It was finally summertime and we had finished kindergarten at the Christian school we sent our son to. There was a graduation but I was only half-hearted about going because I knew we were not going back there and I knew the teacher thought I should hold my son back to retake kindergarten again.
We were very excited about our decision to send our son to a hybrid school. This was a public charter school. Honestly, I had no idea what I was in for. I was on board with homeschooling but I was nervous about it. I knew my son needed one-on-one attention.
Our boxes of curriculum came in the mail along with a computer and a printer. He went to school two days a week and then we homeschooled for three days a week. His teacher this year was also a first year teacher. But she was far different than his last one. She was patient and she was very laid back and she was encouraging! With this new school came a different struggle. The lessons were all laid out. The problem was he was just not getting the information or if he was it was taking him forever. I saw this as a problem. His teacher calmed me down and told me it would all be fine. I asked if he should be held back again and she said they would evaluate that in second grade because by second grade you really had to get ready for third grade to be ready for the standardized tests and he really had to have his math facts memorized - eeeeekkkk!
Now I know how dyslexics learn - then I did not, so trying to get my dyslexic son to memorize math facts from flash cards was a nightmare. If you want to torture dyslexic kids then use flashcards with just boring numbers on them. Remember how he couldn't memorize numbers when he was 5? Well, he couldn't memorize math facts either. We used our fingers a lot during math and we used a hundred board as well. And this Momma was frustrated and not very patient and it makes me so sad that I was like that. I just wasn't understanding how he could have something one day and not be able to remember it the next day.
Phonics was not super fun either. They did use tiles but it was just such a chore. He also still did not get sight words. Fortunately his teacher was so great that she did not pressure us to have so many memorized by a certain time. She tried to reassure me not to stress but I did stress because we had to do things on the school's timeline and we were constantly behind. My son was reading but it was very slow. He was getting better at sounding things out but if you threw in a new phonics rule - then forget it. We just didn't have time to wait for him to have a rule down before moving on to the next rule. For instance, he understood silent "e" for the most part but throw in "ay" or "eigh" and forget about it.
I do not know how we finished out that year but we made it. I was so glad to pack things away. This year was much better than last year but by the end of it I knew it wasn't just that my son was young, something else was going on. We bought a Summer Bridge book to do over the summer so that he could do things and not forget everything he learned. We needed to keep doing school things or he would lose a lot of what he had done.
We decided to do the hybrid school again for second grade, but we would not complete the year.
Stay tuned for Part III.