teachers need to learn all kids learn differently: some are hands on, visual some readers and great listeners. Tabari grew out of this trying time (he's now mostly A's & B's and his teachers all saying how respectful and helpful and what a pleasure he is in the classroom!)

It took a lot of one on one time to help my baby be his personal best & a lot of talking with teachers and setting up plan so he could do his personal best.

With that said, I think in your heart you know what's best for your son, you have to do what's in your heart that you know its BEST for him regardless of what others think. I'm sure time he will excel! And do his personal best, and it sounds like he already wants too. If you decided to keep him in school and your baby starts Pre-K maybe a good option would be to volunteer in TJ's classroom 1-2 days per week, with you there I think he'll feel supported...

Whew I wrote you a book! If you need anything feel free to email & and I go go into detail what helped my son :) get though that challenging age.

Laura Ferry-Jimenez said...

why is parenting so hard and where's the darn manual? I'll take one, please! ;)

just my two cents but what if you start homeschooling this summer? it'll give you a good idea on if it's something you can do for an entire year and if not, it will give you son a bit of a head start on starting a new school year. who knows, maybe the extra bit of summer attention and learning will give your son a lil boost of confidence to start the year. just my thought.

both your options sound great and whichever one you choose will be the perfect one... you'll see. :)

Janell @ House of Fifty said...

You'll know what to do...just trust yourself. Janell

Mrs Fab-ulous! said...

My son had very similar problems. I struggled with him for amost 6 years. After yet another evaul and recommending 3k in testing I decided to do something I had thought about for a year.

I changed his diet to 100% gluten free.

No lie, the ADD, anxiety, tantrums, crying, overly sensitive boy, within weeks was basically none of those things.

I could go on and on, but I won't bore you unless you want more info. My son is living proof that gluten sensitivies (and against was the ped thought I should do) worked and I now ENJOY spending time with my son.

crisangsteninteriors.com said...

I was homeschooled from 6th to graduation. I honestly think it was the best thing my parents could have done for me. We had some stressful situations going on in our home life, which had me down. You can't hide what's going on from kids, they see a lot more than you think. I was picked on, I started to cry a lot too.
In the end, all you can do is what you think is best for you and your kids. I don't know if you could homeschool him and then send him to an extracurricular activity he enjoys every day just to give you SOME time. Also, usually there is a homeschool support group, and moms get together to help spare each other from time to time - taking small groups of kids on field trips and such.

It's such a haaaaard situation, I'm sure your heart is so very heavy in trying to make this decision. I'm happy to answer questions from a "I survived being homeschooled" perspective!

(((hugs)))

Ladyee A said...

Sorry for your pain as an educational specialist in the field of special education. I encourage you to breathe, take deep breaths throughout the day and just know that it will get better. It may take time but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I encourage you to read Special Needs Advocacy and resource book by Rich Weinfeld Michelle Davis. The book has a plethora of information about the special education process and your rights as a parent with a special needs students.

I will say I am very disappointed to read that the teacher and the school hasnt. thought of coping skills that your son can use. isolating your son is not answer it would only make matters worse children are very astute and they recognize when they are not liked.

If you need more info please feel free to contact me at ladyablogs@gmail.com

Ladyee A said...

Sorry for your pain as an educational specialist in the field of special education. I encourage you to breathe, take deep breaths throughout the day and just know that it will get better. It may take time but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I encourage you to read Special Needs Advocacy and resource book by Rich Weinfeld Michelle Davis. The book has a plethora of information about the special education process and your rights as a parent with a special needs students.

I will say I am very disappointed to read that the teacher and the school hasnt. thought of coping skills that your son can use. isolating your son is not answer it would only make matters worse children are very astute and they recognize when they are not liked.

If you need more info please feel free to contact me at ladyablogs@gmail.com

Ladyee A said...

Sorry for your pain as an educational specialist in the field of special education. I encourage you to breathe, take deep breaths throughout the day and just know that it will get better. It may take time but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I encourage you to read Special Needs Advocacy and resource book by Rich Weinfeld Michelle Davis. The book has a plethora of information about the special education process and your rights as a parent with a special needs students.

I will say I am very disappointed to read that the teacher and the school hasnt. thought of coping skills that your son can use. isolating your son is not answer it would only make matters worse children are very astute and they recognize when they are not liked.

If you need more info please feel free to contact me at ladyablogs@gmail.com

Geneal said...

Hi Lakeitha,

My heart goes out to you!!

There is a plethora of information available to you via internet to help you make your decision. Sometimes a plethora is too much. I have taught elementary school for 17 years and I hope you don't mind my two cents.

Here are some things I want you to think about or find out:

When does your son breakdown (before lunch, after lunch, during specials)? You are looking to see if there is a pattern. We had a student who would breakdown after lunch. He was allergic to milk.

How does he handle specials, P.E., Art, Music? Is he focused and able to follow directions?

What are his strengths during the day? The reports you get should include his positives.

Has his teacher put any visual behavior modifications in place (check off list, charts)?

You may have already checked, but how are his vision and hearing? I have a cousin who is a retired special education teacher. One day while working with one of her students she realized he was hearing impaired. He received a hearing device and his learning skyrocketed.

Is your son a young first grader or an old first grader? One of my friends delivered her child in December and I delivered in January. The difference in their ages is 4 weeks. Her child started school one year before my child. Her child had some adjustment issues in K and 1st grade, my child did not.

Please meet with the principal, classroom teacher, guidance counselor or school psychologist and state that you want to have a positive working relationship with all and you want the best possible education for your son. Explore your possibilities for next year. Maybe you can do half days. He can spend the mornings in school to develop and strengthen his social skills and spend the afternoons learning one-to-one with you.

Don't be afraid to ask "who would be the best teacher for my child next year?" You won't get a name but you will get a list of character traits that will describe the best teacher for his needs.

If all three boys are in school this will give you the opportunity to volunteer in school.

I hope this is helpful to you.

One more thing...put a target word on a sticky note and place that sticky note on the bathroom door. Whenever he goes into the bathroom he has to read that word. This helped my daughter. She had a few words that she had difficulty remembering how to spell. So we had a word on the refrigerator, front door, bedroom door, and bathroom door. At any given time we would hear "because, b-e-c-a-u-s-e, because" or "would, w-o-u-l-d, would". Don't overload him. Start with a few words.

Most importantly - ENJOY being with your son.

Geneal
genealdarden@hotmail.com

barbara@hodge:podge said...

You have had some fabulous advice. I too am a teacher, albeit not for as long as some others, but I know that mis behaviour is simply that - mis -behaviour - there is always an underlying reason. And first and foremost I am a mother. I have always put my children first. I was ready to pull my son out of 7th grade and homeschool him because I felt his school was letting him down. I have to admit, I had the same thoughts as you, my "free' time would of been gone. I did give him extra work at home, over the summer and now he is in high school doing well!

You are your child's only advocate, fight for him and fight until you get answers. Sometimes the system doesn't always work - but you are the only one who knows your child. And firstly follow your heart, only you know what's best.

803momof2boyz said...

I pray that you will make the decision that is best for you and your son. My 8 year old is in second grade. He has had behavioral problems for the past two years. He is very smart and personable. However, he has a temper. He gets angry when he doesn't get his way. At least twice a week, I get a bad report. It is frustrating. As someone mentioned earlier, there is always an underlying reason for their misbehavior. His teachers suggested that he join an anger management group at school. So, twice a week he meets with the guidance counselor. It seems to be helping. I also spend more time with him. Your son may want more one on one time with you and your husband. You'll make the right choice for your family.

Elizabeth S said...

Hello, I am new to this blog but I am a mother whose child also had behavior problems in school and who was picked on and who was tested and found wanting in the fundamentals that he NEVER could seem to retain. He ended up with poor self esteem and graduated eventually and went to work, yet he always felt dumb. I had tried to teach him some things while he was growing up at home but the truth is, that I also struggled academically, and the stuff that he was trying to learn was a complete mystery to me! My son was eventually privately tutored which got him through high school but as I say he still felt stupid. After 7 years he decided to return to college and see if he could do it and he not only did it, but he excelled! He became the star pupil of his 2 years of school and that has only made him hungry for more. So don't despair! Some times it just takes a little longer than it does for others but you are not alone. Albert Einstien was terrible in school, and yet he was a genius! I don't know if you have considered the possibility of dyslexia? Some of the things you have described are similar to what is outlined in the dyslexia test that is on line and you may want to look into it. In any case, I feel all your anxiety and concern and as a mother you want the best for your child and the distress is sometimes just too much! You have many people praying for you and your son and I will add mine too. God bless you and have faith things will work out, they always do.

elizabeth