Friday, August 03, 2007

Thoughtful and Scatterish

(Caveat for family members who worry when I post things like this: This is a very normal feminine thing I am doing, expressing aloud my thoughts and fears. I am not freaking out, I promise, just working through some ideas. And I love you too.)

Do you ever feel like not only what you have been doing has been inadequate, but that you are completely at a loss for the tasks ahead? That is the current climate of my mind. I have been reading about learning differences/disorders in an effort to understand some of the walls we have bumped up against this year. It looks like I will need to teach at least one of the girls a little differently than I have been. I have also been reading Triss' Year 7 books and making checklists to aid her in keeping track of the workload-- there is a lot of reading in Year 7! I get the feeling that I just don't know enough to continue with this.

I have felt this way before, and the Lord has always blessed. Here's looking forward to watching Him unfold events and thoughts in the coming year!

It does seem to be more pressure than usual, though. In fact, it's a little like we are just beginning. Sometimes I feel like I have forgotten what I know. I was reading our hs'ing group's newsletter today and as I came across an encouraging article and felt encouraged, a small part of me said, "And yet, I ought to know that already. I have encouraged others with similar words before!"

So that is where I am. How are you doing?


Javamom said...

You know your daughter better than anyone! Don't fall into fear. I know you know that.

Have you written down the strategies you're going to try with her, yet? A homeschool IEP, so to speak? Each ld student in the public or private system gets (by law) an IEP, individual eduation program, to help spell out the individual strategies needed to be used in the classroom for every individual child. For example, dysgraphic students (who have a terrible and slow time writing) are often allowed to type instead of write, or don't have to do as much writing but get to do multiple choice or true/false questions, instead. As we've talked about before, they may also get to be more verbal, giving answers aloud.

I once read for students taking the SAT. Yes, they took the whole thing aloud, and these kids had no time limit, and each student had their own reader!

You CAN do this. Yes it does require you be more available. If there's anything I can do (in my limited experience with my own son and working at the you know what private school), let me know!! No question is a silly question, my friend.

Mother Auma said...

Javamom, thank you for your offer of help. I actually teared up when I read it. I do *not* want to fall into fear, but my emotions illustrate to me how much I do.

I haven't written anything out really, but I do have some strategies in mind-- allowing her to tape record instructions, utilizing oral narration more than written, moving *very* slowly toward written work (she is currently motivated to do that, which I want to encourage without allowing her slowness and errors to become a detriment to learning), using lots of manipulatives and lots of different explanations for math concepts, and allowing us to have more time than usual to work through material.

I find that I expected all the children to learn the way I thought they "should" learn, if we would only train them and homeschool them. I guess I am dealing with surprise that this aspect of our plans for raising the girls are not going as I expected. Amazingly enough, they are all different. Though I have known this academically for years, it is finally being brought home to me.

The kids are singing (Lord In The Morning), "Make every path of duty straight and plain before my face," as I type this. That has always been my prayer, especially where the kids are concerned. But I also pray that the Lord will remove my stubbornness where my expectations are concerned.

Javamom said...

Let me say that it was a surprise for us, as well...especially since Hubby has taught at an LD school for 17 years. He did not think one of his own would "need" help or be so different and frustrating, (grin). He understands reasons, but doesn't like to accept excuses. Even from students and their families, but he sometimes has to.

He realized this year how thankful he should be that our kids have a kingdom mindset, not pursuit of worldly goods and worldly respect. Especially the older two. He has had to deal with the "educational progress" mentality vs. what our purpose on this earth is really all about.

He still struggles with wanting the kids to pursue more educationally with fervor...but realizes that maybe he is putting too much value in it, as this is what was expected of our generation and our parents generation (post ww more and do more so that your kids will have it better than you, etc.)

My concern is that there may be some very real LD issues, like dyscalcula and verbal or audio processing delays. I know that my second, third, and fourth attempts at getting algebra have only made me want to cry. I truly do not get it nor am I able to put any formulas to good use or memory. I hope dh has finally realized that there MUST be real learning issues there for me, and for some of our young'uns. Pray for us in that dept. and that he will give grace and understanding and realize that at some point, we are not making excuses but have legitimate learning disconnects that are neurological. Short of testing, which he does not want to pursue at this time, there is no hard evidence to prove it to him.

May the Lord soften his heart!

Mother Auma said...

I'll pray for you too. I have always struggled with algebra myself, and tried three times to pass a university level math class in college, only to finally give up. (As Triss progresses into the more complex math world, a math mentor becomes more and more important. I'm thankful we have someone like that in our community.)

I feel for your husband, Javamom. What you are describing has been my struggle for over a year! There is a reason we have had an avenue to testing for longer than a year and have not pursued it!

But I'll tell you what-- no matter what she forgets or cannot find, Mariel is a person who loves people and enjoys life with abandon. I think that might be part of why she forgets and loses things so much-- but I would hate for her to lose her passion and joy only to be able to find her math book. I love her so much the way she is. She reminds me of Tigger, and we all know what happened when Rabbit tried to take the bounce out of him.

Javamom said...

Well-said, indeed! Mariel sounds a whole lot like Andrewcles :-).

We have a math mentor, too. He is hubby's best friend...he and his wife are one of our oldest best couple friends. He now teaches at James' school, too!

Thanks, MA
Have a blessed Lord' Day.