Tonight for dinner, I'm eating humble pie. Have you ever tasted it before? It's got a strange texture, and it's very hard to swallow. I hope it stays down because I can't imagine having to eat it again!
We had parent/teacher conferences today. Nathan is doing well...he has an "A" in every class except math (no surprise there) but he managed to eek out an 87. Olivia...she is also doing well. She's getting an "S" (satisfactory) in every subject. Amelia, on the other hand, is another story.
Amelia is having a lot of trouble with reading. At least, the school thinks so. I agree with them that she is not reading books that are at the second grade level, for the most part. She still likes to choose books with pictures and simple stories. Her favorites are the Berenstain Bears, Curious George and other picture books.
She has a tendency to anticipate what the word will be and shout it out BEFORE she actually reads it. It's as though she looks at the first few letters and decides what she thinks the word is. Here's an example....tonight, she and I were reading one of the Jigsaw Jones Mystery books. The sentence in the book was "Even worms and broccoli". She read "every worms and broccoli". I'm sure this is very common with early readers. In other cases, she'll add letters to words...for instance, the sentence was, "Joey wore glasses and, judging by the bird's nest on top of his head, he didn't own a comb", however, she read ".......by the bird's nesting on top of his head". At other times, she'll get to a word she doesn't know and just stop. She won't even attempt to sound it out.
Anyway, we have been offered some group tutoring at the school. Once or twice a week, she'll go with a couple of kids from her class and work on reading skills. Most recently, we were offered a one on one tutor with funds from Title I. She was given an assessment test and scored considerably lower than she should have based on age and grade. Dan and I are eager and willing that she get any and all help that she needs to meet the reading goals set by the school. We want her to enjoy reading and so I am trying to tread very lightly here so she doesn't become discouraged.
Here's the part where the humble pie comes in....
Today, I was confronted for the very first time in my life, with an educator who was definitely anti-homeschooling! It is as though I had abused my child. By the time I left, I felt about 2 inches tall. She told me....and I quote, "Amelia is not ready for second grade". She said that she only just found out that we had homeschooled last year and that she was surprised. She said she had also heard that homeschooled children usually did much better than kids that went to traditional school. She also mentioned that this had to be the reason why Amelia was having so much trouble quieting down in the mornings and assimilating into a large group setting! IS SHE OUT OF HER MIND?
I was stunned. In a nice way, I tried to explain to her that because our kids had started out in school and then homeschooled, we had some big adjustments last year. I told her that the beginning of the year was somewhat rough but that by the end, we were in a really good grove and Amelia was moving through her material very well and that we had her assessed at the end of the year by a public school teacher (yes, it was Dan's sister) and we were told that her reading was right at grade level.
She then informed me that since it was my first year of homeschooling, perhaps I had a learning curve too and....well....you know.....perhaps it wasn't the best year.
I guess it wasn't enough that I felt inadequate about homeschooling my kids all on my own, but now, I had to have one of their teachers tell me....in no uncertain terms....that I pretty much ruined my daughter and because of me, she really shouldn't be in second grade and will probably need to repeat it.
I'm so upset, I don't even know what to do! I'm ready to pull them all out of school and tell them all to go jump in a lake! My feelings are hurt, my pride is hurt and I'm steaming mad. Down in the debts of my soul, I knew that if one of them didn't do well in school this year, it would be my fault. I knew it would be because I wasn't disciplined enough, I wasn't organized enough, I wasn't smart enough to homeschool my kids. Apparently, I failed at homeschooling and I'm failing at motherhood.
The funny thing is...I CHOSE this teacher for Amelia! Yes I did! Out of the other two choices, this teacher was really the best one. How in the heck did it work out that THIS teacher is anti-homeschooling! How did that happen?
I can see now that Amelia will struggle all year. Amelia is "damaged goods" to her. It won't matter what things Amelia excels or fails at, it will be the fault of homeschooling....and I'll be the mother that failed her daughter. Sigh.
Pity party at my house, want to come?