my quote of the moment: "if you can attain repose and calm, believe that you have seized happiness." ~julie-jeanne-eleonore de lespinasse

April 17, 2012

falling through the cracks

maybe i've mentioned it once or twice, most notably here, but bumble gets a lot of help in school. which is normally a good thing. he needs the extra help to keep up with the other kids. we do as much as we can at home, but after an hour or more of homework, he gets kind of burnt out after school.

he sees a speech therapist and an occupational therapist for his writing and he's part of a special reading group. and every six months we go over his IEP (individualized educational program), so everybody stays on the same page with what help he needs and the progress he's making and how we might need to change things. and at the meetings i get these lovely 30-some page reports, so i can see how he's doing and what i could change at home so i know i'm also doing my part.

and the program isn't what i have a problem with. and all of his teachers and aides are lovely ladies who do their best to make sure he can do his best. the problem i have is that the school day is only so long and i think there has to be a better way to execute it. as it stands, bumble gets pulled out of class to get the extra help he needs.

normally, that's not a problem. there's chunks of the day where bumble's class does independent work, and for him to miss that stuff isn't a big deal in my mind. it's when they are doing important things, or are going to be doing important things, and he gets pulled out and misses them. and i know, it might be the only time his specialist is available to work with him, and overlaps can happen. but if they do happen, and he misses something, it would be nice if he had the chance to make it up.

specifically, and what has me upset at the moment, is that last thursday bumble was supposed to take his spelling test. spelling is one of the subjects he really struggles with, and he worked very hard to study all his words for his test. then, on thursday, he was pulled out of class to work on his writing, so he missed taking his test. i know this because i asked him how he did on his test when he got home from school and he told me he didn't take it. i figured that his class and his teacher might have been busy the rest of the day, and he would make it up on friday. but he didn't take it friday. he didn't take it yesterday either.

he was probably very happy about missing his spelling test, but it's one of the things he gets graded on, it's something that determines how he does on his report card and how he's doing in other areas of study. i wasn't happy that he missed his test, but i was very upset that his teacher didn't let him make it up for two days. so i wrote a note to her today asking about it. because it's not his fault that he missed the test, and it's not his fault that he didn't have a chance to make it up. i know he has a tricky schedule, but we're all supposed to be working together to help him, and i think missing tests is unacceptable.

bumble has enough trouble in school, and the extra assistance he gets is supposed to help him get ahead. i was always worried about how often he would get pulled out of his regular class and all the things he might be missing because of it. and i know there's no good block of time that he can miss, unless they force him to skip recess or lunch. he's doing his best and trying as hard as he can to keep up and to meet the levels he's supposed to. it's just a shame when somebody else drops the ball.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like for all their trying the school is failing him big time. He was taken out for help with his writing? Why didn't his teacher communicate the fact that he was going to miss a spelling test and have the other teacher use the test to practice his writing skills? This way he not only would have gotten the test in but would have been practicing writing skills.This has to be frustrating and upsetting for him too, to be working so hard and always being forced to be further behind by their inept scheduling. Too many hands in things is not always the answer to the problem.Sounds like you need a meeting to voice your concerns so THEY can be more organized in combining his class work and "help" sessions. You only have so much time with him at home and should not have to use it to feed into the frustration that the school is creating for him. I am sure you are trying to be the best advocate for his education you possibly can. Summer is a great time for you to create fun things for him to do to practice the skills he is struggling with and maybe get him ahead for the next school year. A few minutes out of his summer vacation days could boost his self confidence for next year. With the school providing you information on next years spelling words and other things he will be studying he could move ahead and be more prepared for next years activities. He is lucky to have parents that are so concerned :)