Ohhhhhhhhhhhh K. I may need some serious input here people. I’m totally second-guessing myself and not really sure what to do. I’ll start with saying that I KNOW I have some flaws in my parenting. There are things that I don’t follow through on, there are punishments that I don’t give, there is quality time missed with each and every one of my kids. Yes, it’s part of having a large family but I KNOW I could do better. One of the biggest “issues” with me is homework. I have BIG issues with sending my kids away for 8+hours a day and then having them bring home worksheets that I have to EXPLAIN to them. I’m sorry, ummm, what did you do at school today? Oh, an art project, playground twice, 4 bathroom breaks and watched cartoons? Ok then, sure mommy will sit here and teach you about adjectives, long division and the solar system. No problem. Ok, ok, it’s not THAT bad. Still, my point is, homework should be minimal. Reading, I’m ok with that, I even PREFER assigned books, and a book report would be logical, but the worksheets…..um, no.
So, here in lies the beginning of a problem. The kids know my feelings and know they can get away with it. They also know that I will help if they need it but I’m more likely to say….just skip the one you don’t understand and ask the teacher. The girls are both pretty self-motivated learners. They are old enough to call a friend and seek help without getting out-right answers. Nicholas, however, has all kinds of issues. Let’s start with….he’s a boy. Then let’s move on to his personality. He is a total clown, loves to be the center of attention and HATES doing one thing for more than 10 min. Even video games, while he might could play all day, he switches out the game constantly. He also NEEDS a challenge. He claims to hate the timer but boy if I set it, he works hard to beat it. The problem comes in my follow through. The timer goes off and I can’t check his work because I’m changing a diaper. Then I forget for two hours that I needed to do it. Then it’s bedtime and I find he only did 5 of his 20 problems. Then he’s struggling with the concept. So we get up early the next morning to work on it. But he brings out the OTHER sheet he was supposed to do and we start that one and then it’s time to get ready to leave. So he gets to school. There are 28 kids in his class. He’s usually running late (because I get him there late). He has morning work that doesn’t get done because of this. Then there are other assignments. Then he has to do his homework during recess…and he decides to day-dream that away. Which lead to the phone call I go today….”Mrs Paul – Nicholas has only turned in 2 out of 14 assignments this week. I don’t know what to do with him. At this rate there is no way he will pass 4th grade. Do you have any suggestions?” hmmm, let’s see….you’re the teacher, WITH the degree, WITH the resources to help him, I’m the parent, that JUST found out he was struggling a week ago, and YOU’RE calling ME for help? Don’t get me wrong. I love his teacher. She taught another one of my kids. I consider her a wonderful lady. I also happen to know that she’s pretty relaxed and that Nicholas needs a lot of structure. I really should have had foresight to some of this and moved him out of her class in the beginning.
This is where we stand. I don’t think he has much of a chance in his current situation. I think even with daily communication and a hard-core schedule for assignments that he would just shut-down more. I took him yesterday for a placement test at the private school that I work at. The initial look-over showed that he isn’t on 4th grade level for them (which doesn’t surprise me since they are a small school with small classes and smart students). The 3rd grade class is full. We COULD hire a tutor and leave him in public but I don’t know how’d I’d fit that into my weeks. So that leaves homeschooling. Ralph WANTS to do it. He SAYS that he will do most of the teaching in the mornings while I work. I say….I don’t think so. I’ve BTDT! A preschooler and a toddler do not leave much time for teaching. An easily distracted boy with a lenient, loving father lends to not much learning.
So, opinions…..? What do you think? Any options I’m overlooking? Need more info? This has taken me 2 hours to write what with screaming, fighting kids and the normal household interruptions. So it may not be readable. LOL.