our journey to homeschooling part 2
I recently posted the first entry about our decision to homeschool, if you want to read it, you can read it here.
More on Kindergarten
I wanted to share a few details about our kindergarten experience and what became a defining moment in our journey. Towards the end of my son's kindergarten experience, all of the children were given a deck of sight words that they would be tested on. This test would be for both fluency and it was timed. His classmates seemed to have no real issues with preparing for this test, it was not a huge deal, we are talking about sight words like "it, my, am, that, her not etc." but for my son, it was pure hell on earth. He reviewed these flashcards with no shortage of tears and complaints of physical ailments. We began to notice that the anxiety he was experiencing was impacting him physically. He was either complaining about having a stomach ache or literally vacillated between being constipated and not going to the bathroom for days or he had unrelenting diarrhea. His days began with him coming downstairs to breakfast to plead his case for not having to attend school. He begged DAILY to stay home with me. This is not normal.
A Break Through
Our drive to school required us to cross a mountain, it was a 20 minute drive that we all enjoyed. I remember on one of our trips over the mountain my daughter offered to help my son with his flashcards and sight word recognition. He seemed eager to work with her on this but as she held one card up after the next and he experienced defeat again and again he finally slumped back in his seat, lowered his head and while crying blurted in exasperation "if the letters would just be still I could read them!" We were stunned into silence. Did he just say the letters on the cards were moving? I wanted desperately to turn around to look him in the eye and ask clarifying questions but the winding mountain road demanded my full attention. I could not wait to get to a place on our drive where I could stop the car and give this emotionally raw moment the attention it deserved, and needed. My son had just stated that words and letters move when he is trying to read them and I knew he felt embarrassed by saying it. He had never said anything like this before and I could tell that he had wanted to. His blurting it out held more than that single complaint, it came out of him in a way that made up for all the times he wanted to tell me but was afraid I would think he was crazy. I could tell that he was sitting their suffering the fear of what we thought but was relieved to have finally confessed what he was dealing with. For me, well it was the first time I felt a glimmer of hope in our situation. I recognized the complaint, I too had experienced this problem, and for the first time I felt like I knew what we were up against. Dyslexia