The Letter:I was recently informed my son (the nine year old) is not during so hot on the standardized testing in school. We got a letter informing us that he may face retention if he does not show any progress in the next quarter. (Heart dropped in my stomach) I immediately got a stress headache, and paced the floor-calling my husband who was working at the time. We were both trying to come up with a game plan. Which we have been down this road before-When CJ was in the second grade he was threatening retention because of those standardized test scores. We got him a tutor and starting the beginning of this year he showed much, much improvement. Throughout the year his scores would fluctuate. The students test all throughout the year-and towards the end of the third quarter, if your child/student scores low parents are then notified. So here we are… We know there is a focusing issue CJ deals with-which we have know for a while- I just don’t know what to do about it. Our goal as parents is to provide our kids with as much access as we can. My husband and myself continue to help our son in the areas needed- but we are not educators (as far as the field of education goes in the school system). So, maybe the help he is getting from us is not helping as much as we think? When swapping out to help our son-he seems to be doing well with drills, and practice work we give him. Where there is struggle we work harder .As far as coursework in class, his grades are fine-but when it comes to those standardized test-it’s just not his jam. After receiving that academic progress letter-I immediately asked myself -“Did I drop the ball?” “Where did we go wrong?”
The delay: Earlier this year when CJ began to show improvement we got so excited-and felt like he could fly on his own without the EXTRA help-maybe we let go a little too soon. We stopped pushing him as hard. CJ has had a intricate journey in his development- To give you a little bit of history-CJ did not start talking to where you could actually understand him until he was four years old. We took him to get evaluated at two years old-we were told he had a developmental delay, and that Autism and ADHD we could mark off our list- So when CJ turned three years old-we noticed something still was not right. And you know as a parent- you just know your kid. Even when outsiders told us he was fine- we just knew. So, we were able to have CJ see a Speech Pathologist during the summer- CJ started coming around as far as forming sentences, and being able to express to us what was wrong -and clearly expressing wants and needs. But still something still just wasn’t right. Fast forward to Kindergarten we were told not to express CJ’s hiccups until the teacher says something about his development (just to give the teacher a chance to spot something on her own-rather than expecting him to do what we have told her-basically allow her to form her own opinion of what she sees vs. what we see. All of CJ’s teachers informed us they are not concerned with a learning issue- and that further evaluation is not necessary(we even went as far as having meetings with the education administrator and his second grade teacher at the time to see if CJ could be placed in development programs at school-we were told his test scores were not low enough for the school to approve him to attend the program because it was funded by the school-and if the scores did not reflect (low enough to get extra help) they were not going to pay for it-
Rewind: prior to CJ starting Kindergarten we were able to get him tutored because we wanted to ensure he was ready to start elementary comfortably and be able to keep up with his classmates- during tutoring sessions, there he learned the basics but still a focus issue. Every since kindergarten it has been a struggle for CJ. During his first year in school we took CJ back to his doctor to see if there was a need for further evaluation and we were told no-Basically he had a delay and it’s just taking time for him to come around in certain areas. Fast forward to third grade- and we are still concerned.We have been told on many occasions not to compare CJ to our oldest and where he was at this age-because all children are different , and learn differently. And we definitely understood that. But when you have an older child that performed totally different you can’t help but raise an eyebrow.
Now : CJ is at the grade level where these standardized test count and depend on the passing of your grade- What do we do? We can work with CJ all day long at home until we are blue in the face-but when it comes time to take those test- we can’t be there with him. I can’t turn to him and say “CJ stay focused, baby” It’s all up to him. And as parents we are scared. At this point my husband and myself feel it’s time CJ get’s another evaluation-an extensive one now that he is nine years old. We have to get this focusing issue under control. Every report we have received from CJ’s teacher’s have been great news as a student-it is just hard for him to focus, stay on task and work independently in class. (This has been the same report since Kindergarten. At home the school provides an app called RAZKids which allows him to practice reading a few passages, and answering ten questions (to prep him for the real test) The EOG (End of Grade testing)-which he gets every question right- At school the standard practice test are attached with passages- but there are twenty-five questions. And I feel that’s what has him hung up- Somewhere in between that 15th-25th question he gets completely aggravated and just wants to get it done. Which leaves him, selecting (All of the above)-and ends up scoring low.
As a parent I have learned and I am still learning each of my kids are different, and require different attention to certain needs. With CJ I know it’s consistency. He has to continue to be pushed for however long it takes-
Have any of you Mommy’s out there experienced anything similar to my situation? What did you do? Any suggestions for me?
Thanks for reading ♥
Posted By: Ivy (a frustrated-but hopeful Mom)