Thursday, May 14, 2009

Back from Addi's teacher conference

... and I could really use some uplifting right now. My head is spinning.

I've talked about the learning differences with Savannah. She's a "visual" learner. You could tell her something over and over and over again, it doesn't "Stick". She struggled in Kindergarden, and has struggled even more in 1st grade. We have been exploring other school options who teach her style. We go tommorow for the open parent meeting at AIE. I was feeling pretty good about that until about 2 hours ago.
Anyways, we feel that we should make the move with Savannah to a school that will cater better to her learning style, and though I love her school so much becuase of the Christian Education and just overall "feel" of the school, it's just not working for her and we've accepted that. The principal has adapted a new program geared for students that learn like Sis and asked us to reconsider staying at the school to see if this would help her. We have been in limbo, the whole "not knowing" and wanting to make sure we do what's best for her. The school that is most recommended we toured right before Christmas break. Their learning approach is *just* what Savannah needs. It's "hands on", very visual, and just really teaches the way that she learns. I was excited when talking to the director, but the atmosphere and the teacher/student interaction is what killed it for me. :( I left crying because in my heart, I just coudln't see putting my daughter there. She isn't different in any other way other than her learning style, but the feel of this school was very cold, very routine, very robotic. Summit Accedmy is another option, and highly recommended but again... 3/4 of the students are not there for learning differences, they require more special attention. The school also costs $12,000/yr, $6,000 more than what we are paying now. But, we are keeping our options open because CAL (her current school) isn't benefiting her and though she loves her friends and the teachers, and all that goes with it.... she's not learning what she needs to be learning.

Fast forward to Addi. Addi has been struggling in the same areas as Savannah. We've thought that she was Dyslexic for about a year now, but thought that maybe she would come out of it. She turns almost all of her numbers and letters aroudn, just as Savannah has always done. Addi has problems with numbers and letters- including phonics, just as Savannah always has. We enrolled her in a special tutoring program that has helped while she's in the class (more visual), but I learned today by her teacher and her tutor that once she comes back to Mrs. Meade's class, she doesn't bring the concept back with her and it's like nothing that she learned was retained. She has struggled. She will get her b's, d's, and p's mixed up. The way her special tutor explained it, if Addi writes a "p" when she's suppose to be writing a "b", her mind is actually *seeing* the "b". THe letters that she mixes up all make sense. They recommended holding both Savannah AND Addison back a year, but I feel that if they *learn* differently (visual and have dyslexia), how will holding them back a year be benefical? Sure, they'll go over the same basic concepts that they went over this year, but when they go in the next grade- we're still back to ground zero. This type of learning and Dyslexia actually runs in Darryl's family. We've accepted that their learning style is different... now we just have to find the right school that "feels" right and that teaches them in their style.

We are enrolling them both in a special summer program that is called "Feuerstein's Instrumental Enrichment Basic". It's not "tutoring" per se, but it helps teach them a way to process things in their mind when it comes in. It will be 2 days a week during the summer for an hour each time. They said it would be benefical to them both if they decided to stay at CAL or if they end up going to a different school.

It's just all so much to take in, you know? :(

Both her special tutor teacher and teacher (Addi's) had bad reviews on AIE, the school that we're going to tommorow. D doesn't want to waste the time to go after hearing what he heard today, but I think it's an indiviudal decision, and I'm not going to base my opinion on what someone else says they have "heard" from others. I want to go and see the school, here the style of teaching, and then make an informed decision. So, that's tommorow. I think I'll be going by myself, which is fine, I just really feel in my heart I need to give the school a chance.

We will also be exploring De Paul School, which is something that I didn't want to do up until this point. It cam recommended from Addi's teacher and though I have my reservations about it, same as above. I need to go- check it out myself- then make a decision. We didn't do our re-enrollment forms for CAL for next year, which I'm glad. In my heart, I say stay at CAL- TRY the new program and see if it works... but my mind is telling me that esp. for Savannah, we need to make a move. With Addi, I'm not so sure..... I would love to give her another year to see if it works itself out. Aspen started off SO SLOW in 1st grade, but after the first quarter she just took off! She's now doing awesome and no problems what so ever. Man, this parenting stuff can be tough sometimes, ya know? I want to make sure that I make the right choices for THEM... so THEY can excel and learn at the pace and style that they were meant to learn at.

So.. that's where we're at. Take it day by day, I'll pray about it, and just trust that whatever decision is on my heart when the time comes, is the right one. This is when faith comes in and trust.... sometimes it's so easy while other times it's so hard, ya know?

Okay, need to head back to the school to pick up the girls, then shoot across town to pick up Courtney. The water in Louisville, in our area, is contaminated so we can't drink the water. Schools have the water fountains covered up and students had to bring their lunches today. I have a roast in my crock pot right now, I hope it gets hot enough to filter out the water. Hmmmm.... I'm wondering now. They said to boil all water that you use, and now that I think about it.... a crock pot doesn't actually bring it to a boil. Hmmm..

Anyways.. gotta scram so I'm not late.

See ya.

1 comment:

Robin said...

Hey GIRL! If you makes you feel any better, Steffanee, a junior in HS STILL mixes her P's and b's. AND can only take 3 numbers at a time for dialing the phone. Not sure what that is about, but she still maintains her "A"s for school. I totally agree, all kids learn in their own way. Steff struggled with math, hated it, UNTIL one math teacher (4th grade) taught her the way she learns. NOW, she is excels in math! Took college Algebra & Stats> got A's. Good luck with your decision and I hope it's the right one for both of them! Will be thinking about you all! ME