Goodbye Kindergarten, Hello First Grade

Graduation time is in full swing, whether it be Kindergarten, 5th grade, 8th grade or High School. Many people are making their posts and typically I’m not one for all these little graduations. Don’t get me wrong I like a cause for celebration and especially High School and college. I’m just not big on any of the ones preceding those. I think it’s one of those things we make a bigger deal out of than need be, because after all the kids are supposed to pay attention,get good grades and move on the the next one….right? But I was feeling pretty proud of Lucas today(his last day of Kindergarten)because this was his second year of Kindergarten. Yes that’s right he repeated Kindergarten. Actually my husband repeated Kindergarten as well ( for moving reasons) and it’s something I always teased him for. I mean Kindergarten in our day was coloring, letters, numbers and the basics but it’s a whole different ballgame nowadays.

So let me walk you to where we are today! Last year Lucas was struggling, especially with his sight words. It was wearing on him and I felt so bad. His teacher would say that he would become so frustrated and upset while trying to do his assignments. At home with his homework he would give up quickly, just guess the answers or become frustrated. Everyone has always told me he’s such a smart kid and his memory…. crazy good. You know like how the kids remember everything you don’t want them to from 3-4 years ago,or how they call you out on something you did lol Yes thats him, he can even give you directions to places and doesn’t understand why Mommy needs directions to the airport every time we pick up Daddy lol. So why wasn’t he grasping these sight words? Unfortunately it took us a whole EXTRA year of Kindergarten and many many school meetings to finally get an answer. School ended today and we officially sign off on the IEP this Friday. Honestly it should not have taken so long.

lucas

Last year they didn’t even go through any of the educational assessments with him. He didn’t show any of the major signs for any of the common learning disabilities. So they said he should repeat Kindergarten and it’s probably related to him just not being ready for school yet; as some kids aren’t and he’s still young. I had come to terms with the fact he would repeat Kindergarten by around March. I knew even if he all of a sudden started learning some of the words I still didn’t feel confident sending him to 1st grade, where they would tack on even more sight words. I was hopeful that since he now had a year of school under his belt and he knew the ropes that he would be more confident and pick it all up the next year. That wasn’t the case.

Lucas was still performing in the lower 10% of his classmates. It was depressing to hear considering he had been doing Hooked on Phonics and going to a tutor weekly. The one thing that had improved was his math skills. Thankfully!  We went to many different meetings where they discussed this and they finally agreed to some educational assessments for reading and writing. This was decided in February. I was growing frustrated because here we are 6 months into the second year and still no difference and no one else seemed too concerned. So they had 60 days to do the tests and meet again. Fast forward to April and again he’s had minor improvement. They review the results and said there was no need for an IEP. His teacher pulled me aside and said “I just want you to know as the parent you have the right to request a full psychological evaluation”.I was so frustrated , there had to be some kind of reason for why he wasn’t performing well. I spoke with some other speech therapists and they read through the results and said it’s clear his IQ would be higher than where he’s performing and again was told to request a psychological evaluation. So I sent the letter in. Fast forward another month where they call me in for a meeting to find out why I am requesting this. I stated the obvious. They told me since we keep coming back they will go ahead and do that but to remember he’s still young to be classified as having a learning disability.  FINALLY last week we had a meeting and guess what they found?! He has a working memory problem which is causing him to have issues remembering these words etc. SO they did classify as a learning disability and he will finally have an IEP!

It’s been a frustrating year and at first I was scared to tell everyone that he was going to be in Kindergarten again but I knew I was doing what was best for my child. After all I wouldn’t want to keep pushing him forward and have him grow more and more frustrated and start to hate school. I’m not a confrontational person and having to go in there and fight for what should be done for my child wasn’t easy for me. However it was worth it and as crazy as they made me feel at times I just knew there was something going on. Mission accomplished and now we get to start off at a new school in a new grade with our IEP in hand.

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