Monday, September 20, 2021

The Start of the New School Year

My girlies on their first day of school

As I wrote in my previous post, I had a really hard time in August regarding school for my daughter Rose this year, when I was told that the placement I wanted for her wasn't possible because there was no room left in the special ed class in the school I requested, and they insisted on putting her in a class in a school that wasn't right for her or our family, and then two days before the start of the school year I finally was told that they had room for her and she was accepted. I thought it was my local municipality who lied to me, but it turns out it was the municipality of the city where the school I wanted to send her to was located because they were reserving that last spot, waiting first to see if there was anyone from their city that needed a spot, but two days before the school year they let her join. 

Once that was taken care of, especially because everything was last second, I was told by my local municipality that they would take some time to arrange transportation for her to school (as is their legal requirement, as she is a child in a special education framework), so that meant needing to bring her to school every day by bus and picking her up every day.

I live without a car and travel by public transportation, so to get her to school on time, which meant taking two buses to get there, I had to leave at 7 am, which meant waking up quite early. And I'm not a morning person and need a larger than average amount of sleep. Last year I'd wake up, get the kids off to school, and then go back to bed, but since I needed to take Rose to school by bus, that wasn't really possible. And since going there and back to bring her and then there and back to pick her up would eat up my entire day, a friend who lives near the school offered for me to stay at her place between drop off and pick up. It was quite helpful and saved me a lot of travel time, but it also meant I wasn't home to get any housework done... Fortunately she finally started getting transportation through the school system over a week after the school year started.

But the school year is going splendidly thus far. I feel very glad that I fought for her to get into the class that I did, because three of her classmates from her previous school are in her class, and she fits in perfectly there. The teachers are also wonderful and my daughter is loving going to school. This year, among other things, they will work on their reading in the local language (last year they learned the leters). But since they don't work on teaching to read and write in English until third or fourth grade here, I probably also will get Rose some printable worksheets, and even though she's in first grade, I will work on teaching her basic English reading that they teach in the US in kindergarten and reinforcing the English alphabet also using worksheets and also online. 

My daughter Anneleise started fourth grade, in the same school she's attended since she was in kindergarten. Last year she had a bit of a rough time in school socially, and she was really not looking forward to school this year because her best friend moved away, but fortunately one of the girls in her class who was meanest switched to another school, and since then, she's gone to school every day happily. It is really amazing what one kid can do to a class environment.

Like with Rose, Anneliese is being taught everything in the local language, and though she speaks English as her mother tongue, and can read basic books in English as well, her class is learning things like their numbers and colors in their English class. At first I didn't do anything about this, because she has a hard time in certain other subjects because her grasp of the local language isn't as strong, and I wanted her to be in a class where she shined, but upon consultation with some other local parents, I spoke to the teacher and have purchased a set of workbooks for her from Amazon on reading, writing, and grammar (for second and third grade to start with, because she's never had any formal English classes) to have her do in class while her classmates are learning their colors, and the teacher will be helping her along there.

My son, Ike, just entered seventh grade. Locally middle school starts in seventh grade, and though the school he'd been in since second grade continued until eighth grade, he asked me to please switch him to another school for seventh grade already, because he felt he wasn't being challenged enough in his previous school. He therefore switched to the local public school that has a class for autistic kids but also offers integration into the standard classes as is suitable for each kid (something his previous school didn't have as a stand alone school for autistic kids) and has been placed in the highest level English class, as is suitable for him (this 12 year old book has been reading John Grisham books lately!) and in math as well. So far so good for him on a scholastic front, and we'll see how it works out for him academically as well.

My oldest son, Lee, is now 14 and in tength grade. I am shocked every time I say that, to be honest- how on earth do I have a tenth grader?!?! He's continuing in the same school that he was in last year, where he thrived, and this year has chosen to take an extra science program, physics, in addition to the anatomy his class is learning, in addition to yet another program he'll be taking (more on that in another post). He's glad to be back and I'm glad he's back too.

So far so good, and I'm looking forward to great things this year. 

For those of you parents, how is school going for your kids so far?

1 comment:

  1. School has started for my younger kiddo. He also changed schools by his choice and is loving all the activities at the new school. My older one starts school next week and is a little nervous but I know he will do well. Glad you are past the rough patch with Rose's school and things are going well! Thanks for the update!


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