Wednesday, September 16, 2009

School success

I am quite pleased to say I went to a meeting with Chloe's teachers today and the special education coordinator and we have a good plan to get our girl an education base. I am so happy they have come around to see that the important factor here is to get this girl reading, writing and understanding English. The school will begin a special program just for her including teaching her from Chinese and English material.

I found it odd the ESL teacher didn't show up, but was glad as she tends to downplay Chloe's lack of English skills as something she will just "grasp" and take off learning, I think she needs more fundamental help than just expecting her to pick it up by being in classes. I was worried that as the admitted "first" true ESL student in our district, she would be lost in their fumbling to get her taught.

But it seems they are on the ball, they see her weaknesses and they also now understand from her mom's viewpoint some issues she may have with teachers and what we want them to be for her. This is sort of complicated- if you understand the lack of trust an older child can have after being where she has been and seen what she has seen. We have to be sure she has her bond with us as her parents, that we protect her and the teachers are supportive of her, but not giving her things she can't handle and freaking her out. She often thinks she has tests that she doesn't have to take as she can't read the English well enough to take a 6th grade test yet.

The teachers are amazed at her learning, that she has only been home 6 months. I also commented we placed her where we thought she would "fit" emotionally and one teacher said if he lined his kids up she wouldn't stand out at all, he agreed with us. I do not think he realized she is supposed to be 14 years old. She looks like the 6th graders here, 11 or 12:) She also acts like them, she made braided bracelets for her friends this week.

The principal said she walked past Chloe and she was having a conversation in English with another girl and doing just fine. Being asked if we had pets, and able to understand and answer. They are obviously watching out for her too, something I was glad to hear as well.

Chloe is excited for Friday, her first Activity Night, the school is opened up for a dance, basketball and computer fun. She has her outfit picked even though she doesn't quite understand what Activity Night is:)

Chloe comes home every afternoon and hits me with her homework book, drives me nuts until we "do the homework". We had a friend here today to watch the kids while Kat went for a vaccination and she had wrangled him into her homework by the time I got back. She was trying to make him "take turns" what a turd she is, thinking she could get away with doing half the work if he did half:)

The kids in school all just love Chloe. They have her teaching them simple Chinese words and writing them on their books, in Chinese. They told her she is "cool" she doesn't understand why they are American and want to learn Chinese. I told her it's really cool she can read, write and speak Chinese, we all think that's cool and wish we could! She tells me it's very hard for me, as English is hard for her. Although I doubt I would be as capable in Chinese in 6 months as she is in English!

It's just such a relief to feel she is getting a good education, she has many people working with her and she is so happy in school. It takes a load off of my mind, that mind that is still trying to figure out what to do with self during school hours. It's not fun here folks, I really do give in. I have the dog trained to go out without a leash, I have the laundry up and done by 10 am, the dishes done, the house is clean, I cleaned the bathroom at 4 am, yeah, you read that right, 4 am one night, I couldn't sleep. I have issues.

I'm thinking of volunteer work, maybe at the local shelter or something. Today I had the meeting then went to the library, then Kat's shot appointment. Kat didn't even whimper, she's a tough girl, she giggled, and said "that didn't hurt." I think the nurse was relieved after we watched a 4 or 5 year old boy go before Kat and he screamed and slid across the floor to get out of getting his shot- that worked too, his mom took him out! I sure was glad Kat was so good getting hers, she was so proud of herself and bragged to everyone how she didn't cry.

We are up to green day for Kat tomorrow, we did red, blue, yellow. Kat just found out there is no pink day this week and wants me to tell the teacher there needs to be a pink day because she has a dress she wants to wear:) It's pink, of course. Think the boys in the class would go for that quietly???


Angie said...

I'm glad to hear that the school is taking your daughter's educational needs seriously...first ESL student or not...they should be prepared. On a side can always come over to clean and do laundry here. You won't be bored!

April said...

I'm so glad that Chloe is having a good time of it at school! My son says that he sees her from time to time (they are in a few classes together).

Keisha said...

I AGREE! Pink is an important color!!! LOL!!

So glad the girls are doing well in school!!!!

recoveryagent2 said...

Sounds like a great fit - Cloe and her school.
How about volunteering as a Guardian Ad Litem, you have the experience to do a great job? Just a thought and the courts and kids would love you!!!
Maybe Kat's teacher will let them have a "favorite" color day and a parade at the end of the exercise, let Kat ask.
Penny Richardson

Our China Starfish said...

After facing similiar challenges in getting our older adopted child all setup in school, I was very interested in keeping up with how Chloe was doing. It's so positive to read your latest post! We also placed our ~11 yr old daughter in a lower grade (part-time 4th grade last year, full-time 3rd grade this year). We just knew it was what needed to happen and so far, she is doing 200% better then last year and loves it! Praying Chloe continues to get all the help she needs and continues to love to be there! Blessings, Jennifer in DE