Professor Mom

Chronicles the life of a mom, teacher, and writer trying to stay sane amid the chaos of daily life.

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beck's picture beck

This made me cry. I'm sorry, Aliki.
Some days are just insanely hard. Are L's school decisions un-doable right now?


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

No, they are not undoable, beck. But he is not an easy kid to figure out HOW to school, and the options are limited here. We found a private school that starts Monday, but it's not a perfect fit and it would be such a huge gamble with a price tag attached (monetary, emotional, sanity-wise) that we're not sure if it will warrant the drastic step.


mouse's picture mouse

One thing I want to say, as a former private school teacher, is that it's much more on the parents to make sure they can provide any extra supports needed, more so than in public schools. At least where I taught, they did not have the same obligation for IEPs or "fair and appropriate education." Something I found disillusioning was seeing how at my school some kids were accommodated, but others were gently (or not so) ushered out the door, depending on what their specific needs were. (My cynical side compels me to add, "or how much money their parents donated.") Not to say this is every private school, just that they don't usually have the same accountability as public schools. All that said, if we still lived in the area where I was teaching, there are a couple schools I might have considered if it came to that since they catered to students who had trouble in traditional settings; at least one specifically admitted a number of students with high-functioning autism.


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

I know, mouse--we would not easily or quickly give up the access to supports L. receives now; however, he's digging his heels in at these, and they are not working so great. We need to either change the way they are set up, or take that scary plunge without them!

Anyway, changes will have to be made in some fashion--I guess the question is which ones, and how?


mouse's picture mouse

I was composing a post in my head--who knows if it will actually materialize--when I realized it was another "sometimes I don't know what to do with him" post. Nothing to the point of what you're describing here (though I'm happy he has yet to be assigned any homework this year). This is one of those times when it sure would be nice to have simple answers.


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

I think what's hard for me, mouse, is that I'm a "fix-it" person. I like to keep at something until I can get it to work--this helps me as a teacher, I think, because I just won't give up on a student or class until I can fix what's wrong. But you can't ever fix everything--not even with neurotypical children, and sometimes it's hard as a parent to accept that.


Omaha Mama's picture Omaha Mama

So...I was wondering where you were yesterday. I wish I lived closer and could bring something made from my heart, maybe a nice warm cup of tea. And then I would tell you that you are going to be okay and when it's all said and done, you will have more material for your book and will be a much stronger person. Or maybe I would just listen. And listen and listen and listen. And tell you that L loves you. For being his unconditionally loving parent who does your best by him. And someday that will be the material he needs for his book. And the curriculum, and maybe even the school that he will create.
Have you ever read How to Talk So Kids will Listen? I did last year, with the dual purpose of parenting and teaching. It talks about playing the "If only" game with kids and telling them that if you could make it so, you would make multiplication illegal and then ban division. Then, when he's feeling better, maybe ask him to tell you about what school would look like for him, if he could learn how he wanted. And then tell him you wish it were so. Then maybe he could hear you out?

Or that could be a total disaster and I have no idea what I'm talking about. :0) I have an intense desire to fix what is ailing everyone, everywhere.
Oh, and it's a full moon tonight. So the pendulum should swing back to sane in a day or two. Then maybe back to our math facts.

Hugs. And hugs.

I hope you are feeling better by tonight, I'm late in getting here.


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

Thank you so much for your support--I feel better already--writing about it all helps me keep perspective (as does getting good advice/sympathy from friends!). Maybe I CAN blame it on the full moon...

We have some definite plans at least, and some specific steps to take as we consider options. I'll keep you posted...and I'll check out that book--I have a long list of recs!