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Friday, December 07, 2007

What a difference a Year Makes Part 1

(this post comes from the journal I wrote in my first 18 months of homeschooling)

The Lost Files

What a Difference A Year Makes Part 1

Where did these brilliant children come from? At age seven, my daughter (second grade)
is reading at a 4th grade level and doing math at a 3rd grade level. Not only has she
finished 2nd grade in 4 months, and has started 3rd grade mid year, but in her spare time
she is publishing a monthly e-magazine. She is also excelling in piano and has the ability
to play by ear. She aspires to be the world's youngest millionaire. My son, Age 9 (4th
grade) is reading at a 9th grade level, and is showing an incredible amount of giftedness
as a musician. His skills on the piano are well beyond his years and he recently began
playing the flute as well. In his spare time, he draws models of buildings and airplanes
and then constructs them from mini Legos and other items he finds around the house. He
says he wants to be an architect and a musician when he grows up.

I realize that there are many children reading above their grade levels that are involved in
extracurricular activities, and have a potential for greatness. However, a year ago, I could
not see such potential in my children. One year ago, I was at my wit’s end as far as my
children's education was concerned. Both children were bringing home report cards that
did not reflect the level of work that we knew they could do, and both children were
extremely unhappy most of the time.

Jordan was six years old at the time and cried every evening after school. She was
convinced that there was something wrong with her. All the children look at me like I'm
strange Mommy and the teacher does not like me, she would say in between sobs. Every
morning she would feel too ill to go to school. There was always an excuse to stay home.
She had so many pretend illnesses, that when she was sick, I would often send her to
school anyway because I was unable to tell the difference. I was not until later in the day
when I had to pick up a child with a high fever or vomiting that I knew the truth.

In addition to her unhappiness, her weekly report always held notes that she could not
concentrate in class, or that she was disruptive. Her report card also reflected these
problems. Though she was receiving passing grades in school, they were not grades of
which we could be proud. The final straw was when the teacher announced that she
would need medication to make it through the second grade.

My son, Jackson, was 8 years old also disliked school. He had very few friends in class,
and was withdrawn and sullen. He often complained of injustices like no speaking during
lunch and of teachers failing to intervene when other children picked on him. He was
terrified of speaking out or standing up for himself, because of the fear that he would be
the one to get in trouble.

His tests grades were very good, but he almost never turned in his homework. Even when
I knew that he did his homework, somehow it just did not make its way to the teacher.

Because of this, his grades were less than exemplary. In addition, he was born with a
stomach ailment that made it necessary to go to the bathroom whenever the need arose.
However, he was often too embarrassed or too disgusted by the mess in the boy's room to
go so he became very ill and was under a doctor's constant care.

Read more Notes From a Homeschooling Mom

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1 comment:

Karen E. said...

Hi! So good to hear from you! :-)