Blossom is no longer a public school student.
This morning at 6:18am I received a call from the bus people saying that the bus, which was supposed to have begun service for us TOMORROW, was running ONE HOUR LATE this morning.
My Firefighter took Blossom to school this morning in plenty of time, but no one was there to meet her at the drop-off point and take her to class.
We went to the counselor's office and printed out Blossom's current schedule. The counselor confirmed that Blossom should be in those classes. I went to the first period class. She was not there. She was in another building with another special ed teacher just as she's been since starting school.
At least today she was playing an educational board game with two other students and not Curious George cartoons.
Then, she was put on the computer. I could see it was the math program that I pay for. Here it is, the third week of school, and they still don't have any curriculum materials for her.
I knew that the bell for 2nd period was about to ring, so My Fire Fighter and i walked to the next class and waited in the hallway. We greeted the teacher on her way in and watched all the students file in. After five minutes, I went in to inquire as the to whereabouts of my daughter. "Yes, she's supposed to be in this class," the teacher said.
I could clearly see it on her schedule.
I went back to the first period classroom and met the teacher, coming to find me, in the hallway. I didn't say a word, thinking that surely when she saw me, it'd trigger her memory and she'd send my child to English class. Nope. Didn't happen. We sat down, discussed how things were going, she said the same empty stuff about needing to evaluate Blossom before giving her math, etc... She went on and on about how she's still in the Recreation and Leisure Class, something NOT on her schedule, and that they are still playing bowling in the hallway (instead of going to math class). I let her run on and run then asked why Blossom wasn't in her English class. Oops! Everyone forgot. The teacher and all the aides forgot. Off runs the teacher to tell them to get my child to English class.
This confirmed what had been brewing in me since late last night.
The reason I turned to public school is because I felt like I couldn't teach my child any more. She didn't seem to be learning. She was being disruptive. I thought, surely a special education teacher, who is trained to teach kids like this, could do better than I can. I FELT LIKE I COUDLN'T DO IT, that I was failing.
Well, the public school can't do it either! And they are failing. I sure did it better! The fault isn't with my ability to teach. It's with Blossom's inability to UNDERSTAND! Therefore, she has trouble learning and sometimes just CAN'T learn the material.
So, what's better?
A public school with a program designed with good intentions, but in reality has a gross lack of resources to carry them out? So many kids at so many levels of ability and disability that they experience even more interruptions throughout their day than a daycare mom? Then add all the bad influences like bullying? Time wasted watching ridiculous TV instead of something educational and/or uplifting? Time wasted coloring pictures of girls in skimpy clothing? Playing games all day? Sitting in classes without a chance of comprehending?
Or a single mom, loving, smart, though imperfect, teaching her children in a safe environment, at the child's level, where God's laws are taught which means there is an established code of conduct and morality, where family is paramount, despite many interruptions but with real life experiences and opportunities to learn.
I now know what's best and what will work with a little tweaking. Our focus has shifted, that's for sure. It's all about life skills now and which academic skills are needed for daily living. That will be our focus. With a few more things in place, I can run my daycare smoothly and teach my girls, just like I did before we moved. The next couple of weeks will be about getting all those things in place and making the necessary adjustments to make homeschool work and be enjoyable for all.
One of the changes is that our delightful sister missionaries are eager to serve by listening to the girls read aloud each week and they'll teach the girls Bible stories.
Things are definitely getting on the right track now. Many people have been praying for us and I've felt their support. People at church who were once judgmental, have softened as they have finally been around the girls enough to see how their special needs affect their lives, and especially seen how the public school wasn't able to meet Blossom's needs.
Out in the school parking lot after all was said and done, Blossom hugged me like she's never hugged me before - tight, close, sincere. I could feel that she loves me. I could feel that she knew I love her.
My Firefighter took us all out to breakfast at IHOP afterward, all four girls and a little daycare baby. We made quite a parade!
We're resting this week, keeping things basic, catching up. Next week, we'll ease into our new school year.
Oh, in case you're wondering, the one hour late school bus had still not arrived at school when we left at 10am. School started at 8am.
And, how did Blossom take the news? Much to my surprise she looked quite upset. I wondered for a brief second if I'd made a mistake, then I asked her why she was so upset. Her answer, "If I don't go to outside school any more, can I still keep my backpack?" Yes, this girl LOVES her purple backpack! Once she knew she could keep it, she was just fine.
On our way out, the sweet old (79 yrs. old) lady who runs the front office whispered to me, "She'll be so much better off homechooled. Bless you."