Friday, September 30, 2011

Fighting for My Kids' Success

My kids give me so much! They give me joy, smiles, lessons on life, perspective, headaches, backaches, exhaustion, motivation and love to name a few things. They keep me going each and every day!

Having four kids, literally keeps me on my feet from the moment the alarm goes off to well past the news most nights. Now that school is in full swing the balancing act of keeping the younger kids busy and happy while helping with the older ones with homework is wearing me out. Some nights it is a 3-4 hours process. I know that it can be a challenge for most families, but I am finding that doing this with children who have special needs (one with multiple challenges) is even more of a challenge. Many days these study sessions leave me tearful because my kids work so hard for so long each day. They keep chugging along even though they may be worn out and not sure why they have to keep going. I get tearful because I wonder what they are missing out on while working so hard to finish and meet the expectations of those around them, but also because if we can make it through the next several years that they will have a work ethic that not everyone will graduate from school with. They will know what they need to be successful and how to go about doing it in a manner that works for them. Thus being said, I fight for my kids for my kids success each day!!

When they are at school (and youngest at daycare), I take school notes, worksheets and other assignments and transform them into materials and activities that will be usable for them to study from for tests and ultimately learn the material so that they can answer the questions on upcoming assignments, tests and state assessments. I spend time analyzing papers they bring home to look for strengths and weaknesses, I read about their disability areas and watch videos. I brain storm methods to assist them in getting along with their peers and ways to problem solve. I dig and dig and dig and hope that my efforts, desire to understand them better will help them in the long run.
This article is one that documents the the outcome of student struggles in schools, when supported and programmed for well by loving, caring, well educated and able professionals.
I also spend time thinking about how to give the kids opportunities to enjoy and build upon their strengths. I try to think about what they can give up in order to gain happinesss from things that come naturally to them. I also find that I need to make sure that I keep the strengths and enjoyments of all my kids in mind. This is not easy, I don't do it well and I knwo someone always gets the short end of the stick. Each of them is different and although some need a lot of my attention, they all need to feel special and do things they love! This would be an area that I am personally fighting to improve.
This sound clip from The People's Pharmacy touches on this important part of the balancing act.
I struggle to know if what I am doing is the right thing all the time. I have asked the specialists and family members to let me know when my ideas are totally CRAZY and when they are on track. I find references to explain why I do what I do because I struggle to explain the reasons behind the drive within me and and "gut" feeling that I have for some of the crazy things I do to others who are not in my shoes. But nevertheless, I have chosen to fight, find and figure out how I can make the process of learning and life the best it can be for kids. For without them, life would certainly not be as eventful or enjoyable!!!!

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