Thursday, July 09, 2009

Never say never

My S basically flunked the second half of 4th grade. He just refused to do the work, and the teacher's approach seemed to be to let him choose what to do and experience the consequences. I don't totally disagree with that, but getting Fs didn't seem to wake him up, even though we had consequences at home too.

In thinking about it I came to the realization that the change was more in expectations than in S. He just was not getting the guidance and attention that he did when he did better in school - he excelled academically through all the lower grades in spite of his ADHD-related behavior issues. Obviously in 4th grade you do not get as much hand holding and the class size is much bigger. And I started to feel like he was just not ready for that transition. He has an August birthday and as early as kindergarten I had concerns about his readiness, but I hesitated to make him wait, because he is so big for his age.

I was leaning toward having him repeat 4th grade. Well, Dr. G. was very much against that and ultimately I think he is right - the stigma is just too great at this age. Plus, S does know the 4th grade material; he just refused to do the work to show it. So repeating would just make him bored and embarrassed and not do much good.

At the same time I really did not believe he was ready for 5th grade in the public schools. I mean, that is almost middle school! He does not have the skills to meet those expectations!

So there was one alternative ... something I never thought I could do ... We are going to homeschool S this year. I can hardly believe I have decided this but with much prayer I know it is the right thing to do.

The great thing is, in California, there are charter schools that give you funding and guidance and help you a lot. So we just scheduled our intake interview for a school in the Modesto area. I think this will be a great way to help him get up to speed before middle school. We are on our way!


Jeannine said...

Funny thing about "never say never". I was never going to date, let alone marry, a cowboy, own boots, live in CA, homeschool my kids....

Isn't it great that God sees the bigger picture and we just have to have faith to move forward?

I say that now but I'll probably call you in a few months and say "What have I done?" :)

annie said...

That's a great solution! I have had a couple of friends that have done the charter school/homeschool method and really LOVED it! :o) Good luck!

Julia Harps said...

I've got friends who have been in similar circumstances and done the same thing. It worked and the kids are now exelling in high school.
hate off to you!

Julia Harps said...

oh my oh my. I just saw all my typos! you'd think I never went to school. ha ha ha

alyddall said...

If it turns out you want more input/ideas/suggestions/examples about home schooling, let me know. Dave's cousin who lives in Perry, UT has done it with great success. She has two kids "graduated" and at Weber State now, and then three more from ages 10 to 15 that she is still teaching. They have great groups that do drama, writing, and other stuff together, maybe P.E. and then she takes them over to the seminary when they are old enough. Some of these organizations might be in CA too - she talks a lot about one called "Polar Star". I'm sure she answer & advise if you think you have questions you'd like to ask.

It sounds like you are making a good choice for your son to me. Good luck!