Friday, December 5, 2008

Schooling blues...

I've been having a frustrating time with teaching my John lately....Wednesday was a really bad day. So bad, that I just sat here and cried a bit.
When we adopted John, he was 21 months old. He had the skeletal size of a nine month old and weighed 14 lbs. He looked pitiful. Absolutely no body fat anywhere (even his little rear was perfectly curve to it at all). The back of his head was flat from lying down all the time.
He had no teeth, no growth hormone in his body, and his digestive tract was lacking in some necessary enzymes because they had shut down production due to severe malnutrition. It made changing his diaper an adventure for months.
Our pediatrician looked at me at John's first visit and asked me if I seriously wanted to do this.
Of course, I did. He was Michael's biological brother; the answer to Beth's First Communion prayer and the answer to my prayers for another child.
I had to remind myself of this over and over that first was horrible. Our social worker was terrible....absolutely no help at all. In fact, she made things more difficult. I was so glad when the adoption was finalized and I didn't have to deal with her any more.
Schooling him has been a struggle. I've taken him to a tutor who has her master's degree in special education who told me repeatedly that he is much better at home with me than in the system. Last year, when I took John in for his yearly checkup, that same pediatrician told me that he is amazed at the progress that John has made...that he is much better than he expected him to be. I keep trying to console myself with those words.
But teaching him is a struggle....his progress is extremely slow. I go over and over the same things with him before he learns them. These last two years, he's really slowed down in math which used to be his strong point. As long as it was arithmetic where I could show him the concept of addition, subtraction, multiplication, etc., he could learn it and after much practice, he was able to do the problems. Now it is becoming more abstract and he gets lost. I can show him how to do a type of problem and he can do it at the time, but come the next day, he forgets and I have to start all over again. Very frustrating. I have tried lots of different programs and lots of different methods, but the progress is always slow.
I finally have him reading around a 4th-5th grade level, but I still have to read his history, science, and religion to him to help him retain it better. Reading is still a slow process for him.
Several well-meaning relatives have suggested I send him to school, but I really don't think that anyone is going to sit there and spend hours trying to teach my Johnny. They simply don't have the people and the time. But of course, I have moments of doubting myself.
I guess I didn't worry about it so much several years ago, when adulthood still seemed far away for him but now he's 15 and I'm thinking about the fact that in three years, he will be 18 and adult age. Right now he's a 15 year old with a 15 year old body and 15 year old hormones, but around 10 years old emotionally and mentally.
Mark and I talked about it some the other night and we guess that I will just have to try to keep teaching him beyond the normal age and pray that the dear Lord sends a job that he can do. I have to trust that He has a plan, but some days I get so sad for my Johnny and so frustrated that it has to be this difficult.
Give me a trusting heart, O Lord....

A blessed Friday to all....


jordin said...

Keep heart, Barb! By God's divine intervention, John was brought to you. God's plan for your son is perfect. John is someone exceptional. He may never be able to do theoritical mathmatics or applied sciences (neither can i!). But whatever passions that were given to him by God he will apply it to his life. Which,i imagine, is part of the reason you educate John at home. :)

May God encourage your heart today!

Barb said...

Thank you for the kind words Jordin!

jordin said...

You are most welcome!