Thursday, June 21, 2007

Any Suggestions?

Jacob will be home in less than three weeks.

I have truly missed him.

But with him gone I have been able to put out of my mind the fact that he will be starting first grade in August. Maybe.

I am still struggling with his ADD issues and whether first grade is the right place for him. Somedays I think it is, other days I change my mind.

He's a smart little kid. He could read every kid in his class under the table and could creatively write them out the door as well. Academically he's a star. Socially, not so much. I have to decide, and soon, how we will proceed here. Right now he's enrolled in first grade but there is still a spot in that transitional kindergarten if we want it. Do we want it? I don't know. Somedays he seems right on track with other kids his age and I am so encouraged and then other times he acts like a three year old and my heart breaks when I watch his peers make fun of him. Maybe this is just the way life will be for him. Maybe he's just weird and no amount of retention will make a difference. Maybe if we up his meds he will finally settle down enough to pick up on the social cues and finally calm himself to a point where other kids want to befriend him. What if I send him to first grade and the other kids mature so far ahead of him and tease him and he starts hating school and possibly himself? What if I put him in kindergarten and he watches his classmates, the classmates he knows aren't as bright as he is, go on to first grade and his self esteem plummets or he's a ticking time bomb due to the boredom in class? I am going crazy over here. My mind changes a hundred times a day. I fear that whatever decision I go with, it will be the wrong one.

A big part of me just wants to keep him home with me. I know full day school is going to be hard for him. Shoot, he's going to VBS this week for four hours a day and already complaining. He even fell asleep there today. He struggled that half day last year. By the time lunch time rolled around, he was done. How in the world will he last eight hours? I have always thought that children of five and six weren't ready for full days of schooling. When I taught kindergarten and first graders the afternoons were complete wastes. Even the second graders had a hard time focusing after lunch until around Christmas. Wouldn't it be nice if kindergarten started at age seven or eight? That would be the perfect solution for me. Then my kid wouldn't have to start college until he was 21 which I think is the perfect age for that also. I mean, I wasn't ready to live on my own at 18, he surely won't be. Yes, let's just change the way the world does things to better suit my needs. I have solved my problem. If it were only that simple. I would probably go ahead and home school him this year if Elizabeth didn't take up so much of my time but, really, how can he mature socially with others if he isn't around others? I just want to do the best thing for my kid, I just haven't figured out what it is yet. August should be loads of fun.


Sadie said...

I wish I could give you advice, but you certainly know more about the subject than I do. I will just wish you luck. Trust yourself!

Jennifer Playgroupie said...

What a tough decision. I wish I had some brilliant advice or knew something to say.

You always leave the nicest comments for me. Thanks! Wish I could do the same!

Amie said...

Kindergarten could easily start at 7 or 8. It would probably benefit children.

Miss Hope said...

Is there any way you could let him try the first grade class? Just to see if it's what he needs to challenge him? My oldest had social issues of a sort and she had the most wonderful first grade teacher. She would find small extra projects to occupy P. because she was always done with tests before everyone else. She would turn high maintenance and get disruptive and disturb everyone else. Just a project here and there kept her busy and focused and really turned her around. Is this idea an option? She still wasn't the best socially. It took her until 7th grade to find her way in the friend department. I just had to finally accept that, but the relief when she finally "clicked" was amazing.

It's hard to make decisions like this. But, when you find the right combination that works? So worth it.

Dana said...

If it were me, I would put him in 1st grade. I think if kids get bored academically, they tend to turn off and just slide through school (Personal experience here) Can you check out some activities around town to put him in before school starts? To help socially? Maybe your local library has programs or if your city had a parks and recreation dept they sometimes have cool programs. I would just focus on the social aspect as much as you can BEFORE school starts. Maybe get him together with some kids from kindergarten for playdates. If you know any of the moms, you can ask them to help you out on this. I think most moms will help out if needed. These are just my thoughts....take em or leave em! I'm sure you'll know what's right when the time comes!

Shane said...

I so wish I'd had my oldest retained in kindergarten. He just was not ready for first grade. He was finally retained in second grade at it was the best possible thing for him. Of course he has academic issues as well so it's not the same situation. Just trust your gut instinct....mother's always know best!

Tracey said...

Ah hon. You'll get stories from both sides of the fence. Those from the moms whose children would have fared better being held back and those who should have gone on ahead and were held back unnecessarily. Do what your heart tells you.