Oh Help And Bother

I’ve got my first writing assignment:

1. Write your life story in a single paragraph. (Up to 150 words)
2. Now turn your life story into a single sentence.
3. Now write a title for it.

Kill. Me. Now.

I stink at writing blurbs – most especially about myself. I’ve been alternately staring at the screen, checking facebook, staring at my notebook (perhaps it will be easier to write with a pen?), back to facebook, back to the blank screen, lather, rinse, repeat.

So I’m taking a break. From all that not-writing. To write a blog post. What? Logic is not my strong suit. Never said it was.

So here we are, just about three quarters of the way through the school year, and guess what I’m thinking about doing? Homeschooling Leah. Again. It wouldn’t be this year – I’m crazy but I’m not that crazy. But if we do it, if we actually pull her out to homeschool, I think it ought to be with a bigger commitment this time – as in, until she graduates. Have I lost my ever-loving mind? Homeschooling for the younger grades is one thing, but homeschooling middle and high school? I dunno. Maybe it’s a terrible idea.

Here’s the thing. Even with the ADHD meds, there is so much about institutional school that just fights against her very nature. All those classes to keep straight (and all the papers, and deadlines, and tests). It wouldn’t be so bad if every teacher were like her Math/Science teacher. She puts everything online – all the assignments and test dates, plus copies of all handouts – and she gives plenty of notice when big things are coming up. But on the other end of the spectrum, we have her Language Arts/Social Studies Teacher. He hands out major assignments with vague or no due date whatsoever. (Seriously. She brought home this big map thing. I said “when is it due?” She replies “He says he doesn’t know yet.” Uhhhh… what?) He gives tests on books weeks after they were supposed to be finished reading them. The minute I got Leah and I into a good routine of taking notes on her History textbook, he decides not to use it. For a month. Same thing with the stupid spelling tests. We find a good routine that works, he suddenly drops it from the classwork. It’s maddening. And it’s not like he’s the first crappy teacher she’s ever had. Unfortunately, regardless of school or district, teachers like him seem to be more the rule than the exception. So I don’t think it’s realistic to cross our fingers and hope the next six years will be better.

I’m trying to teach Leah good study skills. I’m trying to help her be organized. (Given how unorganized I can be – it’s not an easy thing!) And we’ve accepted that she needs medication to help her with executive functioning. But it still doesn’t feel like enough. What’s more, I find myself asking what’s it all for? She is extremely creative – drawing, folding, cutting, the girl can’t get through a day without doing something artistic. In my minds’ eye, I see her ten years from now, living in an artsy loft, the place a scattered chaotic mess of paper and paintings and sculptures, and happy as a clam. But is that realistic? Can she support herself living like that? Do I need to push her to conform so she can make a decent living as an adult?

Am I the most neurotic mother ever to be worrying about all of this when my daughter is only eleven years old?

But then, I read articles like this one from the Atlantic: “It’s Different For Girls With ADHD”. And then I wonder, what could or should I be doing to help my daughter avoid the pitfalls that so many other ADHD girls have struggled with? And would homeschooling be the best way to both educate her, and prepare her for the real world?

I’d love to hear from you guys on this one… if you homeschool, what are you doing about high school? If you have a kid with ADHD, how do you deal with these issues? And if you think I’m just a neurotic nut… well, try to find a nice way to say so.

And now my procrastination by blogging is done… back to the grindstone!

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2 thoughts on “Oh Help And Bother

  1. The writing assignment woud KILL me. You know how I like to ramble on… and on. Oddly enough, though, I think I could do the single sentence summation easier than the single paragraph.

    It’s not neurotic to be a concerned, involved mom who wants the best for her kid. God knows best what she needs and He’ll show you. I’ll be praying you get the answers and peace you need as you make these decisions.

  2. The world is comprised of mostly scattered and disorganized people. So she will be in good company eventually but trying to function despite them at 11 is maddening. Homeschooling is good in that you can totally accommodate her but also work to help her find coping methods that will make functioning easier when she goes to college. In fact, when she’s older, if you do college classes dual credit, you can help her hands-on while she’s still under your roof even further increasing her chances of success when she’s on her own. And really, like you said, the goal is to help her find the balance between functioning within the constraints of an society and being her own free, artistic spirit. It’s ideal.

    And honestly people are afraid of homeschooling upper grades but, to me, the lower grades are WAY harder. Teaching kids huge things like reading and understanding numbers is SO scary and difficult for me. Once they are older, it’s so much easier to find resources to help you out where needed and it goes together perfectly with the natural inclination of children to seek independence right when their math is too hard for you to teach yourself. haha.

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