Jacob is back in school now. Michelle was afraid to send him back to his previous private school due to the rigorous academics expected there, however, she wanted him in a school with normal academic expectations. She knows his new school is probably a stepping stone for another school and is nervous about how well he will do at any school. Wringing her hands, she frets that Jacob will fail again and that her options will be limited.
A smile creeps up on her face, though. After careful research, she found a private school with a caring staff and small class numbers. Just what Jacob needs for a transition back to regular school.
I set to work with Jacob, knowing that he will need more academic assistance now. He is struggling in math. This makes sense because we have not spent any time on math. He doesn’t know addition, subtraction, or multiplication facts and is struggling with multi-step problems as well as word problems. I use the Touch Math program to start with basic addition and subtraction facts. Being a tactile learner, he takes to it quickly and easily, enjoying touching the numbers instead of having to memorize them.
After giving him an auditory test, I am shocked. Jacob is significantly behind his peers in this area, and I dread telling Michelle about it. I originally thought that his main areas of need were visual and gross-motor related. Not now. This kid has a lot on his plate, and it’s going to take longer than I thought to get him up to speed.
I have Jacob do some basic brain integration activities with auditory emphasis. He looks at me, confused, as if he doesn’t know what I expect of him. Then he whines, which is something new. “I don’t want to do this.”
I am firm. We need to push through this auditory portion. Sometimes it is difficult for the student and not as fun as the other parts of the program, but it is crucial to successful learning. We muscle through the exercises, and I say good-bye. There is fear in Michelle’s eyes again, like I’ve never seen before.