I remember that fateful day in October 2009~ Knuckles’ very first Parent-Teacher conference. She was in Kindergarten. It changed my life forever.
I don’t remember if I had The Princesses conference first or second. I don’t even remember what her teacher said about her. All I remember is Knuckles teacher…
A kind, quiet, nurturing woman, Mrs. D has been teaching for over 20 years. The Mother to a (now adult) Special Needs child herself, she knows all the warning signs~ and Knuckles was displaying almost all of them.
Not to mention, she didn’t even score on her first DIEBELS test. Something was wrong. She was engaging, helpful, sweet and caring in the classroom – she just wasn’t learning.
A blur of doctors visits followed after that. Ophthalmologist, Audiologist, SLP, Neuropsychologist… but she wasn’t even 6. There was only so much they can do/test/diagnose…
It was the beginning of a very frustrating (almost) 2 years~ and we’re still no closer to a definite answer then we were when we started. But at some point, you move on. You do your best while all the “professionals” agree to disagree.
We moved and she started at a different, better (I thought) school district. It was there they told me to medicate her because she was just a “low IQ student” who may never perform on the level of her peers. Needless to say, that was also the school district that forced us into homeschooling.
A year and a half later, Knuckles is doing better mentally, just not so much academically. She learned her alphabet and most of the sounds in the first 11 months of homeschooling. In the rest of the time, I have taught her numbers to 11. Yeah. We’re struggling. It’s not that I don’t try to teach her and it’s not that she doesn’t try to learn~ she just can’t right now. She tries so hard… So do I…
This brings us to the upcoming school years and PAVCS. I no longer have to:
- try to find a curriculum that will get through to her
- spend money (I don’t have) on manipulatives that may or may not help
- feel frustrated because I just. don’t. know. how to teacher her
- get overwhelmed because she’s not “getting it”
- shoulder the burden of teaching a developmentally delayed child myself
I am very excited about this upcoming school year! I know it hasn’t even started but I feel like I made the right decision~ for us, for now. Even if I decided that cyber school is not the best for us, I still get 1 year of freedom. One year of:
- not having the burden of finding curriculum
- not making lesson plans
- having others to turn to when I need help
- having the responsibility of my child’s learning fall on professionals who are paid to deal with it
- having a place to turn to when I feel she isn’t doing well
- letting it all rest on someone else’s shoulders
As a single mom, I don’t have many opportunities to let someone else be responsible. This is a luxury that I am going to cherish and enjoy for an entire year. And, on the slim chance it turns out to be an absolute nightmare, I can just pull them out and do it myself. I’ve done it before.
Tiffany is also one of the Mom Bloggers behind Home Grown Families. A single Mama to 3 girls, she is especially looking forward to the freedom from pressure that cyber school will give her this year.