Our 5-Ring Circus

Our 5-Ring Circus

Scooter, Quab and Bugs

Scooter, Quab and Bugs
Serving the Princesses since 2004

Tiana and Goose

Tiana and Goose
They really need all of those big brothers...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Busy Beezz

Does anyone else in Utah remember when all of the local sports teams ended in "zz." So annoying. Anyway...

Some of you might wonder whether we're still alive. Yes, we are and super busy. We have that little bedroom project in full swing, and the kids are back in school which means I am back in the car. All day. The errands we ignored during winter break are piled onto my to-do list and I'm slowly chipping away at that in addition to some new things that I have committted to doing for my family. I don't make resolutions, so let's call it priority shifting. Blogging moves waaaaaay lower on the list, unfortunately. I find myself unexpectedly homeschooling a Kindergartener so she will not have to repeat that grade a third time this fall. She had Kindergarten in Ghana last year and we are working on it at home this year. She should, by age and according to her previous school records, be in 1st grade right now. But she is nowhere near ready for that. Let me tell you, I knew a long time ago that I didn't want to homeschool for a number of reasons. The highest on the list was my lack of patience, especially when teaching. Second would probably  be my lack of agreement with the school that it is my problem to catch her up to a level they deem acceptable before they will enroll her. Of course we want her to succeed and we will do whatever it takes to get her to the point where she can keep up in a traditional school setting. I'm not looking for a debate on homeschooling vs. unschooling vs. public school vs. private school. We love our school (with the exception of the past few weeks that we've been fighting to get Tiana in) and it has been a wonderful educational experience for all of our boys. A third reason is that, on a good day, I don't have the time or energy to dedicate to teaching a child who is unwilling to cooperate with me, even if I did have the patience. I have plenty else to do, for people who want me to do it and thank me for it when I am finished. It is much more productive, in Tiana's mind, to sit at the table and cry while I attempt to torture her by making her trace the number 2 or write the letter "i" with pretty glitter pens. The horror of it all!! It is one of the expected but unpleasant effects of adopting a school-age child with a very different educational background than we have here. I suspect quite a bit of our daily drama is her trying to convince us that she knows nothing, so cannot possibly start school yet. She doesn't want to go. At all. Especially since it has meant monthly trips to the pediatrician for immunizations. Seven or eight at a time. Today she got a break. Only four. Poor baby, I wouldn't be too keen on that either! But we know she is bright and when she is willing, she picks things up quickly. From all reports, she didn't hold a high opinion of school (or Primary or helping around the home) in Ghana either. Crying got her a lot of attention from a lot of older kids who would do her jobs for her. We were told by several people who saw her in action that she could/would turn on the tears at will, and they weren't kidding! Her American siblings are less willing to play the game. They have already been desensitized by Bellerella, who has tried it all and failed to elicit the desired response. She eventually stopped (mostly) the behaviors because she simply got no response from any of us. Tiana, on the other hand, hasn't quite figured this out yet. You've got to give her some credit for persistence. Anyway, if you drive by and see or hear me screaming and running around in circles in the front yard, assume it is "school time" for Tiana. Don't endanger your life by stopping, just throw a Mountain D*w or some dark chocolate my way and drive on. On a positive note, Bellerella should be ready for first grade by the time she hits Kindergarten in August. She loves "school" and begs to do the lessons along with her sister every day. Their constant competition has to have an upside, right?  I hope the school knows what to do with them both! Do you believe that there was a time, many years ago, that I wanted very much to teach Kindergarten? God bless those brave souls who do it every day of their lives and come out smiling! Teaching just ONE Kindergartner is going to be the death of my sole remaining thread of sanity.


Jennie said...

Wow! That is a lot. I agree. I don't think I could homeschool either. If it doesn't improve, maybe there is some sort of Sylvan Learning Center that wouldn't be to pricey. Kudos to you guys for all you are doing to help her and improve her life. One day she will thank you, even if it isn't today as you move on to another number and letter.

Good luck!


Hang in there HEather. I know what you are going through!! Although I did not homeschool because it would have been detremental to the physical and mental health of us all1! :) I will throw a Mnt. D*w your way if I am every passing through. :)

The Hermyzoo! said...

Wow, hang in there Heather. I HAD to homeschool my daughter for only 6 months but it literally felt like an eternity. I completely understand the frustrations that come with trying to teach your child that either doesn't want to listen because your mom or because she's just stubborn. In the long run it did help and it made all the difference. I had to keep my daughter back a grade and it gave her enough time for her mental state and her maturity to make it all click. Now she LOVES school is getting straight A's. I NEVER thought this day would ever come. I hope you are blessed with the patiences needed to get through this transitional period :)
Thank you so much for you Christmas card and letter!

The Hullingers said...

Hey Shelley-I remembered your advice to NOT pray for patience.

I'm not sure what would be best to pray for right now, but earplugs and duct tape.

Anonymous said...

ok when you get a minute you need to become a professional writer. I love reading the things you write. I am sorry for the struggle. I am hiring a dog trainer should I have them stop by and help you out? Apparently it only takes a whisper...something I am not capable of. Chin up!