Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Never say Never

There is a saying, "Never say Never". Meaning, never say you will never do something, because that is exactly what you will do.

I remember when Maddie was about 8 months old, I had decided she would be my only child. I didn't want to share her or our time with anyone else. Also the thought of having to care for more than the two of us scared me. Not too long after that Jason and I got married. We decided to have just one more child. Another girl.. I wanted Maddie to be a boy, but once she was here, I never wanted a boy. I wanted Maddie to have a sister, someone to grow up with and share things with the way I did. The timing was perfect, Maddie would have a sister, two years younger than her... I had a boy.

Two for two with that one.

We moved to West Mobile. I would never move back to North Mobile. I liked it in the West. It's been 16 years, We live in North Mobile.

I think sometimes of all the things I said I would never do. Its scary to think of how many more things I've said that about, that I may just be doing soon.

Last week I went to a meeting to set up a meeting. Yep, that's right.

 A month back I went to a meeting to see if the school agreed with me that Haleigh and Landon needed special education testing. They both did, but because of Haleigh's hearing she wasn't actually tested at all, I have no idea why it took so long for hers. Because, they could I guess. Then last week we all met again, so they could tell me, based on testing they will get special education services. What services they will get, when, how long, what does it mean? Oh, that meeting is the 23rd. So I went to a meeting for them to tell me we are having another meeting to talk about what services the kids need. I now know why nothing ever gets done.

When I put my oldest child in kindergarten 13 years ago, I had no doubt she was smart, and she is. I had no doubt that she would thrive in public school and she has. I had no doubt that all my other children would follow her and do just as well as she did. I was wrong.

I had said I would never homeschool my kids. If my child needed something extra then the school would provide that. An education is a right everyone has, my children would get a free public education, from the state of Alabama. I was wrong.

There are so many things that are wrong with our education system. There are parents who have been trying to navigate the system for years longer than I have. I started two years ago when Landon first had his accident. I wish I would have pulled him out when our first meeting didn't go well. I trusted them though and I didn't. I left him in the system, he struggled, but he was doing ok. This year was so much worse. Third grade is hard and without the skills he needed to succeed, he faltered.  It's the very end of third grade. He has 7 days of school left. The meeting is 3 days before he gets out. There is no time for anything to help him this year. I'm not sure if he passed this year or not. I am actually not concerned with passing or failing anymore. He hasn't learned the skills needed to be successful in the 4th grade. He repeated kindergarten, simply because he was too young to be there really, I should have kept him home another year. If I leave him in public school he will restart 3rd grade at 10 years old. I can only imagine what that will do to the confidence he has managed to hold onto. I think if the school had agreed to help him last year, or maybe even the first part of this year it could have made a difference, but now its a little too late.

First grade is a big year, they learn so much that year. Haleigh struggled tremendously throughout the year. We didn't realize her disability until mid year and I didn't realize how much it was effecting her until it was a little late. Her meetings have gone the same as Landon's. She has a hearing advocate with her though sent by the state. Haleigh works so hard. I love her teacher, she is amazing. Has helped Haleigh in so many ways, and if we were to leave Haleigh in the system I wouldn't want her to be in anyone else's class. However, If I am going to have Landon home teaching him, I can do the same for Haleigh. There is no reason for her not to have the one on one or two on one, she can get at home. It will be better than the 25 on one she is getting in the system now. I love that she is such a hard worker. I know I can teach her the skills she needs to be a great reader. I know she will catch up to her peers, and I know I can teach her the sounds she is missing. I just have to leap with her. She's ready, I just have to unlock the special way she learns.

It's my job, I am her mother. Their mother.

A free public education is a right, everyone has that right. To teach is a parental obligation, every parent has that obligation to teach their child.

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