For the first time in several years I’m not blogging every day in November. I just don’t have time this year! So many other things grabbing for my attention that I didn’t even really realize it was November until we were a couple of days in.
Lately my brain is full up with Harry and my continuing worries about his time in school. He is so bright, guys. Like, I know he’s got more inborn intelligence than Michael and I do, and you’ll just have to trust me when I say we’re smarter than the average bears. But he doesn’t fit the box that is the public school system, and it’s starting to show. I’ve been doing some reading – guided by a friend of mine who is an educator, bless her – and I’m pretty sure we’ve identified the likely issue… but if I’m right, we’re going to be on our own because as far as I can determine, there are no programs in place in Nova Scotia to address twice-exceptional learners.
This chart made me yell “YES! ALL OF THAT!” in excited recognition, before the whole thing started to feel overwhelming:
|Superior vocabulary||Poor social skills|
|Advanced ideas & opinions||High sensitivity to criticism|
|High levels of creativity & problem-solving ability||Lack of organizational & study skills|
|Extremely curious, imaginative, & questioning||Discrepant verbal & performance skills|
|Wide range of interests not related to school||Poor performance in one or more academic areas|
|Penetrating insight into complex issues||Difficulty with written expression|
|Specific talent or consuming interest area||Stubborn, opinionated demeanor|
|Sophisticated sense of humour||High impulsivity|
The really depressing thing is that many of the resources I found recommend homeschooling or schools that have a particular focus on twice-exceptional learners. Since those are both financially-impossible options, we have to try and work within the schizophrenic can’t-decide-what-it-is public school system.
So there’s that, and I’m spending a lot of time thinking about it. I want his teachers to acknowledge that this could be a possibility. I don’t want them to think that he’s disrespectful, or lazy, or willfully disobedient because he doesn’t like writing time. I don’t want them to write him off. I can accept that I myself am not going to be able to change the school system overnight, or magically make resources appear to help him – we’ve known all along that we would need to do things outside of school time to keep him challenged and “enriched” (a word I am growing to detest). What I can’t accept is him getting an undeserved reputation as a problem kid when maybe they just need to approach him differently, and so we’ll be bringing all of this to his teachers next week.
I’m also worried because he never talks about his friends anymore. It’s never “so-and-so and I played hobbits today!” or “we all had a mega-battle on the soccer field!” In fact he never really mentions the playground at all, since the first couple of weeks in September when he was getting picked on by the requisite Big Dumb Jock in his class.
He never used to have a problem making friends. I’m worried that he’s getting isolated from his peers, and I need to ask the teachers about that, too.
The whole thing feels very sad, and makes me want to just hug him for a while, because I know he’s not as enthusiastic a guy as he always used to be, and I can’t tell if that’s just because he’s getting older and is less apt to bounce through life, or if he’s actually unhappy.
This parenting thing… it really is like watching your heart walking around outside your body. It’s so very hard, sometimes.