Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer Tutoring Wrap Up

Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet with the tutor and counselor that Thing One has been seeing this last summer.  Once again I am left with more questions that answers.
Thankfully the tutor was forth coming and gave her true options.  I appreciated her honest feedback so much. Often people want to give the safe answers, or the best practice, or better yet give you all the options, but not their opinion.  As a provider of a service to children, giving your opinion can be dangerous.  Someone might actually use your opinion, things won't go well and they will blame you.  Telling someone what you would do if this was your child can be a really tough, and being honest sensitive territory.  I appreciated the tutors honestly truly and her sharing her opinions, if Thing One was here did help.
On to the juice parts of this story though, the answers I did get. After completion of 50 hours of tutoring a full battery of educational testing was conducted again.  The good thing is the completion of the hours matched well with the end of our summer tutoring. This testing was suppose to give us a great idea of where we are at now and hopefully we would be able to say Thing One was at grade level and ready to start the school year.  That was not what the testing said though....

Testing showed a lot, but it didn't really give us the answer to the main question we had, is Thing One at grade level.  The preface to all the testing was that Thing One wasn't having a great day and that could be the reason that there were not more significant progress noted.  There were a few pluses to this whole thing though. Thing One now has a 7th grade reading comprehension level (WOW) and her phonics skills are above a 3rd grade level and way above where she started.  There were also some ok kind of moments; Thing One is close to grade level on almost all her reading levels.  Some things stayed the same and though we hoped for better knew that may not be the case. All Thing One's processing scores stayed the same; meaning no improvement and processing will be a long term issue on some level. There were also some completely confounding things.  Thing One's math scores were well below grade level, this is confusing seeing as her school grades were above average.  There are bad days and good days, but some things added up and some didn't so the question is what do we do now, based on this information how do we proceed and move forward?

As parents these are the decisions that some day may kick us in the ass or may not be an issue, but we don't know the outcome now.  The tutor knowing we were wanting to give Thing One a break knew that more tutoring into the school year would be unlikely, but did note that Thing One most likely will still need support on some level. I mentioned the idea of maybe hiring a tutor to come into the house a few days a week to help with homework and she LOVED the idea. She said that even with just the support of a good high school student Thing One may be able to avoid falling behind quicker. She mentioned that even with help, most likely Thing One will fall behind again, but maybe we can move into a situation where she just tutors in the summer so she can be more successful.  Even though there are some things that won't change about Thing One I want to give her a chance to succeed on her own, I want to see if without the intensive tutoring support things can get better.

We are not completely starting the school year with nothing. We are looking into medication to address the ADD and anxiety issues that Thing One has. Our theory is that if she can be more attentive in class she will pick up more information. Additionally with less anxiety she may focus less on her fear of failure and really try.  We also want to get her a tutor a few days a week. The theory behind the tutor is that this will be someone that is not Mom and Dad helping her. That the tutor will be in her corner, have more patience and also be able to hold her to account without it being the homework war. Also, with a homework tutor helping her we can get Thing Two working on his homework.  Who knows this all may be a nightmare or it may work, who knows until you try though, Right??

1 comment:

  1. I've been the tutor and the classroom teacher in this scenario and it's always so tough to find the balance between providing support and growing independence. Every child is so different and needs such different things. Best wishes!