Saturday, August 24, 2013

Our Year of Transitions

I am not one of those mom's who is excited for school to start in the fall. I love summer, and love having my kids home.  Life is less stressful, we can sleep in, and my kids are relaxed.  Transitions can be hard, especially for my kids.  The way our school district is set up. it  made the fall of 2011 especially hard, All three of my kids had to transition to a new school.  At. The. Same. Time.   It was a difficult adjustment for all three of them, and for me. I was the one talking to the schools, helping with homework, and drying their tears. (one of Kara's best friends moved away the 2nd week of school) .  Eventually though, things got easier, routines were figured out, and they felt settled in their schools. 

This past week we had our school registration days. I went with each one on their designated day  to get their schedules, try out their locker combinations, and find their classrooms.  This year  it went smoothly with my oldest. She is a junior this year, and  staying in her Seat Time Waiver program. (She does a combination of online and in school classses)  She has teachers she already knows and likes at school.  While it was easy with her, that was not really the case with the other two.  

Kyle has the biggest, and most difficult transition this year. He is moving from the middle school to the high school. He has Aspergers, and transitions have always been very difficult for him.  He is extremely smart, but has always had a parapro to help keep him on track, and assist him when needed.   He has a difficult time with writing. It looks nice, but it takes him a long time to do it. Because of that, he has a hard time taking notes, and hates doing homework.  At the high school level in our district, they do not have parapros assist students in Gen. Ed. Instead they have something called a Link.  A Link is an upper classmen, who pairs up with a student in the class where they need the most assistance. Kyle was supposed be in the Link program, but we found out on Thursday, he had been overlooked. It would have been especially difficult for him to be without one, since had never been without some parapro support, and has such a hard time with change. Luckily, we were able to get him in the program right away, and yesterday he met his Link.  She is a senior girl who seems really nice.  I took this picture after he met his Link at a special lunch. 

During his registration day, I could tell he was very anxious about going to high school. When we walked through the school trying to find his classes, he held it together,  but was on the verge of a meltdown. He refused to let me look at his schedule or the map. He was very stressed, and kept snapping at me. When I went the wrong way (I was going by memory) he would get mad that I did not know my way around. (well, let me look at the map, buddy!)   He had been relaxed all summer, but once he got to the school, it all become real to him.  He will have a class hour each day where he will meet with a resource teacher. They will help keep him organized, and give him homework assistance if needed, but he will still  have homework to bring home most nights. He is in advanced math, and in Algebra 2 as a Freshman.  I took it as a Senior many years ago, and do not remember much about it so I won't be much help.  He is happy, though, that he got Game Programming class the very first semester.  He wants be a video game developer some day, so we will have to see what happens.  

Kara is also changing schools.  She is now at the older middle school.  While her transition should not be as hard as Kyle's, there still might be a few bumps along the way. We found out in 5th grade she had A.D.D. (luckily not the H part)  She is very unorganized, losses things, and forgets to turn in homework etc..  She is also not fond of change, and at registration found the new school to be overwhelming. She is worried about going from 2 teachers to 6, and changing class all by herself.  We walked through her schedule, but she got confused, and is now afraid of getting lost.  She is pictured with one of her best friends. They have been in the same class for the last two years. This year, though, they only have math class together. At least they will have the same lunch, 3 of the 4 quarters. She ran into her other best friend, and found out she will be with her a couple of classes too.  She does have nice teachers, who I think she will really like.  She also has the advantage of having her brother and sister going to the school before her.  I already know a lot of people at the school, and introduced her to them at registration.  She has a few people she can turn to if needed.  She is also thrilled with her elective schedule. She loves every single one of them. (except phys. ed) She has Art for three quarters, and Home Ec for one.   Great classes for a creative girl.  

 We still have about 10 days before school starts, so we are going to try and  make the most of it.  

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