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Mid-Year School-Update

We have just passed the halfway mark in the 2015-2016 school year, so I thought now would be a good time to give an update on how the kids are doing. Jubilee, Hezekiah and Tucker and are doing great. Hezekiah and Tucker remain at the top of their classes academically and Jubilee’s current math grade is 110%! All three are enjoying school and the friendships that come along with it.Public School update and thoughts on summer school.

Mordecai and Jubilee just performed in the school play and Tucker, Hezekiah and Avi performed in a Missoula Children’s Theater play last month (while Chuck and I were at Refresh). 

Public School update and thoughts on summer school.

Mordecai and Avi are both making good progress on their IEP’s. Avi has experienced some very real growth in reading. I actually caught her reading a book...for fun the other day. I didn’t dare grab my camera, for fear of ruining the moment. I hope to see many more of those moments in the future. Our biggest struggle with Mordecai is often convincing his teachers that pushing him harder or giving him a “pep talk” is not going to improve his grades or study habits. Thankfully, we have a couple of great teachers who lookout for him and run interference for us. 

Public School update and thoughts on summer school.  

Apollo is making amazing strides with speech therapy. We are so happy to see him improving so quickly. His eating is going very well and I suspect my hunch about speech therapy improving his eating was right on target. He doesn’t go back to the feeding clinic until May. He unfortunately has a lost a bit of weight due to sickness in January and February…hopefully it will be back up by his next visit. 

I know Apollo misses a lot of school but I didn’t realize just how many days until we went to parent teacher conferences. When we went he had missed a total of 26 days…a full quarter of the year (they had just celebrated their 100th day of school). That’s not counting the two days he’s missed since (due to fever and vomiting) at the two he will miss this week due to a procedure at Children’s. While it is “just” kindergarten every day he is gone he misses the teaching and practice the other kids get, and it really takes a toll. If fact, he now qualifies for summer school, an idea I feel very mixed about.

One on hand, I think three months off would be great for him. When homeschooling I often saw huge academic growth during periods of no formal schooling (when we would start back up, they had suddenly mastered the material!) Summer school, on the other hand, is only half a day, four days per week, a much more doable schedule for him. And it only lasts a month. It would give him a chance to catch up on what he has missed in class…I went ahead and registered him because our entire school district only has 100 summer school spots and I was registering Avi who also qualifies. I figured it is much easier to get a spot and give it up later, than miss out entirely. 

11 Comments

  1. jessilee82

    We’re toying with summer school for our 5 year old too. He’s got some developmental delays, especially in communication and after winter break it took him more than 2 months to get back to the participation and speech level he had been at in Dec. So we will probably send him a few days a week for a few hours to keep him “fresh”. I hate having him in over break, but he does better with that little bit of time outside of school and I don’t want him majorly set back next year when he’ll have new speech therapy providers and teachers and and and.
    We may not, we’ll see how he does after spring break, but I regard it as a tool they can provide that he doesn’t seem to get here, no matter how hard we try 🙁

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      I am so glad I am not the only one considering this for a five year old! Apollo is also a young kindergartener. His birthday is the end of June. Had I been more on the ball, he would probably be attending preschool instead of kindy right now…I have no doubt he will catch up, he doesn’t seem to have any delays, he just misses a lot of school and when he is missing he is sick, so not learning…

      • jessilee82

        Yeah, my guy just turned 5 in December, so he’s just in prek. His early intervention people offer a summer school program for kids who regress over breaks.
        It’s so hard to balance it all. Both my boys had communication development delays. For whatever reason my husband and my genes don’t play nice together. But my oldest is 9 and has fully caught up and is in his last year of speech therapy, so I know we’ll get there.
        I wish I had a magic ball so I could foresee all the right choices haha!

  2. Judy

    I agree with you that kids may actually master more academically during time off for the summer. This was true in our homeschooling. I wonder if there is any studies, articles,etc. about this phenomenon. Overly busy, burnout children doesn’t retain information…no matter how long and continuously you pound it in their heads.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Yes. Its a dilemma…This would only be four weeks though, so he would still have two months off…

  3. Meghan

    I wonder (and this might be what you are getting at) if Apollo might be capable of even more learning with the reduced schedule of summer school. With just half days maybe he wouldnt be as stretched thin and worn out and he’d be empowered to grasp more material each day. It sounds like a win-win if the summer school session is so short. He can have the chance for extra learning at summer school but also have a decent length summer.

  4. Maureen

    have you looked into Orofacial myofunctional therapy (OMT)? it addresses the oral structures (lips, tongue, jaw, cheeks and palate) and their impact on swallowing skills and oral rest posture. OMT is based on the neuromuscular re-education or re-patterning of the oral and facial muscles, and includes facial exercises and behavior modification techniques to promote proper tongue position, improved breathing, chewing and swallowing. Incorrect chewing and swallowing and/or incorrect tongue position may have a negative effect on your child’s: – See more at: https://www.luriechildrens.org/en-us/care-services/specialties-services/speech-language-pathology/therapy-specialty-areas/Pages/orofacial-myofunctional-therapy.aspx#sthash.DuV67V5u.dpuf

  5. Ellen

    I wish more school districts offered summer school for ALL students. One huge plus is that it takes away the stigma of *having” to go to summer school. Another plus is, until (if ever) we move away from the traditional school schedule to year-round school, kids – no matter their academic level – have to spend time catching back up in the fall. Even if it’s just getting up early and getting into the groove of homework again.(I am a huge proponent of year-round school. There aren’t more days, just more and shorter breaks. But I digress from summer school … in Racine, WI our oldest sons (now 29, 27 and 24!) were able to take elective classes in elementary school because the district offered a plethora of enrichment classes along with the academic catch-up classes. Off the top of my head, my elementary took intro to Spanish, Outdoor Games and Sports, Bridge Building, etc. And when Hilton arrived from Liberia in late spring, we were able to get him in to two classes before he entered first grade in the fall – he took a pre-reading class (Arthur’s Alphabets which was themed around this http://pbskids.org/arthur/), and a simple math class. They were intentional that the classes were fun – nothing was titled “remedial math,” e.g. It normalized summer school, and my kids had fun. It didn’t fill the whole summer – I think maybe four weeks – but they did it every summer all through elementary school.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Avi goes to summer school every year. Last year Hezekiah was able to attend a Math and Science camp with the school. He rode the same bus, same hours. It was great. Both got what they needed, both had fun.

  6. Rad

    Are you sure that you are only at the half way mark and not the 3/4 mark? If they passed the 100th day of school you should be beyond the half way point

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