Thursday, August 16, 2012

First Day of School

Today was our first day of school.

I am exhausted, which wouldn't surprise anyone who had ever attempted to homeschool two kids with FASD, RAD, and maybe MR or LD. Ha! So many acronyms!

I wasn't completely prepared. I still don't have Ms. D signed up for the private school PSP because I needed to get the money and the IQ test results. I stopped over at the psychiatry office today to see about getting another copy. I remember putting my last copy in a place where Ms. D couldn't come across it, but I've been too stressed to remember where that was. I also made another appointment for her since her doctor agreed that 13 to 15 hours of sleep a night is a bit much. I just hope that Ms. D doesn't just say it's because she wakes up with the new puppy. She'd been sleeping long hours for weeks before the puppy came. She may have an excuse now, but not earlier this summer and spring. I probably should have called in to make the appointment, but I didn't want little hypervigilant ears listening to something that isn't his business. The office is about a mile away, so it was easier to just go in. I had to make a quick stop at the store anyway.

I planned for a fairly easy day of homeschool. After all, most first classes in middle and high school consist of the teacher telling expectations and the distribution of papers about internet use, homework and grading policies, etc. for the students and parents to sign.  So, even though it was a fairly light day, we ended up accomplishing a lot more than that.

The day wasn't without challenges, though. Ms. D was up off and on during the night because the puppy had some tummy rumbles, probably from eating something off the ground. Don't worry, he's OK today. Mr. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. He has it in his mind that he's going to have a miserable time being homeschooled and that going to the public school would be full of all sorts of fun. So he was grumpy, demanding, and obstinate from the get go. It was so bad, Ms. D called Hubby to complain. I was so emotionally worn out from getting him to do the smallest thing, I made him go with Taekwando Daughter to get the dollar smoothie at Jamba Juice. I was so mean. He had to get his clothes on and go. I stayed home to cool off.

When he got some food into his system, went to the bathroom, and talked to Hubby, he was a lot better off. Oh, didn't I tell you that one of the things he refused to do was eat? And he "didn't have to go" and I was so stupid telling him to go to the bathroom. Oh, yes, it was one of those kind of days. But he settled down and we were able to do some fun things while we learned.

We made donut holes and cut the recipe in half. There was a lot of fraction work and he did it in his head. I showed them what it looked like on paper. We also read a part of the guide dog training manual. I had Ms. D look up words she didn't know and write them down, words like instinct, repetition, and inherited. Mr. I already knew what they meant. There is a big difference in the two children's abilities.

Of course they do have their strengths and weaknesses in their schoolwork. Mr. I's weaknesses are in behavioral and sensory areas. He couldn't stand the sound of a metal spoon rubbing against a metal bowl while we were cooking. His strengths are in his ability to learn when he tries. Ms. D is more willing to work, and is good with animals. But she has weaknesses in her ability to learn and tends to "tune out" in life. That's why I am going to talk to the psychologist about Ms. D's sleeping habits. It's really affecting her ability to take care of the guide dog puppy. I don't mind too much doing some of the raising, but I want Ms. D to take on more responsibility.

To round out the day we did a little history, Mr. I did grammar, and Ms. D and I walked the neighbor dogs. We hadn't walked them all summer, and we noticed they had gained a lot of weight. So Ms. D was happy to speed walk in order to get those dogs into shape. I was happy. I got more exercise, Ms. D got moving, and the dogs will hopefully lose some pounds. I could lose a few pounds myself!

The first day of school is a big transition, even when homeschooling. Kids with FASD and past trauma don't do well with transitions. Hubby going to Nicaragua next week and Blackbelt daughter going away for a few days will be more changes my kids will have to deal with in the next week or so. They'll do a lot better once we fall into a rhythm, but until they get used to the change of pace, our days will probably be pretty rocky. But we'll make it, just like we have made it before. It's just when I am in the middle of dealing with a kid in crisis, I wonder how I ever could get through. In a way it's like being in labor, except it happens more frequently. Oh, and you don't get a sweet little baby in the end, just a frazzled mind.

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