Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sam struggles

Sam's birthday is 3 days before the cut off of being in her grade. As in if she was born 4 days later she couldn't have started Kindergarten when she did. She would have had to waited until the next year. She was the youngest child in her K class. I'm also guessing she is the youngest in 1st grade this year as well. She has always seemed to struggle in school. Last year in Kindergarten her teacher really wanted her to be reading much better. She said we really needed to practice reading a lot over the summer.

First grade... Same thing, her teacher wants her to be reading much better. She had an aid in K that pulled her out and worked on reading and sight words (she wasn't the only one BTW). This year she also had an aid until Christmas. Which I just found out last week. But Sam seemed to be improving so the aid stopped working with her.

When homework comes home it takes Sam forever to do it. We can work on a problem or two then the next problem Sam will act clueless on how to do it, even though it is the same thing as the previous ones. I don't understand it and it can drive a person crazy. Sam also fidgets constantly when reading or trying to do homework. She still writes numbers backwards (3 and 7 and sometimes 2). She still gets b and d mixed up. She writes some letters backwards, especially j. She usually forgets to start sentences with a capitol letter and the punctuation at the end. On spelling tests she will get a word correct then turn the page over to write out sentence dictations and spell the same word wrong. How? How does she do this? I don't understand it. Her writing is awful! It's huge, the spacing is not where it needs to be and is spaced out where it shouldn't be. Her spelling stinks. I can barely read her stuff and a lot of stuff I can't read at all. I see kids in her class that have wrote something and their writing is nice. Sam struggles.

A few months ago Sam completely bombed a spelling test. Pete decided he was going to take over studying spelling words with her. Prior to this he did NO homework with her or with Max. He is the one who always talks about how school sucks and is for suckers/losers, blah, blah, blah. He always talked about how they didn't need to do any homework. It drives me crazy. He should not be saying that in front of the kids who have many years of school ahead of them. They can figure it out by themselves! He also always asks, "what have they learned in school? They have not learned anything. Tell me one thing they have learned." That also drives me crazy. OK, off my soap box and back to spelling test.... She has improved on her spelling test overall. But she works for hours on them. Pete gives her a test and if she misses more than 2 (she usually does) then she has to write all 12 words 10 times each. If they are too sloppy, she has to do them again. Then sometimes she gets a 2nd test and same thing. write them all 10 times a piece ...again. This is usually around 2 hours every night. This is on top of her reading work, her math facts stuff, and the weekly math homework. She usually does homework for 3-4 hours every school night. She still struggles.

Last week her teacher emailed me wanting to know if me and Pete would meet with her to talk about Sam's overall progress and the 2nd grade. We figured she would recommend Sam repeat the 1st grade. We met yesterday after school. We were pretty much right. She doesn't feel Sam is ready for 2nd grade (neither do I really). I have mixed felling about it. I think it would be good for her but at the same time, her friends will be moving on and she would have to be in school one more year. Pete is pretty much against her repeating 1st grade. He thinks we can work with her more and get her caught up. Maybe he's right but how many hours of the day is she going to be studying. She is still a kid after all. The teacher set up a meeting for us to meet with the sp.ed teacher (kinda like a Pre-IEP meeting, I think). It is to discuss options and what the plan is. (BTW it is with the whole sp ed team-- all the people that work with Max). That meeting is May 13. That is only a few days before school is out for the year. So whatever happens will happen next year. We also asked to get her an IQ test. We just aren't too sure that maybe she doesn't have a learning disability. Maybe the IQ test will show us something.

I asked her teacher if she saw any ADHD in Sam. She said she didn't but the reading teacher does comment on Sam's fidgeting and forgetfulness/attention. At the meeting the teacher said to her it sounded more like ADD instead of ADHD. I looked up ADHD last week and I don't think she would qualify for that diagnosis. But I'm not sure.

We left it right now for us to try and catch her up then have the teacher test her before school starts next year to see if she is ready for 2nd grade. I have a feeling Pete will drive me crazy during this process. 'Cause you know, anything that doesn't happen is always the mom's fault (or what happens in different situations) ...You know what I mean!

Within the last week Sam has thrown 2 HUGE fits out in public with me. Once at the park and then at JcPenny getting her pictures taken. What is up with her? She is 6 1/2 years old.


Karen said...

I'm sorry - it's so hard when the kids struggle like that. Has she been tested for dyslexia? She sounds a lot like our dyslexic reader was - and that was even after we held him for a year before starting kindergarten. Hopefully she gets on track and school becomes easier for her!

Tausha said...

I am so sorry. I would definitely check into the dyslexia thing. Maybe she is just a little slower then others and will catch up, especially since she is on the younger side. Hopefully things will get easier for her. Your in our prayers.