Since Eli entered kindergarten we have taken time about a month after school starts to sit down with his teacher and just touch base. Today was the day for the second grade meeting.
Last night my honey and I talked over the concerns we wanted to share and the direction we are hoping to go. Then we talked about what to do with the boys. The option of after school care came up. But Monday is diving night. That means Eli would have an extra long day at school, come home and eat dinner and head straight to diving. No wind down time. We couldn’t do that to him. So we revamped our plan and decided that she would be home to get the boys off the bus and I would go to the meeting.
This morning I dropped the boys off at before school care. On my way out I ran into Eli’s OT. She stopped me to ask what was different. Eli has been calm this year. His biggest concern is that he’s being too social. He hasn’t needed sensory breaks as often. I shared with her that I thought diving was playing a big role. I also feel that the makeup of his class makes a huge difference. They boy who helped wind him up last year is in a different class this year. A lot of things seem to have fallen into place. His OT was just amazed at the changes in him. I walked out of the building and headed for work with pure joy surrounding me.
After school was out I returned to the building for my meeting with Eli’s teacher and interventionist. He has a new interventionist this year and this was our first meeting. The three of us spoke for a long time. They shared that they have not seen any of the issues that are laid out in Eli’s IEP. They feel like he is a different little boy this year.
But he is bored. Insanely bored.
Last year at conferences Eli confessed that he was bored with the math he was doing. His teacher started sending home second grade work. Now he’s in second grade doing work that he did in January and won’t discover anything new until February or March. It’s time to kick it up a notch. His math tests all have scribbles on them and doodles on them. He knows the stuff and doesn’t care to keep doing it. We fight for 1/2 hour to get him to do homework that takes him no more than 2 minutes.
His teacher has a plan. Math enrichment, extra homework and some ownership of his own learning. The hope is he learns at his pace, accelerated above the learning of his friends.
He is reading at a 3rd grade level. The kid that did vision therapy last summer and could barely read a sentence has now jumped above his current grade level. Nothing will stop him now.
He is bored with spelling. He knows the words. He was challenged to learn them last year. So he gets different words, more words. He gets some choice because it’s advanced but it will still be different.
He needs to be more organized. The kid forgets his homework almost daily. We made a plan that starts with a simple checklist. It will move up to a parent sign log if necessary. We are hoping to avoid that.
Once again I am amazed with our team. I love the ideas that his teacher has. I love that she is learning a lot about him already. I love that his interventionist is seeing the changes from the last 2 years. I love that they listen and problem solve together with us.
Reality has hit that he may no longer receive IEP services and supports. This is a bittersweet reality. We are certainly excited that he looks so different this year. We are always waiting for the bottom to drop out for him.
For now he is reaching higher. He has support to climb as high as he wants and succeed to his utmost potential. We have a plan with plenty of alternative paths along the way. I am excited after yet another amazing meeting with staff from this school. We are blessed to have such caring and compassionate people working with our children. Sadly, it is not the norm. We know this and do not take it for granted.
Thank you to everyone who has played a role in getting Eli to this point today. We recognize wholeheartedly that it has taken a village to get this far and will take a village to continue to move forward. What a fantastic village we have!