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School Has Never Been So GOOD!

October 2, 2015 - Jamie O'Hare
Since our move to Wheeling 5 years ago, we have struggled to find a school placement for the kids that we could "buy into", meaning one that we could support wholeheartedly in terms of mission, message, and parental involvement. Nearly a quarter into this year, I could not be more pleased! We have found this in THREE schools.

Six weeks ago, I posted about my trepidation facing a new school year with my 6 year old daughter repeating kindergarten and my 11 year old son starting middle school. Quick update on my "odds", kids 1 and 3: They are rocking it! My daughter is making friends in her class and is much able to focus and complete her work. She is embracing the spiritual message of her parochial school. She is a strong reader, and she has grown enough to look like a kindergartener! She still has meltdowns and struggles with sensory issues and eczema, but she is handling these difficulties with more maturity.

My oldest son (who has mild ASD) is handling 9 periods a day in 2 different buildings. His support team is stellar, and they have been great at communicating with us about concerns on either side. He is happy, he loves being with his friends, and his minor meltdowns have been handled beautifully. He has joined the choir and comes home from the bus stop singing his choir repertoire.

As promised, I also have an update on my "evens", kids 2 and 4. Kid 2 is a 10 year old boy who underwent testing for a math disability over the summer. We had gone through all of the intervention, yet his math grades continued to tank last year. However, this year, his math grades have been just fine! His results indicated that he does not have a math disability, and that it was likely his anxiety causing him problems. His parochial school staff has agreed to give him some support in testing situations, and he is doing phenomenally well. Despite the school's rigorous curriculum, his grades are all A's and B's, better than any other year! He has a core group of friends, has joined the choir, and will be playing basketball soon. This is the kid who has been disrupted the most, and I'm so pleased to have him in the right place where he can thrive.

Kid 4 is about to turn 4! She is delighted to be at a small Montessori school. After the chaos of my older children's preschool years, I don't know that I can raise a child with executive function and appropriate sensory integration without a lot of help. As her teacher and I have said, this girl is a Montessori KID! The sensory opportunities, the organization, the structure, and the routine are perfect for her. She is so happy to go to school every day, and she can identify the continents by sight! This opportunity to start school full time just before her fourth birthday has helped her to mature in ways that she could not have otherwise.

I have never been so satisfied with our family's routine. We sold our starter house and are well settled into our new home. Life feels like it's going the way that it's supposed to go!


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