School has been in session for my children for two full weeks now and I have shed more tears and had more worry than I care to think about. It wasn’t supposed to start out this way either. In my mind this was going to be a good year. The emotions weren’t going to be until the end of the year.
This is a pivotal educational year in our house. My oldest is in her last year of middle school, my middle daughter is in her last year of elementary school, and my son is in Kindergarten and this is the last year where he will only be in school for half a day. Next year was supposed to be the year with the rough start. With so many uncertainties. So many new things. So many firsts. That was when I was supposed to be a worry wart and cry at the drop of a hat.
Instead it’s happening this year. And I know what is to blame for that. The town is in a transitional year. With new schools and new curriculum’s starting this year. There are growing pains right now, but those growing pains have been hurting my children. And a lot of stuff has just been coming to a head.
It All Began With A Bus
I of course explained the bus saga last week. I will say that seems to be resolved. I’m still skeptical. Waiting for the bus this morning (which has been coming later and later every day) my son came over to me and put his arms around me. It was totally out of the blue. My son isn’t super affectionate either. And I’ll take whatever hugs he wants to give, but this had me worried. I knelt down to him to see what was the matter and he said in such a tiny little voice, “I don’t want to go to school.” We had been waiting outside for a good twenty minutes for the bus at this point. The other children at the bus stop were rambunctious and loud. Everyone was just getting antsy for the bus to arrive.
I reminded my son of all of the fun things he does at school. That he will have a great time just like he does everyday. Inside though, my heart was breaking. I would love to say no stay home with me, don’t go to school. I know that’s not what’s in his best interest though. Shortly after that the bus came. I gave him a hug and a kiss and a kiss on his hand to carry with him if he’s feeling lonely. His big sister did the same thing (even though she sits with him on the bus) and I sent him on his way. His face was plastered to the window as he drove by and I can’t help but worry that we might have a repeat of last week when he cried all the way to school. I think we’re good, I haven’t received any phone calls about an upset little boy or an inconsolable little boy. So he must have settled down, but not knowing what prompted this reaction is always a concern.
Then There Is My Oldest
She is in 8th grade this year. Last year of middle school. I kid you not, we are already looking into college for this kid and we still have another 5 years before that actually happens. But to get her to college I have to make sure she is getting the best and most challenging curriculum possible.
This is where I can’t say too much. I am in talks with the school. The classes she is in are not the best fit for her. The school does see that, but they don’t see just yet things the way I see them. Everyone seems to be in agreement that she could do the work of an advanced class, but they want to give the teachers more time to see her in action. I personally do not want to wait as long as they want to to make this move that seems pretty inevitable that they are going to make and my hands are tied.
I keep being told that my daughter needs to show those teachers what she is made of. She needs to impress the pants off of those teachers. My daughter is a shy quiet girl. It is not her style to compete for attention (except with me) and to say hey look at me (again except with me). I have told her what she needs to do, she says she’s doing it, but she’s still not fully being seen from what I hear. They are not aware that she’s breezing through this work at twice the pace of her classmates. They are not aware that she is simply bored where she is right now. And the fact that she needs that extra push and challenge to really show them what she is capable of is actually a hindrance in this process.
After speaking to one of her teachers the other day I got off the phone and I just cried. I’m tearing up just thinking about the conversation because it felt so hopeless at that point. Because it felt like they were saying because she won’t stand up and participate she can’t compete with these other children because they are just louder and making more noise than her. And it seems so simple to me. Based on what she did last year in advanced classes and based on last years test scores that is enough to prove that she has the smarts to be there. So what if she isn’t loud. Schools are diverse. Life is diverse. Some people learn better by just quietly following instruction and from their peers. Others need to be loud and get noticed. Personalities should never prevent a child from getting into a class that they have proven they can do the work in. That is not going to help them moving forward.
I have many theories of why this might be happening. There is also lots of blame to be shared, including with myself. I’ll admit I should have questioned everyone last year a little harder. I should have pumped them then for answers. I did what I thought I had to do and it wasn’t enough apparently. My personality I guess got in the way. The same personality by the way that my daughter has. I wasn’t loud enough and didn’t make enough of a stink then. Now, I am being loud and I’m making a stink and it has made for a tearful few weeks. With possibly more to come.
I will continue to fight and continue to push this to make this the best and most challenging year for my daughter. I can’t give up now, we are so close. And if I don’t get what I think is in the best interest of my child I have also been exploring other options. So I am working on getting all of my ducks in a row to proceed with giving my daughter what she needs.
Thankfully so far my middle daughter seems to be enjoying her final year of elementary school. I hope it stays that way. But all of this just proves that when it comes to your kids you can never give up. Even when you’re crazy with emotions you just have to keep pushing forward because you know what is the best for your child.
How has the start of the school year been for you?