First let me say that I have been on both ends of an IEP… for the gifted child and for the special ed child. Maybe it’s just me but there is nothing like an IEP either way to make me feel like a bad mother. Seriously, Arleigh’s IEP in Tennessee left me feeling almost evil. There is no IEP process for the GT program in Hawaii. I’m almost thankful. Here the teachers look at tests and decide based on classroom experience and test scores whether or not a student can handle the program. Parents are informed, they can choose to participate or not. If the parent wants them in GT against what the teachers suggest, there’s a discussion that has the potential to go either way with the counselors and registrar. Again, been on both sides… I honestly liked the non-formal approach SO MUCH BETTER. It could be aloha spirit and now I get to wonder all day long if that’s screwing my kids up to.

Years ago, when my Arleigh was first starting school we prayerfully considered what to do. Public school was the answer for our family. Multiple moves, multiple states, some with better education reputations than others and I still say public school is working well for us for many reasons and on many levels. I understand it might not work for everyone. 

Anywho… Back to this guy.

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He’s pretty cute. I just had to throw a picture in there. 

Jack is progressing. The only thing I like about the IEP process, other than chatting with his speech therapist and teacher is that I’m given the opportunity to reflect. Two years ago, Jack started preschool in Hawaii. He was assessed as having the vocabulary of a 9 month old. Basically, he didn’t talk. He couldn’t communicate much beyond pointing… including his immediate needs. That was after being home for a year. Talk to other adoptive families and most of the time a child has caught up pretty well. Yet, here we were excited that he could walk and was starting to really run. 

Yesterday I got to hear that Jack is reading on a first grade level. READING ON A FIRST GRADE LEVEL!!! His sight words are almost up to date. He is blending sounds. The sounds of his speech are mostly great. His math is on an average first grade level. Hallelujah and amen!!! His progress is such a blessing. Really. Such a blessing. I need to remind myself of that.

Yesterday was the easiest IEP ever. We all agree on where Jack is, where we need to get him to and how to do it. I love his teachers. I love his speech therapist. And yet… I left knowing I should be excited about his progress but was very concerned about his future. Am I doing it right? There are 4 kids in this house. Am I enough? What if I did this? Should we push him to do that? I don’t really understand the data from all the testing they’ve done. Why can he read and write and still not understand any abstract concept? Sigh. 

Isn’t that what we do with all of our kids? Am I reigning Bria in enough or should I let her be the bossy pants she was born to be? Is Arleigh hitting her real potential or is she too shy? Hanan is really coming into her own here and where about to pull her out of a school where she is excelling. Am I on top of school work? Should I supplement more? How can we possibly supplement more? Are we letting them just be kids? That part… the letting them just be kids seems to be easier for me here. Sure, run, play, meet your friends at the park… Can I really do that on the mainland? Won’t I have to stalk them there? Will they just have to be home? Will they be able to find their independence if they are stuck with me? Soon we’ll be discussing cars and colleges and can time please just stand still for a second?

Well, I guess it’s true. Blogging is cheaper then therapy. Bottom line is… Jack is a rock star. His progress is evident. We just need to keep it up!