I had a conference with #3s teachers yesterday. It is very hard to describe the emotion I felt leaving the meeting. The tears wanted to pour out of my eyes, but I held them back relishing the euphoric feeling that was coursing through my body. She is doing well!! She is achieving beyond what I could have wished for. She is amazing me and those who worked with her before. And all of this is so "out-of-character" for her.
To know how big this is for me, you have to know the background. This is a child that seemed to have a moderate learning disability that was almost across the board. The majority of her issues were in the areas of written expression, but she tested for learning disabilities also in math and reading. Not only that, but there were some behavior issues that I didn't think she would overcome easily. I thought we would always be afraid of how she was going to handle the next difficult thing that came her way. Because of how she reacted to certain things in the past, we (teachers, husband and I) tried very hard not to rock the boat. We tried to assess whether we could ask more of her. We were careful that she not be asked to "carry" too much. But, she is amazing me beyond belief with what she has been able to handle this year: rotating schedule, two lockers and combinations, seven teachers, keeping up with large amounts of homework, etc. And, she is HAPPY!!
I am blown away by God's faithfulness to me in caring for my child. I don't know if it is anything short of a miracle!!! Her reading, which at the end of last year was on a sixth-grade level, is now, in vocabulary and comprehension, post high school!!! Over the summer, she read voraciously and the best we could count, read about 20 books!! The books that she found very difficult during the school year last year were her "bread and butter" reading material during the latter part of the summer and now!! These are books she is "plowing" through quickly as we speak.
So, we are moving her into advanced reading (this for a child who didn't read until 3rd grade), and out of academic support (her elective where she gets help with homework) into a regular elective track where she will get to try the classes that the other kids are trying. Bottom line: she will get to have fun!!
She has also signed up for three clubs: scrapbooking, First Priority (a Christian club), and crochet/knitting. This was the child who didn't want to do anything extra last year!!! And despite the fact that she is "NOT!!! sporty" (her words), she is enjoying P.E. and having fun with it. To what do I attribute this success? Her finding the right combination of teachers, support at school, and help at home. And the hand of God in an awesome way to help her put all those pieces together in a way that cannot be explained by any other means.
Thanks God, for overwhelming me with your kindness. Words truly cannot express what I feel. I feel very small and worrisome and yet, you care about those things. You are loving me in a way that is beyond my expectations. I am not saying that there won't be further trials with this child, but you will help us through until we see the light at the end. Thanks God. Thanks.
I called the conference a couple of weeks ago because she was not happy: complaining, frustrated, and sad. I asked her to write down the things she didn't like about school in order of how bad they were. Here is her list:
1. Science is all in groups
2. Too much homework
3. Girls are mean
4. I have no friends in school except for a few.
5. Academic support is boring
6. U.S. Studies - too many quizzes
7. P.E. is hard because I'm not!!! sporty.
8. Language Arts is hard because of writing.
9. I hate Math!
Lots of these things have not changed, but she is handling them. She is dealing with school and doing much better about everything. Her "case manager" asked me to have her list 10 things she likes about school. So, we were walking one day and I asked her about doing that. She said that she didn't know if she could come up with 9, but she knew 7 right away. Her seven were her teachers!! She is willing to put up with the things she can't change because she is "feeling the love" from her teachers. She is "clicking" with them and they with her. Again, thanks be to God!!