Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Summer is here and a mother's thoughts turn to...school.

My fan has spoken! It's back to the blog for me. Summer has begun and the kids are all home. Every year we all have a hard time adjusting to the slow, unscheduled tempo of the days. Right now the kids are bored and I'm still trying to get stuff done.... By the time I stop trying to be productive and they all relax into Summer it will be time to go back to school.

School. We're facing some difficulties with schooling next year. We're placing Charlotte in a private school exclusively for autistic kids next fall and requesting that the school district cover the $50,000 (!!!!!!) tuition. They do have an autistic support class which is "taught" by a teacher with no training in autism and no curriculum. They most likely scenario is that the school district will reccommend that she be placed in their class (because it's so awful there are almost no students in it and it won't cost them a cent). If/when that happens, we pay the more-than-Harvard tuition, eat rice and beans all year, and sue their asses. Fun. I've never sued anyone, not even the idiot doctor who misdiagnosed my acute appendicitis as a UTI which caused the appendix to burst and rendered me infertile for years. Not even him. So I'm not looking forward to this, but you do what you have to for your kid, right?

And more school. My fey little Eliza - whose head is full of big dreams and whose mouth is full of big vocabulary (and has, like her dad, a charming little geek thing going on) - was bullied this year. It started as taunting, which we tried to use as a "learning opportunity" (don't you hate those?), but then moved on to physical bullying - the boy who had been harrassing her purposely stepped on her hand when she reached down to pick up a crayon. So we have to sort out what to do about her school situation as well. We believe, philosophically, socially, and financially, in public education. But there's our baby being her adorably clueless self which certain kids are clearly taking as a big "apply harrassment here" sign. So do we put her in private school too? Or do we ask her to tough it out? Honestly, I don't know.

If any of you have opinions on this, I'd love to hear them.


George Larson said...

Martial arts?

George Larson said...

Consider aikido.

I studied many martial arts before finding aikido. When taught by the right instructor, the focus is on inner peace.

The idea is that the aggressor is out of balance with himself -- that is what is causing the problem that he is trying to solve with violence. I gain nothing by harming him; I simply need to take the measures that keep me safe and hopefully he will have the opportunity to sort out his problems some other time.

Many instructors teach it as a fighting style instead of a life style. Look around your area, maybe you will be lucky enough to find a good one.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks, that sounds quite wonderful. I think I'll actually look into it for her!

Shannon said...

My experience has been that giving it the summer and seeing how things are in the fall might pay off. Eliza will be different in the fall, this other little guy will be different (or maybe not even there), the teacher, the other kids, will all be different. But George's idea is a good one, and might give Eliza the air of confidence she needs to deflect that kind of behavior altogether. Parenthood, there ain't nothin' like it....