Thursday, September 15, 2011

School Year

Well, are we on week three or four of school?  I can't even remember.

The first day of school came, we all woke up at the usual early hour, had breakfast, then mentioned to Charlie that the bus would come soon, so we needed to get him dressed.  He complied happily. He did a few joyous dances about the bus coming.  Kissed everyone soundly.  Then bounded down the driveway with Daddy to board the bus to school.

Everything has gone equally as cheerful and 'old-hat' as ever.

There is a new Speech Therapist, and Charlie has not warmed up to her just yet, I hear.  I doubt it will take him long.  He has been coming out of his shell with so much more ease these days.  A lot of the former anxieties seeming to have melted away.  He is so mature all of a sudden.

There is a new playground at school.  It sounds awesome, but I haven't made the drive to see it.  School is like this whole other life my son has.  He can't really tell me about it, so I only hear snatches of that life from his teacher in e-mails.  It is sort of weird, and makes me sad that I am not there in it.  It is his, and it exists away from us.

Charlie is wearing UNDERWEAR at school now.  And doing awesome with it.  It does not go nearly as awesome at home.  At school the schedule changes seldom, and he knows exactly how long he needs to hold it.  At home we don't have that rigid time-line of events, and despite taking him often, he rarely holds it if he needs to go in between potty breaks.  He is getting better, but yesterday peed his pants 3 times in two hours.  We're working on it.  We are going to give him a watch with a timer to see if he will learn to hold it until his watch beeps, and then take himself.  Like I said, he is so mature now, and it seems like potty independence, and so many other skills, are at the brink of his ability.  He is so close.

This is Charlie's last year as a preschooler--a bonus year to shore up some basic skills (he's 5 1/2 now).  It's sort of a big year.  To me it feels Huge.  We are facing big decisions about Charlie's education for next year.  I feel lost in it all, and pretty stressed out about it.  Yeah.

We found out the local class for moderate to sever disability that we considered is really not an option, unless we want him to be the only kindergartner in a class full of 10+ year olds sitting at desks doing academic work.  No thanks.  He's small for his age to begin with.  And sit at a desk?  Not likely.  Not appropriate.  Not fun.  The only option for him in our town then, is a mild to moderate program.  Everyone I speak to thinks he is probably just at the brink of moderate... just might be a good fit.  Otherwise our options are the school he is at now, or one even further away.  (His current school is 30 minutes away one way.)

I had hoped so much to bring Charlie to school closer to home.  He is gone too long, too far, and too disconnected for me to do this for the long haul.  So we are praying.  We are investigating every avenue including homeschool, independent study, and moving to be near the schools in Eureka.  Of course if the mild/moderate program is a fit, then none of this worry will really matter.  There are other considerations besides those listed, though.  It just feels like a mountain.  We are trusting God with this, always in prayer about it.  But I'll be honest, in all the patience I've learned as direct result of parenting this beautiful Charlie-boy, this is one situation where I just have a hard time being still.  I want this decision to move forward.  I want to know what is ahead.  And at the very least, I wish everything seemed less murky and more promising in my heart.

The good news is Charlie is oblivious to all of this.  He is enjoying himself so much, a cherished part of his school community, a bright boy who loves to learn and please others and make friends.  I always wanted more inclusion for him, and yet seeing him thrive at his school where he has friends--true friends--who are at his level, makes me wonder if we should move him... or what we should do.  I wish these decisions could be made for us... Like God would simply cross out all poor options in some divine fashion.  I think, though, that we are going to face some tough choices, and we will need to put blinders to all factors, pressures, and desires of others or our former selves, and look at our son and family and make the best decision for us all as a unit--a family community.  Afterall, Charlie could be with us his whole life long.  We need to do what is best for us all.  I wonder what that will be.

Anyway, to be continued I guess.  Things are good.  Especially for our special boy.  He is doing fantastic... and loving his wonderful life.  And we are, too.


Anonymous said...

Kim, I feel for you. School decisions are difficult even with 'normal' kids. (I say that lightly, since no kid is 'normal').
For some input on homeschool, you might want to talk with my daughter. She has homeschooled all of her children. They are aged 14, 12 1/2, 9, 6, 5 and almost 2. The 5 and 2 year olds are adopted, and both have the extra chromosome. The 5 year old has some medical disabilities, and spent time in the hospital a couple of years ago. She is finally beginning to grow and learn, and has a program that relates to music. You can find out more at their blog.
If you want her email address, or phone number, send me a PM on FB.
Grandma Alice

Amanda said...

I don't have any suggestions to offer as Everleigh is only a few months old and school is a long way off - but I have many of the same concerns you did/do/always will have pertaining to Charlie and the education system. Hopefully God shows you what He has planned for your family.
Good luck Kim and family. And so happy to hear that Charlie is doing so well!

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