Friday, May 18, 2012

About Lee

Many of you are faithful readers of this blog, so you may remember waaay back about 18 months when I posted this about our awesome boy Lee and some of the concerns we were having regarding his education.  In case you didn't read it, and don't feel the urge to go back there now, I'll sum up: Lee struggles with school.  We work hard on his homework every day, sometime doing it twice so we can help solidify it.  We read stories every night, and earlier this year we set up an IEP (individual education plan) for him, which focuses on speech and language.  The hard truth is, however, that he is still behind and is having a very hard time catching up.  The academics areas aren't as big of a concern as the emotional and social areas, though.  Lee doesn't interact very much with the other students, is often spacey and lacks focus, can't follow more than 1 step, specific instructions, and just isn't maturing and developing at the same rate as the other students in his class, and this year of Kindergarten has not seen the improvement we were really hoping for.

After much prayer, thought, and conferences with Lee's teachers and educators, we've finally decided that next year Lee will repeat Kindergarten.  This is not because Lee is failing--he is very bright.  It's because his social maturity is behind.  It's actually very understandable; Lee's birthday is in July and he is one of the youngest students in his class.  We see so many benefits with this choice--next year will be much more stable for us environmentally speaking.  We won't be building a house or moving--something that was really stressful on all of us and Lee openly admitted that he chose not to make friends at his old school because he was going to move.  It broke my heart when he told me that, because I thought he was doing so well with the adjustment, and it's just one more reason why this house--while being a huge blessing--required more sacrifice than we ever thought we could give.  But anyway... keeping Lee in Kindergarten another year will be a very good thing.  Lee's teacher suggested this to us, and when she did, I felt overwhelmingly good about it.  She has had a chance now to work with Lee for a few months and wants to keep him in her class next year.  In fact, the way she suggested us talking to him about it was to say "Your teacher only got to be with you for two months and she loves you so much that she wants to keep you another year!"  When we told that to Lee, and pointed out that he would get lots more time to work on things that are hard for him, he smiled a big smile and said, "I get to do EXTRA Kindergarten!"  He is proud of himself, and so are we. 

If you live nearby us or are family or have children who interact with Lee, we ask that you please join us in our enthusiasm for this choice.  I'm not trying to shield him entirely from the more negative aspects, but I'm also not trying to thrust them in his face.  This was a choice between Cody, myself, and Lee's teachers that we hope will benefit him immensely.  I really do feel like one of the biggest problems Lee has is being younger than the other kids, and now he will be just a little bit older.  We'll continue with our individual study with him and his IEP. 

Ultimately, we love Lee.  We want him to he happy and healthy and well adjusted.  We think that this choice will help him a lot in the future.  He is such a sweet, tender, and fun boy.  We'd love prayers in Lee's behalf, and we'll keep you updated as time goes by.  Love, Lisa


symony said...

He will be in the same grade as Remi! Wahoo!!!!

Cindy said...

That must have been a hard choice. I recently decided to Homeschool my kids so that I can meet their personal education needs. The schools in Florida are just awful and I don't know if I ever would have considered it If I lived in UT but if you find he needs special attention I recommend looking into homeschooling there is a lot of support and your child can be even more social than a regular child at school can end up being Good luck in all your endeavors!

Linda said...

That is a smart move! After raising 5 boys through the school system, and IEP is a life saver for kids who struggle. Also, the oldest boy in the class is at a huge advantage over the youngest boy in the class. Lee will be the first to drive, the first to date. (I guess that was TMI for you at this point, after all that is a few years away).

John and Anna said...

What a wise yet hard decision! I know from first hand experience the benefit of an extra year. I was also a young one and immature and my parents held me back in 1st grade after alot of prayer. I've been grateful for it ever since and they were to. It really will allow lee that extra support that he needs. And most of the time boys develop mentally and physically later than girls anyway so he'll have the edge that way too. It sounds like you've also been blessed with a great teacher. How great for lee to spend extra time with her. You all are awesome! Lee is awesome!

Sara said...

That second picture is totally Lee. :P Silly boy. :) We love him tons!