A few of you have asked what our plans are for Jacob next year.
As of right this minute Jacob will be attending third grade at his usual school. We have already paid almost three hundred dollars on materials, paper fees, and the ransom to hold his spot. I know we shouldn't base whether or not our child is happy and safe on money, but truly, that's a lot of money. Non-refundable money.
After the field day fiasco, which in all honesty didn't seem to bother him in the least, I was ready to pull him out of there that very day. When we got home I composed myself and made a list of our options: 1. stay there, 2. home-school, and 3. our local public school. Then I presented them to Jacob. In detail. I offered to drive him to the public school right then so he could look around (we had only a half day that day). We got as far as the parking lot and then he refused to go in. We researched home-schooling curriculum on the internet. That lasted five minutes. When he realized we'd actually have to WORK! At HOME! He wasn't as interested.
Jacob likes his school. He has a few friends and he likes seeing them every day. He likes studying scripture and doing bible study and going to chapel. I've found other Christian schools, but we can't afford them. We are barely affording this one.
We're not against public school. Our new neighborhood school is one of the best in the district. We'd love to save four hundred some dollars a month, believe me. I just don't know that things would be any different for him there. See, Jacob has always been bullied in some way or another. As a toddler at Gymboree he was pushed off the equipment and shunned by the other teeny toddlers who would run screaming away when he tried to play with them. I've seen kids wing basketballs at his head at church. I've heard strangers call him weirdo at random festivals, the beach, the library. Everywhere we go it seems some kid will approach me and ask me to tell my weird kid to leave them alone, that they don't want to play with him, that he is bothering them, that he's not in their club. Something. How do you respond to that? I used to take my exuberant son by the hand and lead him somewhere else to play alone. Somewhere with our backs away from the others so they couldn't see me cry. I still do that sometimes because I try to shield my baby from the cruelty that is other people's children. Most of the time, though, I tell the whiny-ass kid who is complaining to go somewhere else if he's bothered so much. Or not to go out to a public place if he can't learn to deal with others. In a nice way of course. It seems to work. At least the evil-eye usually does. It's just I can't be there at school all day to intercept the meanies for him. He has to take them head-on at school.
I take him every two weeks to see a counselor who I hope can give him some strategies to deal with the bullies and also sort through any issues he might be having that he doesn't tell us about. I do get the sense that he's embarrassed to discuss these things with me or his dad. Hopefully she'll be able to help him.
If it doesn't help and things don't improve next year, I'm preparing to home-school if necessary. The mom of one of Jacob's friends here in the neighborhood told me she was going to be home-schooling next year and is on the waitlist for a virtual school through the state. I'm thinking of getting on the waitlist too. Just in case. I don't know how well Jacob would work for me, but I do think it might be a good opportunity to learn with his friend and I like that I'd have someone to back me up and help me out.
But for now, Jacob's going to third grade in August to his usual school. We're going to hope for the best. But we're preparing for the worst.
***Edited to Add***
I DID talk with the principal. Not only about wanting to talk with the recess teacher, but with all the other things that had been happening as well. Yes, I am ticked about the teacher's treatment of my child. But after talking to a friend of mine who has already gone through this with her now high school kids, I was encouraged to back off that issue until the bigger issue, the bullies, was resolved. The principal is aware that she MAY have said that, but, of course, without proof....well, you know. So I chose to focus my complaints on the reason I ended up there in the first place: the bullies. I am confident, after our discussion, that Jacob will be separated from those kids next year and more effort will be placed on seeing that bullying isn't tolerated from any children. I think she'll make sure recess is monitored more carefully in the future as well. I still wanted to talk with the recess teacher. If I knew which one she was, I'd approach her with it next year even. I love my kid and I hate more than anything that he was treated like that, but I had to let that go. The rage I felt toward that woman was taking me over, I had to channel it in a different way so I did what I could. I also needed to teach Jacob that sometimes in life people are mean. Sometimes Mommy can't always make it better. But we can still be happy even after someone has made us sad. It may not have been the right way, but at the time it was the best way for us.
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