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#1 of 24 Old 12-11-2013, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What's up with you and yours? New challenges, old problems, exciting accomplishments, unexpected growth, frustrations, lightbulb moments ...

 

miranda


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#2 of 24 Old 12-11-2013, 07:26 PM
 
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We had to transfer schools- it's a typical tale of woe. DS7's current school is not meeting his needs. I could see where it was effecting his motivation and self-esteem, so we were fortunate to find a school that will do better.

DS7 (just turned 7) has hit his reading stride, and it is so much fun to go book shopping or to the library. I have learned about the power of choice- so I only "suggest" three or four books per year, and he picks out the rest (as long as books aren't racy or terrifying or extremely violent, I've gotten more laid back). We always have a "quality" book that I read aloud before bed.

The best thing that has happened this year is that DS is building character. I have noticed when he talks about his school friends that he shows kindness and appreciation. He's maturing in ways that I did not predict, given his toddler and preschool penchant for tantrums, mischief and mayhem.

My lightbulb moment was in the realm of education. I used to think that structure, rigor, and practice were the backbone of education--I still do with caveats, but I realized that I left out "passion." My DS lost some of his passion at his current school- it scared us because his intensity and curiosity are so much a part of who he is--we acted fast and were lucky to find another placement.
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#3 of 24 Old 12-11-2013, 09:35 PM
 
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The best thing that has happened this year is that DS is building character. I have noticed when he talks about his school friends that he shows kindness and appreciation. He's maturing in ways that I did not predict, given his toddler and preschool penchant for tantrums, mischief and mayhem. 

 
 

That is heartwarming and gives me much hope for the future :)  

 

 

DS (4) is at the height of asynchrony (at least I hope). Writing his thoughts is painstaking and tantrum causing - much frustration over his inability to physically write the letters as he knows they should look.  Emotional upset over eating animals, climate change, animal extinction, the inevitability of death, Pluto not being a planet(lol!), and who knows what is next. He knows of these things, but doesn't really understand them, if you know what I mean.  He doesn't want to be told what to do, but also doesn't want to have any more birthdays because he's afraid of getting old and dying and also living without me.  BUT, I'm mean and he wants a new mom. . . Oh boy, this kid is an emotional mess.  I try not to cry, or laugh - that just makes him mad. Whew!   We are on a roller coaster - daily!

 

Preschool is a bit of a struggle.  I think he's bored and acting out sometimes.  Other times, he's just being his normal oppositional self.


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#4 of 24 Old 12-11-2013, 10:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's great that you've found another school that seems poised to do a better job of meeting his needs. And also really good news about the reading. I'm guessing he hasn't started at the new school yet. Do update us when he does!

 

A couple of weeks ago ds17, who seemed to be allergic to decision-making and to the thought of moving away from home, went and audited some classes in Digital Media and Design at a nearby college. He discovered that he needs way more challenge than that sort of program offers, as he was able to excel at the stuff they were doing in the classes he sat in on. Despite embarrassingly heavy recruiting pressure from that college, he's now looking towards a dual major in music (composition and electronic music production?) and computer science (coding/software engineering) at a university on the coast. He's also ordered a bunch of recording equipment for hobby-related stuff, and has his heart set upon an electric five-string viola. The one he wants is over $3K, so in the meantime dh and I have for Christmas bought him a nice pickup for his acoustic viola and a looper pedal which I think he'll be thrilled with. He's into music improve (viola, voice, guitar, piano), choral music, digital music production and computer coding right now. School bubbles along. I rarely see him do any work, but his assignments all get done and turned in, and his grades are excellent. 

 

Dd15 is doing fine. She's pretty happy at school now that she knows she has the option to move to another bigger school after this year. Her relationship with boyfriend has reached a healthy (and non-sexual) plateau, which is nice. They're good for each other, but I'd love it if things didn't get too complicated and enmeshed. She's doing very well in her 11th grade courses. (She got 98% in math, but 100% in English? Really? Is that even possible?)

 

Dd10 (who goes to school for 9th grade math only, plus occasional special events) wrote her end-of-first-semester math exam 2 months ahead of schedule and aced it. She's doing a dance elective this week which was offered to all the Grade 7 through 12's, but it turns out there are only 7 kids taking it: dd10, a 13-year-old 7th grader, two Grade 10's and the rest are Grade 12s. Interesting range of ages, but dd is loving it and it seems to be working both socially and artistically. Then tonight she worked a shift as a dishwasher at a café (under the table, child labour laws being more lax in Canada, but we still have 'em) because it was a special seasonal event and she had politely but assertively approached the proprietor last week and offered to help out with the onslaught of extra work. Got hired on the spot. Worked hard by all accounts, did a bit of waiting tables as well, earned tips. This kid will go far, I think!

 

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#5 of 24 Old 12-12-2013, 02:19 PM
 
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I was just thinking this morning...

I used to have so much pride (a lot of it misplaced probably) in DS because of how "smart" he is.

But the pride I get now from seeing him deal with challenges is so much more heartwarming and touching for me. They just had their Christmas concert a few nights ago... these things are so out of his realm and comfort zone (performance arts and what not) but he tackled that with enthusiasm and with pretty good effort. He's also in swim team just recently and he is, by far, the weakest swimmer. His coordination has a lot of room for improvement still but he looks forward to swim team everyday and just tries really hard to listen and do what the coach says. He psyches himself by coming up with stuff like... "I think people who are best at something don't necessarily start out with being good at it. I think they work really hard to be the best"

Academically, he's still way ahead of his peers. He started with the G&T pull out one year ahead of when the school usually starts it. I'm glad the school adjusted for him and didn't give me the "we don't start til 3rd grade spiel". His school has actually been very accommodating. They even took 2 of the high performing kids in his class to join him in the pull out so he's not by himself.

The subject of whole grade acceleration was discussed and there is a bit of hesitation on the part of the admin and his teacher because they aren't sure if he will have peers in the higher grade who will match up with him. Where he is now currently, there are the 2 high performing kids who are possibly gifted too (though they haven't tested yet). I'm fine with where he is for now. He has an awesome teacher and it's a good group of kids.

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#6 of 24 Old 12-13-2013, 10:42 PM
 
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#7 of 24 Old 12-16-2013, 11:30 AM
 
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Dd10 <snip> Then tonight she worked a shift as a dishwasher at a café (under the table, child labour laws being more lax in Canada, but we still have 'em) because it was a special seasonal event and she had politely but assertively approached the proprietor last week and offered to help out with the onslaught of extra work. Got hired on the spot. Worked hard by all accounts, did a bit of waiting tables as well, earned tips. This kid will go far, I think!

 

Miranda

i am so excited to hear this Miranda. dd tried doing this too but here in california the person just could not take the chance. dd loves food, loves cooking and she would really like to work at a restaurant. she would ideally want to be a sous chef but she knows people wont feel comfortable with a 11 year old chopping. for the last 4 years she has been volunteering at a local farm kitchen when time allows and she loved it. she went with me so she had adult supervision so she could do what she wanted to do. 

 

she keeps talking to people to changing the labor laws. for the past two years she's been wanting to either work at a restaurant or at a local store to hang out with the very interesting adults. to do inventory and take stock and help out at the deli. she is not interested in washing cars, or taking dogs for walks or mowing lawns. she loves baby sitting though. 


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#8 of 24 Old 12-18-2013, 12:34 PM
 
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Pranava I saw your post about your child on another thread. I want to reassure you that it does get better. In the case of my DS7, we saw major improvements in kindergarten, especially in the areas of self control and anxiety. Now, in 1st, I can tell you that he is growing into a thoughtful, empathetic little boy. Yes, he still has these moments, but I think that they are a calculated bid for amnesty from homework, or just a way to liven things up (meaning that his displays are more purposeful, not a sign of losing control).
When my son was your child's age, we were worried about all kinds of possible causes for his intensity and defiance. We did not know and were only beginning to suspect that he was gifted. We certainly did not know that giftedness could be contributing to his over the top reactions. I think it's prudent to monitor our kids' development, so that they can get help if it's needed (we ultimately took our son to a child therapist to see if he might need a referral for evaluation)- he didn't, but he needed time and support to outgrow some of his behavior. He still goes through "phases" but it's much more mild and short lived.
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#9 of 24 Old 12-23-2013, 03:38 PM
 
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My six year old DS:

 

Brag: DS is now ranked #67 on this month's UFCF's Top 100 (Ages 7 & Under) list for chess players in the USA. This also makes him #15 in the state of Texas for his age group! If you count only six year old's he is #8 in the country and #3 in our state. Pretty cool. 

 

Challenge: He has seemed more emotional lately. He is generally not extremely emotive (his sister is) but this week he has had several teary meltdowns. It's kinda strange. 

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#10 of 24 Old 12-25-2013, 06:44 PM
 
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My six year old DS:

 

Brag: DS is now ranked #67 on this month's UFCF's Top 100 (Ages 7 & Under) list for chess players in the USA. This also makes him #15 in the state of Texas for his age group! If you count only six year old's he is #8 in the country and #3 in our state. Pretty cool. 

 

Challenge: He has seemed more emotional lately. He is generally not extremely emotive (his sister is) but this week he has had several teary meltdowns. It's kinda strange. 

Congratulations!! Very impressive...:) My 14 yo DS plays chess every chance he gets (which is not much these days due to his musical pursuits) and he loves it dearly, but he finds it stressful... could your six-year old be feeling the pressure to do well and win all the time? Or it could just be developmental--my DD was super emotional at that age. Hugs to you!

 

DD(12 next month) is obsessed with singing pop songs. She is starting to compose her own too! We will see where this takes her.

 

DS(8) spent a week in an unschooling learning center nearby and loved it. No way is he going back to public school, and I am gearing up to supplement this experience with some writing remediation at home, to address his dyslexia issues. It should be another interesting homeschooling journey, in some ways the same and in some ways different from my 14 yo who is busy teaching himself all sorts of things, preping for a 1 hour solo recital at a nearby nursing home, and for a solo appearance on From the Top.

 

Happy Holidays to all!

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#11 of 24 Old 12-25-2013, 06:55 PM
 
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Congratulations!! Very impressive...:) My 14 yo DS plays chess every chance he gets (which is not much these days due to his musical pursuits) and he loves it dearly, but he finds it stressful... could your six-year old be feeling the pressure to do well and win all the time? Or it could just be developmental--my DD was super emotional at that age. Hugs to you!

 

DD(12 next month) is obsessed with singing pop songs. She is starting to compose her own too! We will see where this takes her.

 

DS(8) spent a week in an unschooling learning center nearby and loved it. No way is he going back to public school, and I am gearing up to supplement this experience with some writing remediation at home, to address his dyslexia issues. It should be another interesting homeschooling journey, in some ways the same and in some ways different from my 14 yo who is busy teaching himself all sorts of things, preping for a 1 hour solo recital at a nearby nursing home, and for a solo appearance on From the Top.

 

Happy Holidays to all!

 

Good luck homeschooling your youngest! :) And very cool about the musical pursuits of your oldest too!

 

No, he doesn't feel pressure from chess these days. He did when he was four and gave it up for like 10 months. Now he just enjoys it. And it's low key- we cant afford to take him to big tournaments so he just plays in more local ones. No, I think its his age. sigh. 


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#12 of 24 Old 12-25-2013, 10:50 PM
 
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I've mostly just lurked here on occasion; I've long suspected DD(now 5) was bright, but I thought gifted was a long shot. Especially when I read some other posts on here, I think that she's an amazing child, but certainly not a genius (statement of fact, not a disparagement).

Anyway, regardless of label, she's definitely a smart cookie. I'd estimate her reading at a 3rd grade level (disappears into her room for 2 hours while she devours a 150 page book), and while her computational skills are still a bit slow, her comprehension of mathematical concepts is definitely impressive for her age (several months ago, I explained the concept of multiplication to her, just for the fun of it, and we've discussed it little since; two weeks ago, out of nowhere, "Mom, did you know 4 times 4 is 16?"). She'd be a complete fish out of water in her public kindergarten class if her social intelligence wasn't comparable (I don't know where she gets it, but this child fits into whatever social group you plop her into: 2 year olds, 6 year olds, 12 year olds, 50 year olds...doesn't matter, she will get along perfectly). All the same, she's learning very little in a class where they learn a letter a week (and she loves learning things), so I've been pushing for acceleration since Day One. At first the kindergarten teacher totally blew me off, which I understand. I'm sure parents are constantly telling her how smart their kids are. So I pushed for a meeting with the principal, with my initial goal being acceleration in reading, at least. They put us off until the end of October, but they did administer the 1st grade reading proficiency in the meantime, and I think that's when they really started taking me seriously. She got 100%. The principal agreed to send her to first grade for reading, all the while warning me about the emotional pitfalls of acceleration (served me just fine).

She's done very well in first grade reading, and both her teachers are now supporting us in full grade acceleration. We even got the principal behind us, even though she was totally not for it before, told me it didn't happen, couldn't happen. After winter break, they'll be officially testing her for first grade and then moving her up. She's excited, and I'm excited for her to be in a marginally more appropriate environment. :-) And so nervous for my kindergarten baby to really be a big kid now.

And she's got to pave the way for DS(3), who's definitely following in Sister's footsteps..."I know how to spell box!" "Oh yeah?" "B...x!" "Wow, so close! (Me saying the sounds) b-ooooo-x." "B-o-x!" :-D I think he'd do well in DD's kindergarten. ;-)

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#13 of 24 Old 12-26-2013, 08:56 AM
 
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Brag video link of DS, recorded last week, age 14 going on 57:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPIzm88mYeQ

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#14 of 24 Old 12-26-2013, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Brag video link of DS, recorded last week, age 14 going on 57:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPIzm88mYeQ

 

Indeed. Stunningly mature playing. I can see that he has grown into himself hugely in the past year or two. Wow! Thanks for posting. 

 

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#15 of 24 Old 12-26-2013, 07:28 PM
 
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Brag video link of DS, recorded last week, age 14 going on 57:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPIzm88mYeQ

 

Really gorgeous. Thank you for sharing.

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#16 of 24 Old 12-28-2013, 05:57 PM
 
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Wow! Your son is great!

 

I think I need to hang out here much more often.  I just don't have anyone irl who is supportive of my children.  It's the hardest for dd1 because she is paving the way.  The others are trying to catch up to her, so they have a better environment.  They are already reaching way higher than they ought for their age, if that makes sense. 

 

I thought I was respectful and aware of my kids, but I'm surprised at how much I've missed.  Dd could read at 3.  I showed my in-laws, and they gave a response that left dd and I both feeling awkward. Then I read about the little girl who wants violin lessons at 3, and the mom worked it out.  Dd did, too, but I sort of pushed it under the rug because it felt snobbish.  It's been my lightbulb  moment these past few weeks.  My kid is pretty awesome, and I need to find people who can support her for who she is.  I don't know where to start, but if we just start meeting a lot more people maybe something good will turn up.

 

I guess I'm going to start a new thread on reading material.  I need some help.

 

Thanks to all of you for sharing your struggles and your children's accomplishments.  It's a real encouragement to me.

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#17 of 24 Old 12-28-2013, 06:45 PM
 
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My dd 6 is big on hiding what she knows lol. Santa brought her a recorder for Xmas. She openly ignored my instruction on how to play and then later demonstrated she has it all down. She's having a tough time coordinating her fingers and completely covering the holes, otherwise she would already be playing songs. Although my dad said she played Mary had a little lamb for him, no idea when she managed to learn that.

So far so good on introducing her to music. Piano lessons are imminent.
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#18 of 24 Old 12-28-2013, 08:16 PM
 
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Violet- so funny when they fake like that!

 

When dd2 was a few months from being 2, I was worried she didn't seem to consistently know all the colors.  So, one night, I pulled out a handful of crayons and asked her to give me the blue one.   She did it wrong over and over.  I was pretty sure she was messing with me, though, so I said, "Hey, dd, want a piece of chocolate?  Give Mama blue."  She did it right away, no problem.  Intrigued, I tried it with a few words.  Turned out she could read a handful of words, too!

 

My older two both pretended they couldn't read.  It was a hard call, but finally I told them they couldn't get off the couch until they finished the book.  Bam.  Done. 

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#19 of 24 Old 12-29-2013, 01:45 PM
 
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Brag video link of DS, recorded last week, age 14 going on 57:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPIzm88mYeQ


Awesome.


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#20 of 24 Old 12-29-2013, 03:31 PM
 
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The cello playing is stunning. Wow.
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#21 of 24 Old 12-30-2013, 06:52 AM
 
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Had to add an accomplishment (not so amazing as the cellist or chess champion, but still a milestone in our house). DS7 (1st grade) is officially finished with multiplication. He had a hard time keeping patience with the longer problems, but rallied this morning and decided on his own that he wanted to finish.

 

We're on to medium/ long division and a bit of work with fractions, decimals, etc. Hopeful that we'll zip a bit faster through division and maybe get to some "fun" math. 

 

We're going to put DS in a chess class starting this winter to see if he likes it-- and another milestone coming up this winter is the first out of town Taekwondo tournament. 

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#22 of 24 Old 12-30-2013, 05:41 PM
 
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We've had a great 2013 in our house! DS went from diapers to the potty, from recognizing random words to reading fluently, from counting up to 30 to counting backwards from 200 by 10s... it's amazing to me. Just when I think he's slowing down, he has a new breakthrough. 

 

We've made the painful/exciting decision to change DS3's schooling situation in February. Our current preschool is wonderful, but I'm not sure if it's the best thing for him going forward. We found a small Montessori school that seems perfect. A few weeks ago we had a family interview. I wanted to be clear about his abilities, without sounding too ridiculous (I'm a teacher and I know how parents can over-sell their kids' abilities.). Early in the interview, DS finished all of the simple puzzles that had been brought for him to "explore". Then he looked at me and clearly said, "I want to go home!" I cringed. But then he walked over to a bookcase, picked up a book, and began reading it with wonderful inflection. After a few pages, my husband interrupted the interview to say, "I want you to understand that he's never seen that book before! He's really reading! And he comprehends it!" It was perfect! We're cautiously optimistic...

 

DH had an "ah ha" moment about a month ago when he volunteered in Children's Church with me (ages 4-2nd grade). I was having the kids line up for an activity. In an attempt to help figure out who should go first, he offered, "Ok, pick a number between 20 and 80." After a few minutes of struggle he looked at me and whispered, "Ok. This is a wake up call!"

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#23 of 24 Old 12-31-2013, 10:40 AM
 
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I think I need to hang out here much more often.  I just don't have anyone irl who is supportive of my children.  It's the hardest for dd1 because she is paving the way.  The others are trying to catch up to her, so they have a better environment.  They are already reaching way higher than they ought for their age, if that makes sense. 

 

 

Thank you all for your encouraging words!

 

I agree with FisherFamily! This board is wonderful because people here understand and do not judge! :)

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#24 of 24 Old 01-02-2014, 10:42 AM
 
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A little late for December...

DD (13 years old) just finished her 1st semester of HS, after skipping 8th grade. She certainly got her first real taste of challenge, both to her intelect, and her executive functioning skills. And learning that even though it sounds fun, maybe joining every after school group you are interested in *may not* be the best use of your time.

First real challenge: Honors Conceptual Physics. She completely missed the Physics unit from last year's science class (moved from 7th grade science to 8th grade science 2/3 of the year through). She really has a difficult time wanting to track scores/grades, and also has a hard time acknowledging that the need to ask for help is not a sign of weakness or lack of ability. So she got a B for the first quarter because she failed to keep track of her tests. labs, and homework, and in doing so, missed her chance to correct two low (high 70's) grades. Her teacher had a pretty liberal policy where they can correct any work for partial credit to improve a grade.

She was pulling a low to mid A for the second quarter, and needed to do fairly well on the final to squeak out an A. Her class was given the final a week early, so they would have a chance to retake it on the true final day, and the teacher would average the two grades. Low B on first take; high B on second take. Her teacher made a deal with her - get a 89.5 average and I'll give you the A. Guess what average she ended with? ;-). Happy Ending: an A in Physics. My DH and I told her we were most proud of her for the way she stuck to it and gritted out the effort. The A was nice too, of course.

Challenge discovered: Helping DD to learn how to distill a subject's important concepts down to aid in recall for a final!

She did well in her other 3 subjects (her HS is on the block system; they have 4 classes per semester) - received A's. She took Spanish and Drawing - both were relative cakewalks for her. Her other class was an Intro to STEM class that presented some challenges - not academically, but interpersonally. One major part of her grade was a group project. Her fellow group mates were pretty lax in their commitment to get things done by deadlines. She would get very frustrated, and feel stressed to get all the work done herself (which had happened to her in the past with group work - the expectation of group mates that she should do the bulk of the work). AS she will have to deal with these types of situations "in the real world" someday, we worked with her to proactively deal with the situation - staying in constant contact with group mates outside of class, encouraging the group to make time to work together (via email, so if nothing else, there was a paper trail for her teacher to see her level of effort). And to let her know it was okay after attempting to resolve the issue on her own, to seek help from her teacher to solve it. She did that; her teacher let her know he wouldn't let their lack of effort affect her grade negatively.

The teacher she had for this Intro to STEM class will be one of her Engineering teachers over the next few years (and we did tell him that DD skipped to 9th grade, so he is/would be aware of the age and other differences). I think he's formed a soft spot for DD; they have spent some time together outside of the class (in an after school activity) and he joked with her one day that she might be his" new favorite student". We also received a very heartwarming note at the end of the semester, part of which read:

"I also wanted you to know {DD} exceeded my expectations, which were high to begin with. She turned out to be quite a leader in class and her work is excellent. I am looking forward to a long, friendly, and productive relationship for the next few years. I will work on her becoming more active in {an extracurricular activity} so her leadership potential can be further developed.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday. Thanks for sending me such a wonderful kid!"


I've got to tell you, getting feedback like this makes the difficult times we've gone through with her so worth it; most recently dealing with her inability to monitor and self control computer game playing and socializing via Skype and text, to the detriment of her need for sleep.

Now on to the second semester, which will be even more challenging; Honor Geometry, PE/Health class, Intro to Engineering, and Honors English. And to get her to see that she'll need to choose which after school activities are most important, and ditch the rest.

And on to DS (5 years old). He started K this year; it's going as well as can be expected. I say that because while I know he's doing well academically, it's a bit of a bumpy ride for him anyway. His teacher and I are keeping in contact about his issues - generally a lack of body awareness (trouble staying still, not being aware of how his physical movement/actions affect others - bumping in to them, knocking them over {even hurting a few kids, though not seriously}, not allowing for other's need for personal space, and not being able to stop talking and focus on his table work). Seriously, there are times he just CANNOT stop talking and/or making noises, even though he know it's too much and driving us, and his teacher a little nuts. If we try to stop him, he'll get upset and scream, "Let me finish my words!", even if he has said/asked the same thing over and over and over. I also think that he has issues with speech (still misstates the right sound for letter(s) and vice versa. He does still have a lisp and will still incorrectly say certain words, even though we say them correctly, and have gently worked with him on the correct way to say the given word. So this all speaks to potential sensory, hearing and speech issues.

A LOOONNNGGG time ago I asked his teacher for a speech eval, but the wheels are moving slowly (or not at all), so I'm going to formally write the principal a letter to start the clock. I'm going to have to tread carefully with this; he is Open Enrolled at his current school and don't want to do anything that might affect that.

He really needs to have a full eval, I know. But we are dragging our feet for a couple of reasons. I'm having trouble sussing out what is normal 5 year old boy behavior vs. what is not and in need of immediate intervention. I only have my DD to use as comparison; that's not a fair comparison. While she was a challenging child emotionally/behaviorally, his issues are not the same as hers. Also, it's expensive, and with our high deductible insurance, it will completely have to be paid for by us, even though most/all will be a billable visits/diagnoses (I've checked this with our insurance). I need to figure this out sooner than later; I don't want to drag my feet as long as I did for DD and not proactively advocate for DS's needs.

But on the positive side, he really is a sweet boy, who loves to go to school and has made good friends (with the girls too - they think he's a great friend, and love to chase him on the playground at recess!). His teacher has said this as well.

As always, I do appreciate the space to be able to say these things, and to get great and thoughtful feedback/advice from those who've BTDT.

Becky, mom to two - DD ('00) and DS ('08)
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