Sunday, January 22, 2012

Academic Concerns are back...What now

In the last few weeks Bean's homework has not been coming home with the grades and clean handwriting we have come to expect from her in second grade.  Flipped letters have started showing up in assignment and tests.  Her handwriting has been messy again, her line spacing is haggard. When we finished tutoring last summer we cut a deal with Bean, as long as she keeps up in class she doesn't have to go back to tutoring.  The thing I am struggling with is if this is officially falling behind and we need to call the tutoring place.

When we finally figured out that Bean was struggling and would probably always struggle there was a lot we were able to do right away to help her.  Somehow those immediate actions made me feel like maybe with extremely dedicated attention we could help her this once and she would be fine, she would be able to keep up with her classmates. In the last year I have watched as her math skills have soared and she seems to get concepts that are a struggle for other kids. Her focus in class has increase, she can sit and do an assignment without prompting and finish it, in the expected time.  Her spelling has consistently been above what we expected and her handwriting has been neat with limited flipped words.  I took a breath of fresh air thinking things were going to work out, she was going to be fine.

The school year has progressed and new friends, new teachers and life has all gone on; and we haven't thought a lot about whether we need to continue tutoring this summer. As new concepts have been introduced in class, and more has been expected she is starting to slip. The reality of this slip has been sinking in and what next steps need to be done and what long term things we need to plan for need to be addressed. The first thing we are planning on is a tutoring educational assessment, where she is at where should she be at will be important to the next activities we decide.

If tutoring is needed again and when it needs to be done will be a huge decision point for us. We are hoping that we won't have to do tutoring until summer, that way we can save up some money and we don't have to run back and forth in evening traffic to tutoring. The other advantage of waiting till summer is that it won't mean school all day and tutoring at night, this just tires Bean out and makes us all cranky.  The downside of summer tutoring is figuring out how to schedule getting her to and from without am impact on our jobs, last year tutoring was an hour and a half three days a week from 9 to 10:30, yet meeting time at work.  There is always the option of changing where we do tutoring, but where she currently goes knows how to teach to her strengths and she can get the tutor she had for eight months so someone who knows her.

There is also getting her to accept that she needs to go back. Bean has a lot of adaptions so people don't notice her learning issues, including attitudinal adjustments to hide her confusion or non-understanding of issues.  Bean is a kid who doesn't like to admit that she isn't right there with her peers academically, but somehow I want her to realize she needs help and not ask for help, but accept it.  In a few short years Bean needs to be able to tell someone that she needs more time, or that she doesn't understand, and how can she learn that skill when she is still trying to hide when she can't figure it out.  Addressing this particular issue is what concerns me the most, and counseling didn't help. The thing is I have no idea what to so or how to help her with this.  I keep thinking I will find an article a book, something that leads me in a direction where we find success, but this has yet to happen.

The longer term impacts of this slip are also starting to get discussed by the Hubs and I. Her learning challenges are not going to go away, they are here and we need to plan on how we are going to address these year to year. We need to start financial planning on summer tutoring at the least and possibly year round down the road. We need to plan for the chauffeuring duties needed to get her too and from, for 504 discussions and teacher education year in and year out.  Financially there may be more technology supposes to support her needs and mentally there will be more years than planned on working closely with her on homework and organization.  Most of these things are to be decided later, but they are now in our consciousnesses.

We knew there was a slim chance that one year and a little medication would fix it all, but hey you could hope right....

1 comment:

  1. That's so heartbreaking to read. Have you talked with her pediatrician? That'd be my first step. Perhaps as she's growing her dosage isn't quite right. Having reversals come back after they'd been gone for awhile is what sticks out to me, as that isn't a matter of not comprehending new material, but rather regressing to previous difficulties. Same with spacing and messiness. Good luck!