Monday, May 24, 2010

End of school

This week is the last week of school, which means the past couple of weeks have been crammed full of field trips, meetings, homework, etc.

I am wiped out. I slept for 9 hours Friday AND Saturday night. It felt great. :)

Things are hopefully going to start winding down and settling into a summer routine after this week, but we still have: a field trip (Emily), a trip to the dentist to replace two fillings (me), kindergarten graduation (Tim), AE graduation (Danielle), speech (Emily), and Shakespeare in the Park (all of us if I can make it work!). Plus normal school and work schedules for everybody.

One of the reasons I've been lax in posting is that I've wanted to post about Alex and haven't quite known what to post. We've really struggled with whether or not to send him to second grade next year. He is failing math but that is the only subject he is failing--everything else he has As and Bs. The bigger problem is that he does not seem to want to do the work a lot of the time, so we are working on helping him through some of that. A lot of his problems right now are stemming from some issues from the orphanage, we believe, so we are working on the best way to help him grow past this. Don't get me wrong--it will always be part of him, but there are some things he needs to work through right now in order to move forward.

I think in a lot of ways he's coming to a breaking point for himself where he realizes he needs to let go of some of the "old" and he's really struggling with that. Some of his habits and survival skills he has had for a long time. He is starting to see that he needs to let go of them but I think he's very scared of doing that--of really opening up. I don't want to say this is not about attachment because I'm sure some of this affects his feelings and interactions with us as well, but this is really about Alex and his view of himself (which is quite often where attachment problems come from too). I think Alex is secure in his place in our family. He shows good attachment signs and we have no qualms about his attachment, although I personally believe it takes longer than a couple of years for a child with a background like his to be firmly and completely attached.

This really boils down to his self-esteem and self-worth.

In addition to helping him work through some of those issues, we are tackling the math too. :) I recently purchased the Alpha set of Math-U-See. Alex is a very visual learner so I'm hopeful that this may help him "get" math better than the curriculum they use at school. We will be starting this after school is out and doing a little bit each day. I'm actually going to do it with the three oldest (not sure about Emily yet) as I think it will be beneficial for all of them, too.

NB: I've turned off comments for this post, not because I don't like you. :) :) I would love some encouragement right now but I'm not up for discourses on what we should be doing for Alex. I have not posted the full situation here nor how we are handling it and that is intentional. So please trust that we are working towards the best solutions to help Alex and please be praying for him and us that we can help him heal from his past. Thanks! :)