Monday, August 27, 2012

My 12 year-old’s first day of school (ever)

Such a tumble of thoughts. Am I doing the right thing for him? Is it really the right thing for me? I started out sending him because I was at my wits end and needed a break. Is this still the case, or have I really managed to convince myself that it's for him?

He's dyslexic. In the extreme. School is going to be challenging for him. He is terrified. And so am I.

I know I need a break. I've told him that he deserves to have a mother who is not always so stressed about the pressure of having his whole education in her hands. A mother who is patient again, and not tense all the time. A mother who can help him with his frustrations, rather than yelling back at him.

Perhaps the school will actually help? Frankly, I'm an ultra anti-school person (check out some of my favorite quotes on school here) so I've been having trouble convincing myself that that is the case. However, deep down, I do hope that the school can help improve his reading in a way I haven't been able to. I just don't feel like I have the fortitude to do all the hard core remediation that is necessary right now. But I have concerns that the school won't do it either. I'm afraid that by 6th grade they are teaching coping skills and not reading skills in special ed. Time will tell.

They wouldn't just test him for an IEP on my word, so they are keeping him in regular classes for a week and a half to observe him. I meet with a group of people on September 6th to discuss testing. Originally I was pretty upset to wait so long to discuss testing him; he'll be in school for quite some time before he actually gets an IEP in place. But now that I've had time to think on it, I know it makes sense for the teachers to have the opportunity to observe and assess him. And since he clearly needs IEP, it will be nice to have them assisting me on getting his needs met. Hopefully I won't feel alone in advocating for him.

I hope he is doing well right now. The amount of guilt I feel is overwhelming. I can't help feeling like I've let him down. Intellectually I know that's not the case, but heart-wise I'm otherwise.

I searched for some reading on the subject after the bus pulled away this morning, and came across this:

A crucial part of making a smooth transition to public school is for the parents to have a positive and upbeat attitude. Reassure your children that they will do well in school and that it will get easier each day. If you are anxious and tearful, your children will be the same way! I had to really put up a brave front for my daughters during their first couple of weeks in public school. I held it together each morning while they were getting ready for school, and then I would cry as soon as I pulled away from the school.
It's nice to know I'm not the only one out there crying over the transition from homeschool to school.


triple d said...

What's an IEP?

I understand all of your concerns about whether you are doing this for him or you and I don't think there's a right answer. What you do you for you is, ultimately, in his best interest, if it helps to keep you a sane and loving mother.

Perhaps if it doesn't work out, and he really hates going in a week or 2, it would be time for a family finances talk about hiring a personal tutor/teacher to take him for a few hours each day.
You could post for post grads at the University perhaps...
But somehow, I think he is going to like being there.

Love 2Bs said...

an IEP is an Individual Education Program.

Aimee Cotton Bogush said...

Y'all have been on my mind -- hoping for the best for all!

Anonymous said...

Blast from the past here. Have you considered having tested for heavy metals? My son is extremely dyslexic. Naturpath tested him for heavy metals and he was off the charts.