Most Wonderful Time of the Year...Not - Click Title..

The school year is fast approaching. And frankly, I am NOT one of those parents leaping for joy. Not only is it the end of a turbulent summer, turbulent year. But it is also the beginning of new stresses in our lives.

School has never been easy for Michael. Not academically, at least not in the truest sense of that word. He is a smart kid with spongelike abilities to soak up knowledge. He is interested in science--biological and technical. He has a creative mind and is often thinking up all sorts of imaginative games, etc.

No, the part of school he cannot deal with is the structure. He gets bored, his attention wanders. If it is not interesting enough to him, he zones out. He does not always pick up on social cues from others, so sometimes he will be talkative or disruptive in the classroom. In other words, "classic" ADHD.

As a parent of a child who is "quirky", who has ADHD, school becomes not only his struggle, but my struggle. Homework, which is already taxing for a normal elementary student (see my rant on Homework here) can be ten times harder to complete for someone who has been fighting all day to maintain their focus. The last thing either one of us wants to do once we get home is do homework. I find myself constantly inwardly struggling on how to handle the "Homework Situation". I often am frustrated at having to ride herd on him, help him to do something that I myself would not want to do. Something that I have an obligation as a parent in so many ways (Does he really need homework or time to relax? Does he really need to be drilled in this now? But he needs to know that their are responsibilities out there and you shouldn't shirk them. And there is the final grades, etc.) I usually come up with a happy medium where I give it a set time, and once it hits that time--we stop. (One of the few times that him being labeled helps because the teacher usually cuts him some slack because she knows it takes a long time for him to focus and process things).

The school year brings the flood of papers, fundraisers, deadlines. It also brings parent/teacher meetings, various calls from the teacher ("he was disruptive today, couldn't focus, he got frustrated and threw a pencil box"), notes from the teacher ("He was much better today."), IEP meetings, further meetings with his therapist and doctors, changes in his prescriptions (because, of course, he has to "FOCUS"--with a little help from medical science). It brings parental guilt about PTA meetings missed, school functions that cannot be attended, after school care which is not always stimulating or fun...the new guilt of having a second child and juggling both their needs...It brings Cub Scout meetings because said therapists and doctors think that he needs more social stimulation--which eats into the very little time we have for other things (like homework, fixing/eating dinner, bathing, reading--oh, maybe spending time with each other). So yeah. Yippee for the school year coming. Not.

Comments

MrsSpock said…
That does sound like it sucks. With my recent neuro weirdness, I've developed a new sympathy for folks with ADHD. I literally could NOT focus, no matter how I tried or structured my day. My brain chased rabbits in a hundred directions all day, and my productivity suffered from it. ADHD sucks!
Once A Mother said…
oh boy, sounds like a lot on your plate once school begins. try to enjoy what time you have before it hits.
Caro said…
Wow, that does sound hard. My current research is touching on ADHD and it does sound difficult. Good luck
Cibele said…
I hope that this school year goes much better
Christy said…
I feel your pain here from the other side. Homework just plain stinks! In my class homework is a time for reading practice and practicing math facts, and being responsible for taking stuff home and bringing it back. If they bring it back at the end of the week, great. If not, well, they know the consequence is to miss 20 minutes of free time on Friday. I try to keep it pretty low key, so as not to disrupt family time But, it's also impossible to keep everyone happy. I have some who complain. I have some who ask for MORE homework . . . I refer them to websites and workbooks at the teacher supply store. But for those who ask me to give up my 20 minute lunch to tutor their kid, well, I ask that they make sure the homework is done.
KimboSue said…
EEK. Sounds like a not so glorious time for you guys. Hope things go well this time around. Maybe he needs to get into a GT program because he is so smart and gets bored easily? That is what happened to me in elementary school...

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