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