My son has a myriad of social and sensory issues that make life difficult for him.
all of them, I hate dyslexia the most. I watched my mother's heart
break when she was told that at the age eight her son couldn't read. I
watched as she dragged out my kindergarten homework, lovingly saved
through the years, and used it to write a series of phonically based
stories. I watched as she did what teachers over four grades had failed
to do, teach my brother how to decipher the alphabet soup he saw and
learn to read. I don't blame the teachers for failing, from personal
experience, I know it's difficult to teach around dyslexia. I blame them
for advancing him to the next grade when it was obvious he wasn't
ready. I wasn't prepared when my son's school did the same to him in
a page out of Mom's book I took my son's education into my own hands
and found him a school that would help him work through his issues. We
enrolled him into a, thankfully free (though we would have paid millions),
national online charter school, Connections Academy. There we found
teachers with great advice. A curriculum not too different from the one
he used in public school and motivation in the form of clubs and
electives to encourage him to want to learn after the wars of
kindergarten made him no longer willing to even try. He had the
flexibility to excel in the areas he could and still take extra time for
the lessons he needed extra help in. Finally, after beating my head
against a wall for more than a year I had teachers who not only
listened, but had the ability to act on my concerns. Let me be straight
up here. My son's kindergarten teacher was a gem. She did the best she
could with him and the restrictions her direct supervisors and school
admin put on her. My issue with "them" is a story for another time.
two years at CA we are making headway. He is still below grade level in
reading and especially writing. His math skills are amazing, in his
head. The moment he has to work through a problem on paper from
beginning to end he forgets everything he knows about math. The numbers
and concepts he knows so intimately in his head are a jumble to his
eyes. I know he has an uphill struggle but he is climbing far more
often than he is sliding these days. Being his learning coach is not
easy and gives me a profound appreciation for the people who choose to
teach as a profession. It has caused gray hairs and anxiety attacks,
there have even been tears, he cries sometimes too. We push on because I
have seen what else is out there and I, like my mom before me, am my
son's best advocate. He wants to learn everything there is to know. It's
my job to help him find the tools to do so.
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