For Part 1 of the series Click Here
For Part 2 of the series Click Here
For Part 3 of the series Click Here
For Part 4 of the series Click Here
So we last left off with Christian starting Middle School. He was really looking forward to it and excited about the new environment, more freedom and change in classes which included electives. ELECTIVES! He ACTUALLY was able to PICK what HE wanted to do… and there was quite the variety available. He couldn’t wait. I on the other hand, could have waited another ten years to not have to do this. My boy was growing up and as much as I loved the young man he was becoming, all I could see walking away as we dropped him off the first day of school was my little boy.. Heart breaking.. But I knew we would all be OK. I mean he wasn’t the FIRST kid to go to middle school, right?
The first few days were interesting for him. Much larger campus, trying to figure out where your classes are and although I am sure there is a purpose and a reason the buildings are set up as they are, they didn’t make any sense to anyone else new there.. at least not yet. One of the most exciting things for him was that they played music… REAL NEW MUSIC during nutrition (AKA recess LOL and yes every time I said that, he would CRINGE!) and lunch so it was a great way for the kids to hang out with their friends, unwind and even dance a little of their wiggles off. He thoroughly enjoyed the new school, felt more mature (his words) and thought that this school year was going to be great. For me, that was truly a gift. To hear that he ACTUALLY WANTED to go to school. Yep! I thought for sure this was the awesome start and new beginning for Christian’s school career that we had hoped for… And it was. At first.
Christian did well for the first 4-6 weeks. He was BORED and said as much. Regardless, he still had to do homework and although he felt it mundane, it was a necessary .. well .. Evil if you will. It was a great way to show him responsibility, follow through, maturity and basically what he will have to do in the future when he goes to college and has a job. No one does everything they want to all of the time so this would be great training. It is difficult to explain to a 6th grader that this life lesson and tool will help him throughout his life. All he wanted to do is hang out with his friends. Didn’t we all at that age?
We went to back to school night. I think it is imperative for EVERY parent. Make the time if it is at all possible. If you aren’t familiar or don’t remember what that is, it is when the school is open for parents to come and check out their classes, schedules and meet their child’s teachers. We always felt it imperative to go to these and other meetings at the school because we wanted to be sure that the teachers knew we were part of the team. We wanted to work WITH the teachers to ensure our children’s success. This shows the teachers that they aren’t alone and know that we are all in this together. Having support at home is key for a teacher and a students success. I remember specifically going to Christian’s math class. He had an awesome teacher, Mr. H. He was kind, mild mannered, soft spoken and most of all patient. He enjoyed Christian but said he had some issues with turning in his work. Unfortunately, this specific teacher didn’t utilize the campus portal (computer program where parents can access their child grades, hw, etc.) as much as we had hoped. Christian was missing some assignments but we weren’t aware because there wasn’t anything listed on the portal. Needless to say we were taken aback by this. Christian had already told us where he sat. I asked the teacher where homework was to be turned in. He told me by pointing. (see diagram) I told Mr. H. that more than likely he will have issues with turning in his work. It is across the room AND not even close to Christians sight to even consider it may be something he has to do. Yes, EVEN with EVERYONE getting up and turning something in, it still may not cross his mind. Mr. H. was accommodating and moved Christian’s seat. Not always is this a possibility and not always will it work. It did help him and he did turn in more homework but still it was a struggle. We realized Christian was having a hard time because his meds were no longer working. It seemed a few hours after his school day started, his ADHD was in full force with no medicine in sight. This we also learned at open house. Another reason why it is crucial to go to these events. You may be able go get or GIVE insight on something that may not even be a consideration or a concern.
- Be involved! A teacher is going to be much more likely to help and be receptive if you show them that it is important to YOU that your child succeeds. It also shows your child that you CARE. Even though we may think that is obvious, it isn’t always to a child. Invest the time in your child’s education.
- Know your child’s strengths and weaknesses. See if their classrooms accommodate them and if not, talk to the teacher. Not always will accommodations be able to be made but the teacher can at least be aware to help guide your child in the right direction. If you need to ensure accommodations are made, speak with your child’s counselor. They can help you with your concerns and needs. They are there to HELP!
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You will never know if you DON’T ASK!
Christian’s 6th and 7th grade years went well. He was working on improving in some areas but we are still working out the kinks with his meds, struggles with homework, etc. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee once you find a medicine it will be a forever one. And to add entertainment to the mix…you add growing and hormones to it… Boy do you have a bag of craziness to deal with. It can be overwhelming for everyone especially the child. Christian then went on to 8th grade. I couldn’t believe it. He was going to be in high school next year! It just didn’t make sense! How could my first baby boy be going to high school next year? Well, it was true…. But first we needed to get through 8th grade.
Christian’s 8th grade school year started well and then with communication with his teachers, it seemed there may be a need for a medication intervention. His meds weren’t working as well and he wasn’t able to focus in class. Luckily, we had great communication with certain teachers (others weren’t as.. uh shall we say.. receptive) and took Christian to see his doctor to adjust his meds. Three months later on a dirt bike riding vacation, Christian said his feet were cold. Understandably when it was in the low 30’s outside and he had been riding his motorcycle all day. Anyone would be cold, right? He took off his socks and to our HORROR, his feet were WHITE. I don’t mean pale, I mean W H I T E. Like LOSS OF CIRCULATION- COMPLETELY WHITE. Needless to say, we were quite scared. We warmed his feet up and they slowly regained color and his feet were once again warm. We thought for sure he better wear warmer socks or else he is going to have this issue again. We told him to keep an eye on them and I would check his feet daily to see if there were any issues and fortunately, there weren’t.
Then one day, Christian was laying on our couch doing is homework after school and he said, “Mom, my feet are cold again” …………. to be continued