Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Taking a Leap for Sam

I know I've talked about it quite a few times since school started... about my troubles with getting Sam to stay at school, or even GO to school.  You would think I am trying to hang him up by the toenails with the way he acts to one simple phrase: "Time to go to school!" Cue the drama, melodramatic tantrums, and more whining than any mom should EVER have to endure.

One bad thing, for Sam, about living in a nutshell, is that there are no fantastic hiding places and this mom already knows about the two semi-descent ones.  I have gotten really good at pulling Sam out from under my bed by grabbing the closest limb.

He only hates me these days when I make him go to school... but then he loves me the most when I come to save pick him up.

I don't think putting up with Sam's behavior has stressed me out nearly as much as working with the school has.  Don't get me wrong, it's a pretty good little school (a WHOLE lot better than the elementary I went to), and if Sam was just your average kid, I think things would have gone really well with him and the school.  But Sam is not your average Joe-school-kid.  He is extremely bright, but his speech/ language impairment makes him seem less intelligent than he really is.  The kid is a master manipulator, mind game champ, and is very good at taking advantage of people who under-estimate him.

Ever since he started at the school, it has been an uphill battle with the teachers trying to help them understand Sam a little.  They keep sending his homework back and won't pass it off because Sam has this attitude like, "I know what it is, do you?" or he miss pronounces stuff because of his issues, like saying "the" like "va".  I have gotten tired of marching him back in and making him apologize and pass off his stuff in front of me.  And the teacher gets pretty irritated with me bring him in and not being nice about it, as much as I try.  I feel like as much as I tell her how sneaky and brilliant he is, she just doesn't listen -- gives me lip service, and probably turns around and rolls her eyes.

Finally, after getting a another note about Sam not passing his stuff off and I needed to stop signing him off when he apparently couldn't do it, I got fed up.  It was the last straw.  Sam had been going there for a month now and if she can't figure out was a turkey he can be, and that he is SO TERRIBLY bored with the curriculum (He learned the same stuff his last 2 1/2 years at pre-school), then I was going to take some action.

I called the local charter school.

And they had an opening.

I told them about Sam and they said they would LOVE to have a little character like him.  So after I dropped the boys off at school I drove over to the charter school and sat in a couple of the classes.  The kindergarten class just about blew my socks off!  They were teaching EXACTLY like my Sam learns!  They were even doing his kind of math.  I couldn't have been more thrilled.  I was so impressed with the way the kids behaved and how disciplined and quiet everything was.  I thought that Sam would love how the desks were all lined up in a row and everything was in perfect order.  So Sam!

I brought it up with Ben that night and he was all on board with it, especially after watching the DVD they sent home with me.

Today I went back to give the go-ahead and sign all the papers.  I also took Sam over there after school and they let him look around and he even got to meet his new teacher.  Luckily, she had hair like me -- so that won't be an issue again.  Sam asked her questions about the class room set up and was really impressed with the "quiet bell" and actually having his own desk.  He told me he was so happy and wanted to be in that class SO bad!  That was the clincher!

Making this decision shouldn't have been as hard as it was.  But it was for me.  Of course I want what is best for Sam, no question, but another part of me doesn't want to hurt his teacher's feelings by pulling him out no matter how irritated I am.  Is that silly or what?!  It's a longer drive too... but I really want what is best for Sam, and I can really see him excelling with their methods of teaching at the charter school.

So, starting Monday morning, we are off for a new adventure!  Wish us luck!



kisatrtle said...

Good luck on your new adventure

Heidi said...

If his teacher couldn't give Sam what he needed then he needs someone who can. I'm so proud of you for finding a new school and going through with the change even though its hard right now. Once you don't have to fight him every day and he is progressing like he should, you'll feel awesome about your decision and it'll be worth it.

So glad you found a school so perfect for him!

Heidi said...

PS Good luck Monday!! :)

Andrea said...

"I don't think putting up with Sam's behavior has stressed me out nearly as much as working with the school has." Replace "Sam" with my son's name and that's exactly how I feel everyday of the school year!! I'm glad you were able to place him in a charter school that better fits his needs so quickly! Good luck!!

Catherine said...

Cat, Way to go for standing tall and demanding something better for Sam! And by the way, Emily's front teeth fell out naturally. Thank goodness we haven't had any teeth accidents at our house (at least not yet)! ;)

Ana said...

I wouldn't waste any time feeling bad for the teacher. To be honest, she is probably relieved because it's been hard on her dealing with a kid she clearly doesn't understand. So, it is a good deal for everyone. That's awesome you were able to get him into a charter just like that. Those waiting lists are awful!

Sa said...

That is so awesome you found a new (and better) school for Sam. Don't worry about the teacher's feelings. You are doing what is best for your son and his education.