The Priorities in Life

A runner who was out running with her dog came up to our house Sunday morning. She was desperate to find help because 3 dogs were loose and were running back and forth across Garden Ridge. She told me they had collars and that she didn’t have a phone to call their owner. I still feel guilty, because I didn’t immediately feel like jumping to help. This is a first for for me in that kind of situation. But I called for Jeff and he headed out. Madison and I followed shortly and with the runner’s help we were able to head in the direction of the dogs and grab them.

We called the owner and sat and waited for her to come pick them up. The runner was so grateful that we came to help. Madison had grabbed treats and since the dogs we had caught didn’t want any, she gave one to the runner’s dog. As we sat there I felt even guiltier…the dogs were tired and very sweet. They were having a huge adventure, but they were safe. When the owner pulled up and you could see their faces zero in on the car and their eyes light up and tails wag 100 miles an hour.They were so excited to see their mom! She was so grateful and slightly embarrassed they had gotten out.
The impact this had on Madison was huge. At this point I realized that I have been consumed by homeschooling and making sure I was on top of her education. It is exhausting and overwhelming at times and it’s a lot to have on ones’ shoulders. But it’s not as important as helping others in need and doing the right thing. 

God works in wonderful ways to remind us of what is important. It’s not being the star in a sport or having the most fun learning. It’s about being human and helping those around us. We used to foster puppies and dogs all the time and we had to stop due to our cat’s health. I really haven’t implemented other ways to give since then. There are many ways to help animals and humans. I am grateful for the many gentle reminders that tell me this what we need to make a priority in our lives. It matters and it is very important. As parents we have to lead by example. I am committing to doing just that. 

I recently saw a post from a friend on Facebook that hit home. Everyone’s busy, it’s all about priorities. This is so true. 

The Incredible Journey of Giftedness

It’s been awhile since I have posted. I was very excited to start our school year and then we ran into an issue. I had increased the amount of writing Madison was doing and that didn’t work. 

I also noticed she couldn’t tell time past the hour or half hour. That was the biggest red flag. I did my research and unofficially concluded she probably has stealth dyslexia. The having trouble telling time, having trouble with her math facts, not being able to sound out words and her spelling was way out of wack. 

Here’s the catch though, she can read like a champ and her comprehension is stellar. Actually, her scores are great. We ended up testing her again with the ITBS, but at the fourth grade level so I could find her strengths and weaknesses. She scored a composite of 7.9 (seventh grade, 9th month.) same score for comprehension. She even scored a 6.5 in spelling. She had a score of 5.7 in Math computation. 

That is why I say ‘stealth’ dyslexia. She can compensate and she does. So now that I may or may not have figured it out, what do I do? 

I reached out to my homeschooling friends. One of my friends has a son who is dyslexic and she uses nessy.com. We did a trial for reading and Madison loved it. So I signed up. I decided to start her from the beginning (kindergarten) level. The way it teaches is awesome and she is making great progress learning phonics and spelling in a way that helps her. She can already read, so I’m waiting to see the difference in the spelling piece. 

In the meantime, I signed her up for their Math program. The Math focuses on telling time and multiplication facts. Now I have recently been on a mission to teach Madison to tell time in every way possible. You name it, I’ve done it. The most frustrating piece was a quarter to and a quarter past. She was so excited about the nessy program she spent hours on it and made it through in a week. She can now tell time. She can even tell you a quarter to and a quarter past. 

This means two things. 1. I am forever grateful and indebted to my friend because without her knowledge Madison still wouldn’t know how to tell time. 2. This confirmed to me that Madison is more than likely dyslexic. 

I decided to have Madison work with an OT for her handwriting. She has identified issues with Madison’s grip and pressure. She is amazing. Madison loves doing her OT exercises and going to OT appointments. She is also working with Madison on other sensory issues and I am so glad we are on the right track. 

So I’ve been preoccupied lately with figuring out the best approach for Madison. Needless to say our morning work routine was thrown out the window and that’s ok. She’s not a huge fan of bookwork anyway. (That’s putting it lightly.) 

If things don’t improve with the path we are taking, I have the option of having Madison do a nuero psych evaluation. It will cost us $1800.00, so I am going to see if what we are doing is working before taking the next step. I have a good feeling we are currently moving in the right direction.

With that said, I am feeling more grateful and more blessed that we homeschool. I truly believe there is no way this would have been caught in public school. I have the opportunity to customize what we do so it fits with how Madison learns. 

I know education is moving towards a definitive model of ‘one size fits all.’ Now I see articles that the gifted label should go away. I personally saw my child regress in public school because of this model. I have seen how she has thrived being homeschooled and by having the option to learn what she wants, when she wants and how deep she can go into what interests her.

Am I worried about if she’s on track? Not after testing her. When she’s at minimum of 3 grade levels ahead on some subjects and a maximum of 7 on others, I know we have taken the right path. Not allowing her to do this could have devastating impacts emotionally. I saw how being held back and misunderstood in public school affected her.  

At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what anyone else believes or what articles I see come across. I’ve read Ungiftedness and I thought it was a waste of money. I also understand it may be hard for others to see unless they have a gifted child. All that matters is that my child is happy and is doing what she wants to. She knows at any moment she could go back to school. It’s her choice. I didn’t ever plan to homeschool, but I do it for her, because it’s what she wants and feels she needs. 

I don’t blame her. She went from a year of this everyday after school: 

  
To this everyday, all day:

  
I’ll make any sacrifice I need to for her and do what it takes, because I’m her mom.