Monday, March 11, 2013

In which Tryph blames the kids...

I have spent the last month or so arguing with people.

You see, my son (now 11) is struggling at school.  He mouths off to teachers when they ask him to do assignments (generally under his breath) often doesn't ask for, or accept help, and just plain old doesn't do his work.  So sometimes the work gets sent home with him to do here, and trust me, while he sometimes needs help, more often than not he shows me that he knows what he's doing, even if he is admittedly a bit behind his classmates.

His teachers are at their wits end, and I don't blame them.  They know how smart he is.  In fact, 2 years ago he tested higher than any other child had in the schools history on their standardized testing.  So either the bar was set pretty low, or my child is pretty damned smart.

But here he is, struggling in class and the chip on his shoulder is growing every single day (there are a few reasons for that, in short his father has extremely high expectations, he had a horrible teacher that bullied him a few years ago, and he's as stubborn as his mother).  But he knows what he's doing, even if the basic fundamentals are a bit shakey.

But here I have to fight with his grandmother, my mother outlaw.  She wants to blame his grade three teacher (the bully I mentioned) for his struggles now.  She says he didn't learn his fundamentals then, and that's why he's struggling now.

And I hate that.

Yes, I admit that early grades are highly formative in how kids learn and approach school as they get older, but I also know my son.  When it comes to English  he loves to read, but he's never going to be the kind of kid who can weave a story by putting it on paper. He's not a writer.  It's just not how is brain is wired.  When it comes to Maths, he can only excel when he stops focusing on the problem.  The moment he relaxes and stops being so anxious and needing to please someone, he gets it done in a snap.  When it comes to French  he just needs to suck it up and get through it.

I'm just tired of her blaming people other than him for his choices and actions.  Every day he sits in class and stares at a mathsheet panicking instead of asking for help is a choice he makes.  He doesn't do it because his grade three teacher was an asshole. He's had 3 years with amazing and supportive teachers since then, who have bent over backwards to accommodate the fact that his brain IS wired a little different from other kids.

And honestly, his father and I are to blame too.  His dad used to come down on him about not getting high enough grades on report cards.  And while I do my best to be patient, even I get stretched to my limit when I ask a simple question like what is 7 + 5 and get an reply of 8, for the third time in a ROW when I KNOW he knows the answer because he JUST gave it to me....

The bottom line, I know damned well what my sons limitations are, and right now it's him.  How do I know this?  Because I got him to finish a project he had a weeks to do in 4 hours.  Every day he gets more and more of the extra math work I give him done and more confidence and certainty.  Because I can get him to summarize a story, and give me major plot points if I don't ask him directly.

I'm tired of people thinking there's something WRONG or LACKING in him because of his environment, his activities or anything.  I'm tired of people trying to FIX him.  He doesn't NEED to be fixed.  He is who he is, and enrolling him in Tae Kwon Do (or any activity, extra curriculars don't change a child), or having me hover over him in school isn't going to help.  We need to find a way to help HIM find it inside himself.

I'm not sure where I was going with this rant to be honest.  I just know I needed to rant, and I need to get this stuff out of my system before I next have to encounter that woman or I might claw her smarmy fucking eyes out.  

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