Wednesday, November 14

A Re-Start at School.

First Grade.
First Grade has been quite the challenge.
Not all days are challenging but some are. And those days. Oh my.
Last year when Parker was evaluated for his new school the school and teacher (whom he has right now) recommended that we hold him back and let him do Kindergarten one more time. This concerned me and frankly confused me. We were transferring from another school where he was doing REALLY well. And was on track for 1st grade. So why would he need to go back to Kindergarten here. It is silly to say now but at the time it hurt my mommy heart.
Probably more like my pride.
Every mother wants their child to be the brightest and smartest. We just do. Admit it.
I felt in that meeting that they were zeroing in on him and telling me everything opposite of what I thought and believed he was. Note that they WERE NOT saying this. I tend to over dramatize things like this and this is just how I FELT.
You must know Parker. He is bright, very smart, creative and his wheels are always turning. He has incredible problem solving skills and critical thinking skills. I knew in my heart for sure that 1st grade was where he was meant to be.
I cried my little mommy heart out to my friends and asked for advice and for prayer. (Even though I already knew what I would do) My friends gave me GREAT advice that I wish I had of heeded.
I called the school in mid-June and told them we were going to go into 1st grade and that Parker was going to be really great in 1st grade. I could hear the hesitance in the lady's voice on the other end of the line.
We should probably listen to the professional.
In August we hit 1st grade full swing. It was fast and furious. Parker was doing great. The first couple of weeks are review from the previous year anyway.
About mid September I went to a meeting with his teacher. She raised some concern about him being dyslexic.
I mean his school last year mentioned a concern but since we were changing schools I didn't feel the need to get tested at that school. I wanted to see what the new school felt.
I really don't understand my own logic behind this. 
I put the thought or concern... in the back of my head and waited to watch for some signs of dyslexia on my own before I made the appointment to have him tested/screened. My sister is dyslexic so I am familiar with its challenges and its signs and effects.
Parker WAS showing EVERY sign.
Every sign.
So I made the appointment.
2 weeks ago Parker was screened for dyslexia.
On this screening/test (its not a formal test) you want to score in the 50% percentile on each category. That is where the average student falls. Below is high risk dyslexia/disgraphia.
Parker scored between 73% and 83% on all of the tests except the last one. He scored 55%.
Since this is not a formal screening and he did so well on it we aren't 100% sure he is in fact dyslexic. He got bored in the last leg of the test and that is why the tester feels like he scored so much lower.
She believes he is just a turkey.
That he rushes through his work carelessly because he is....bored. Not challenged and just a turkey.
The recommendation they gave us was to pull him out of 1st grade now and place him back down in kindergarten to give him a chance to mature and grow up and relearn what he knows. It will give him a head start in the new group of classmates he will have.
His teacher came over last monday to our house to talk about Parker and to give us some advice. She highly encouraged us to make the move down to Kindergarten right after this Thanksgiving break.
Oh. Hurt. My. Heart.
My heart aches for him.
It hurts to know that he will hurt.
He will be disappointed at the thought of leaving his 1st grade friends and moving DOWN to kindergarten.
You know when you are this little the grade above is the cool grade. The cool big kids.
He will not be in this group again if we move him down. And he has developed some really amazing relationships with these kids.
After meeting with his teacher we both began to gently bring it up around him and quiz him on how he would feel if...

His response when we first brought it up was:
"Well I just don't think that is a very good idea because that puts me out further from graduating from college and getting a real job!"
His second response was:
"Mom, it might be good to be in kindergarten again. I mean I will be the biggest and I have already done half of a year in first grade so I will be smarter. And next year when I go back to 1st grade I will already know the stuff and I can help teach the class."
I LOVE the thought pattern of 6 yr olds!!!

After MUCH prayer and thought we have made a decision.
I called the school yesterday and told them that Phillip and I have decided that God is presenting us an opportunity to give Parker a second chance at excelling in school rather then struggling. God is allowing a DO-OVER. A restart.
I apologized for our lack of judgement and trust towards them.
We will hold him back now.
I wanted Parker in school on Tuesdays & Thursdays and there just happened to be ONE spot left in Kindergarten at this school on those days.
Thank You God for working that out.

My heart hurts for him.
We haven't told him yet.
We will tell him sometime this weekend.
Tomorrow is his last day in 1st grade with all of his buddies. They are having a BIG Thanksgiving feast with both of the first grade classes and I want him to enjoy it without any distraction.
I turn in all of his first grade books tomorrow and pick up his kindergarten books.
This morning in my quiet time I was telling God how disappointed I was that I even let him go to 1st grade anyway. When we were advised to do Kindergarten in the first place.
I am disappointed that I let my pride hinder Parker's education.
I felt God gently whisper to me that HE is taking care of Parker. HE is molding Parker. HE is setting his feet where they belong and HE is in the middle of all of this.
It is such a sweet and precious reminder that when you give it to God he takes care of all things. Even the dilemma of 1st grade vs. Kindergarten.
God is a PERSONAL God and he cares about the details of our lives.
I feel like God is giving Parker this opportunity to really mold his character and self esteem. I feel like with moving Parker now, though it will be painful for a few weeks, the pain will subside and He will excel and have an advantage in Kindergarten.
Hurting for a few weeks now is so much better then hurting and struggling for the next 10 years.

So this is where we are. We are facing telling our amazing 1st grader that he will be going to Kindergarten after the Holiday. Please pray with us that God will prepare Parker's incredibly sweet heart and that he will have peace and understanding. Please pray that the transition will be smooth.

Honestly... Is it safe to say that I am excited for the lighter homeschool load that comes with Kindergarten? I mean... 1st grade is wearing me out!!! All of these blended words, digraphs and whatever else we are learning is hardcore!
I love this kid!!! 

1 comment:

  1. The teacher in me just wants to leave you a few words of encouragement. You were absolutely doing what you thought was best for Parker at the end of his kindergarten year last year. I believe you are absolutely right that it will be a tough few weeks, but then it will set him up for success from here on out! You're doing a great job!


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