Saturday, May 11, 2013

following suit

well it was B's turn at the end of April. she is officially a fourth grader at our local public school.

it was weeks of fighting the school system for appropriate placement. they wanted to pop her into sixth grade. she is only 11 and was learning first/second grade homeschool lessons for the last year.

although she can read on a second grade level, she has not yet mastered addition or subtraction. seems her orphanage taught math calcualtions from left to right. uh...trying borrowing and carrying moving left to right. it is near impossible.

so we compromised on fourth grade.

the night before her first day, she proudly packed her new backpack and i swear i am not lying...i have photos to prove it...she actually picked out a dress to wear. yes, she wore skinny jeans under it. but our little tomboy whom has refused to wear anything feminine at all since Gotcha, chose a dress. wouldn't even wear a nice baptism outfit, she wore corduroys of all things.
i didn't tell her it was a dress she chose. i just told her she looked nice and then pulled her three sisters aside and threatened bodily harm if they said anything about a dress OR skinny jeans to her face.

several things have been challenging. the LONG hours, the overwhelming work load, the hour+ homework every night, the "skipping" of at least two grade levels...

all adds up to some serious adjustments. we are working through them, but honestly? i am so tired. she has been in school two weeks and i am just blogging about it?

we have always had a homeschoolers' schedule. typical day: get up by 9ish, eat breakfast, work a few hours, only changing out of PJs if we are leaving the house, then free play the rest of the day. now i need to have them dressed, fed, and dropped off at school by 7:30 AM. the bus drops them back off smack in the middle of the other children's homeschool sign language and theater arts classes(try being in two different cities at the same time. they expect me to be houdini as well as mom of the year. thank God for grandmothers' help). 

then i am expected to have enough energy to do fourth grade homework when 4 days a week we leave just after the bus comes home for our 10+ therapeutic appointments per week and don't get home until after 7. kids are not fed until 8 and then there are showers, toothbrushing, lunch packing, therapeutic home program exercises, and snuggle time still to navigate through.

i am bushed.

B is bushed.

i know we will adjust(probably by the time school lets out for summer recess) and this will be looked back upon as a good thing.

BUT traditional school is hard for parents. i never knew! sorry to all my friends whom i have not sympathized with before. i am sorry now!

in two weeks we have had three separate fundraiser packets come home, a request for food donations for the PTO's staff appreciation luncheon(gasp! they don't expect me to join the PTO, do they?), PPT meetings, and on top of all these requests, i am supposed to be active in their homework too?

no one ever told me traditional school was MORE work than homeschooling. i have heard over the last eight years, "i could never homeschool...where do you find the time...they won't listen to, you must be really smart..." and so on.

uhhhh...i know we chose traditional school because it would be best for our adopted children, but ack! what about the poor parents? i have two different lifestyles that i am supposed to merge together.

good luck with that, i guess.

and the meltdowns. i won't even go there. but i will say this: we have spent hours dealing with meltdowns because the work is TOO HARD. of course it is too hard. she went from first/second grade work up to forth grade work expectations.

i try telling myself that it is an adjustment period. B will learn to deal with long hours and increased expectations and i will learn to be a PTO mom(retching sounds).  worst best case scenario. we go back to homeschooling.

so this post was intended to be a sort of coming out announcement. a "look who's going to school" post.

guess it is a bit whiny.

most importantly, does B like school?

if this conversation is any indication...

B: mom, i don't want to hurt your feelings or anything, but i like school better than i liked homeschool.

me: great honey!

voice in my head: oh rats. i don't like it better.

we'll see how much she likes it when it gets even harder. for now, i must consider it a blessing and keep moving forward. no one said this parenting stuff would be easy.