Woodjie is moving on to elementary school next year. I begged his preschool teacher to please flunk him! I'm worried about his going on to school. So I have a lot of questions on the "meet the staff" night.
The program they want Woodjie to attend is one of those "push the kid into the regular class as much as possible and get him away from needing extra/expensive help" types. They start out with lots of help... and then... slowly... back away. By the end of the year, the kid should be in regular ed "with some support" which of course varies from kid to kid.
Way cheaper than the $60,000/year academy they ship some of the severely autistic kids to... and way better for the kid in the long run. If he makes it. In theory, everyone wins.
But I have some concerns.
First off, the kid doesn't read or write. He can write his first name with a lot of prompting and the last three letters take up about half the page. He can count to ten. He recognizes letters but refuses to write them. "You have to wait," he says, holding up his "stop" hand. I've been waiting a long time. So I think the little guy might have a lot of trouble keeping up.
One of the teachers from the severely disabled-type program I went to check out told me her program is not for Woodjie. Really, don't worry about it because they frequently see children who don't even know their letters entering kindergarten in regular education.
You're kidding. How could they not know their letters? They really should be reading and writing a bit by then, don't you think? I mean, most kids should, right?
Ohh, well, she told me, some parents just never send their kids to preschool or day care. So they don't get exposed to reading and writing.
?!! My children are "exposed" at home to reading and writing... but please tell me you don't picture my 10-year-old homeschooler as not knowing his letters...
"Ah, but you homeschool," she told me. These people don't.
What on earth to say to that?? I think I asked about field trips or something. Have you heard of "bean dip?" On the MOMYs board, when someone talks about how it's a bad idea to have so many children or homeschool, you just remark about how GREAT the bean dip is! Additional comments about fertility/homeschooling lead to your going, mmmhmm the bean dip is awesome!
So anyway. I guess I'm glad my son won't have this lady for a teacher next year. But I'm thinking more about this... do most teachers really think children have to go to school to learn? Or have they been pretty good at hiding their distaste for people who don't use daycares and preschools around me until now? When non-daycare/preschooled children show up "behind" in their kindergarten classrooms, are the parents considered lazy until proven otherwise?
And here's the real question: why do I care what they think? It does bother me that someone might think that I'm just a lazy parent who never cracks open a book, and therefore my children have trouble with language. Maybe I am just an elitist snob and want to be known for my bookishness and it's a pride issue. But I don't know.
The ladies who run the program Woodjie will likely attend seem nice enough. One of them was Elf's kindergarten teacher years ago! And Elf had a lovely year in kindergarten.
If you have an extra prayer to spare, please pray for Woodjie's kindergarten placement! For various reasons, I don't feel homeschooling is the best choice for him right now.