Thursday, May 30, 2013

Emma's First Day of School!

Emma started school last Monday!
She was very excited to be in the classroom, eat her bag lunch and to ride the bus!

I have many "mixed feelings"...
This was not part of the original dream.
I had hoped to be able to keep everyone home and educate them at home.

But there were a few snags in the dream
reality has lead us to utilize some of the services outside of our home.

In case you are wondering what "snags" we incurred.
 I will share them with you.

1. More children have joined our family than originally planned- I love that part! BUT it has made it very challenging for this novice homeschooling Momma.

2. We have many medical needs and many appointments. Of course I always hope that will change in the future but who knows?

3. All of our homeschooling children are relatively "new"  and they all need ME and MY ATTENTION and my help.
I did try to have Sarah be more independent and recently realized that she had been completely skipping the writing, grammar and partial reading in the curriculum she was working on.
I was NOT happy...
(BUT, I blame myself...) 
 Although she is 13 yrs old, she has only been home for 4.4 years and when she has questions she needs me to be available. She also needs me to hold her accountable.

4. A few of our children have moderate to severe learning disabilities. We have had 3 tested so far and realized what we suspected is actually correct. They need someone with them full time so they can learn too. They need someone who is trained in teaching a child with that special need.

As one woman stated... I cannot be too proud to ask for help when I need it.

Since some of the children's needs are greater than expected we need more than just one teacher, more than just me.

 I will be honest in saying the burden to meet every ones needs academically, medically and emotionally was a little too much.
There is just not enough of me to go around.

So we had to make some prayerful decisions.

We are happy with the decisions we have made and feel that by utilizing services available to us we can better meet all of our children's needs.

We wanted to give it a try this spring and since the timing with the IEP worked out, Emma was able to go to a couple weeks of school before summer break!

A few of our children need one on one help. Some need repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition... while others need more challenges and supervision.

We feel so very blessed to have our children home from China. 
Sometimes I find myself wearing so many different hats that I don't get a chance to just be 
"Loving MOM".
I don't want to be robbed of that title and that opportunity!
I don't want to be frustrated with myself and with my child.
I want a neutral person to do some of the daily grind (as they so eloquently put it at the neuro psych evaluation).
We have worked really hard to get them were they are at right now.
We are so thankful to God and we are very proud of each child.
For some of our children learning is a big challenge.
If we did not like our local schools we would not have sent Emma.
We happen to live in an excellent school district with many resources!

She only has 4 more days left and then she will be home for summer break!
Emma is currently in 6th grade, 7th grade next year!


Angie said...

Sometimes it's hard when I realize that I can't be everything to everyone...humbling, really. Thankfully, there is grace...and lots and lots of help. Just seeing that smile on Emma's face tells so much. Praying she has a wonderful experience!

Lori said...

I think it's GREAT that you are doing this for Emma...and for YOU. All of our kiddos learn in different ways, at different paces & places. This may be just the right niche for Emmma!

Thanks for sharing your heart!

Shelia Jacoby said...

Jean, you are wise to know that you can't be all things to everyone everyday. Sometimes it takes more courage to ask for help and to utilize the resources you have for Emma. Thanks for sharing your journey and for being real :-)


Sammie said...

Thanks for another great post. I am glad this will give you some more time to be a Mom, and not have to wear so many hats.

I only have two, but two with some serious learning disabilities and behavior challenges, if they could not go to school they would be taking me away in a straight jacket. Knowing your limits is a big strength.

ourchinagirls said...

We just adopted our sixth daughter in November 2012. We were told that she was on target developmentally and we asked for updated reports in which they again told us she was on target developmentally and able to do everything for herself. Video we ask for showed her dancing and putting on her shoes. Imagine my shock to arrive in China to find a 6 year old who was very very delayed. Unable to feed herself, go to the bathroom by herself, etc. I knew that we could not parent a child with the severe mental needs that she has, but I brought her home to the USA so she could get the care she so desperately needs. She is in respite with friends and she gets so much more one-on-one with them. However, now that we have put her in respite care China tells us that we can no longer adopt from there. We are heartbroken for the child who we had PA for and now we can not bring her home!

Rebecca said...

What a blessing that you have great options for your kiddos! We are putting Abby in a school for SN kids in a couple of weeks where they can work more specifically on her speech and meeting her academic needs. I realize that I just can not give her all that she needs with homeschooling 5 others. She is capable of so much. We are hopeful that it'll be a good fit. If not, the program is only for the summer, we can opt out for the fall program if we aren't happy. My biggest concern is that it's a similar environment to her daily life in china and she's only been here with us for 6 months. I worry that she will feel abandoned...

Sally-Girl! said...

Emma looks so happy!! This is special for Emma too!!!

Stephanie M said...

I am so humbled by this post, and in awe of you! As a homeschooling Mom myself, I can't imagine how hard it was to realize that even though this was not part of the original dream, that it is the right thing to do. I will keep praying for you!

Anonymous said...

I have adopted five teens, all from the states. Right now their ages are 15, 15, 17, 17, 18! The younger years were easier (adopting at ages 4, 5, 7, 14 & 16) to find support services out-side of public school. As they age, "the system" is simply not friendly to them at all. Not in our area of the East Coast, anyways. We home-school four, with one in day treatment from 9am-3pm and one is in public school because her needs were too great. I, too, had to realize although it was not my dream to send her to public school, it was the best decision for HER. And that is what matters most. It's more important for bonding with older adopted kids than teaching. Those things will come, in their own pace, as they mature and feel more secure and find healing from their past. May the Lord continue to bless you in all you do for Him. Your family is lovely.

Shonni said...

I am glad for you that you have found what seems best for you both right now! Praying for you!

Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

Yeah! I hope she had a great first day!

aunt jackie said...

blessings and prayers from florida ..

Michelle said...

We had to make the same decision this past year as well for our adopted daughter with Fetal Alcohol Effects. I had been homeschooling her since kindergarden, but finally realized that even though I used to be a teacher, I didn't have the skills to teach a child with FAE. Moving her to public school with a good Special Ed dept was what was best for her, but it was a hard truth to acknowledge! You are an awesome mom because you put her needs first and put aside yours. I hope she enjoys it!