When First Grade Sucks…

I got Michael’s report card for his second quarter last night. While on paper there is improvement; behaviorally, however, things are just the same. It sounds simply, really: He is have major trouble focusing. Michael is regularly sent home with class work he should have finished that day (we chose this instead of missing out on every. Single. Recess). I also just learned he is now being given the bare minimum of class work and he is STILL not getting it done. His teacher has given him his own desk by himself in the front row of class. She has given him headphones to help cut out background noise. She has even given him a chair that leans a little so he can rock and be a bit more comfortable so he can (hopefully) focus.

In my non-professional opinion, his teacher has gone above and beyond my expectation. It is clear that at this point she is at a loss.

Some may jump to a conclusion related to ADD or ADHD. While I’m not completely closed off to seeking a doctor’s opinion, this would by no means be our first choice. Personally, in my own unprofessional opinion, that would be a lazy short-cut. A bandaid on an issue that needs some deeper healing. I do not believe that Michael’s difficulties are beyond his control. In fact, I have many theories as to why he is struggling so much. However, a portion of it is based on assumptions because, as many well know, Michael’s other parents regularly refuse to meet with Mr. Sexy and I to discuss Michael. “We are too busy,” is the one liner that never ceases to clench my fist and grit my teeth. My body tingles with frustration at how obviously they put their own wants and discomforts ahead of Michael. (I Β can’t speak for his younger sister. All I know is that Denai and her could be great friends if Michael’s other parents were open to a relationship even slightly beyond acquaintance.)

At the beginning of this year Michael was very far behind in his reading. I blamed (still do) myself relentlessly at not following through with him all summer in something as simple and fun as reading every once in a while. However, I have since seen Michael improve tremendously where he enjoys reading and he is no longer at the bottom of the class – in this area. I have seen his handwriting skills flourish – he doesn’t mind sentences as a consequence at home anymore. He is understanding the basic concepts of addition and subtraction. He enjoys drawing, coloring and creating things to put up on our refrigerator.

It’s obvious he is smart with a very bright future. But this issue of not being able to concentrate, of being thrown off course by the sound of a door opening or another child laughing, has a potential to follow him for the rest of his life (in my unprofessional opinion). So I want to nip it in the bud. Figure it out NOW. Do the hard work NOW. Teach him NOW.

Mr. Sexy and I will continue to fight for Michael’s well-being, frustrating and hurtful though it can be. Almost daily I tell God I’m worried. And almost daily I’m reminded that I’m not called to worry. I’m called to give Him my worries. I’m called to trust. So I’m praying for wisdom for us, for peace and for patience as we watch God work in Michael’s life.

He turned 7 last month!

He turned 7 last month!

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3 thoughts on “When First Grade Sucks…

  1. I am not going to offer you any type of advice here. I am simply not qualified. But I know that you have described exactly how things were for my oldest son, who is now 43, and for my grandson, who is now 17. We would never agree to try to find what the problem was with my son. I felt he just needed to learn to sit still and give it his best. He NEVER had many successes in school. With my grandson I recognized that he was probably suffering from ADHD and we put him on medications. He went from a problem child to a successful student in a very short matter of time. Recently, because of his own desires, we have stopped the medication. I am sad to report that he is once again struggling with school. But I support his desire to be off the meds. I hope he can find a way to find his focus once again.

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  2. This is soooo my son too. They have moved him, tried seating him with other kids in the class, even the headphones thing… he just gets distracted. I also think he worries a lot about whether he is doing the work correctly: he often seems very concerned with doing something wrong. You might want to ask Micheal about that too — because I know my son would just rather not do the work; then chance he does it wrong and gets in trouble (an unrealistic fear.)
    The odd part is, if there is a kid who is extremely disruptive in class – like really bad; they often put them with my son because for some strange reason my son calms that kid down!!??? Go figure.

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