Thursday, January 21, 2016


Emma has been back in school for two days now. She is happy with her class placement and came home yesterday all excited about being back in the social space of school. At this time she says that it is easy and I imagine that it is.  What they are covering in math we already covered at home and in class last year.  I will be curious to see where how she does when they get to the point where she started seriously fighting me.

I have watched Larissa listening to Emma's excitement and wondered how she felt about it. Yesterday she said that it was strange not having Emma at home.  Today she told me that she wanted to go to school but can't.  I just listened and she told me that she can't do school all day.  She said that it gives her headaches and then she can't do homework when she gets home.  She feels tired all day and even recess is a struggle.

It saddens me that she wants to go but knows that medically she can't do it. I also worry for her future and holding down a job.

When John was gone for 3 weeks I had Larissa sleep with me.  I noticed that on days where there wasn't much activity she didn't have seizures. However, when anything new or exciting was going on she would have seizures at night.  When we went to the beach she had a lot of seizures to include in the car on the way home when she fell asleep. Her seizures are connected with her activity level. I don't know if that is a normal thing or not.  We are looking at other options and are considering changing neurologists. We have heard about a group in Charleston and are going to see if we can get a referral to go there.

Larissa has said that she wants to go to middle school when she gets to 6th grade so I talked with the school today. They said to deal with her math as though she has the accommodation to use a calculator for everything. I need to rethink my math curriculum and see what I need to change. I am not concerned about language arts although her spelling is erratic.  Sometimes she spells a word correct and then later spells it wrong. Sarah had a lot of trouble with her spelling but writes great today, the computer helps a lot with that.  I think that I need to have Larissa write more often on the computer.

Anthony had a blip in school where he stopped doing his work.  Once communication between the teacher and I improved Anthony buckled down and completed all his work. He seems to be holding his own in middle school. The level of support that he receives seems to be adequate for him at this time.  He has had some struggles with behavior but has turned that around. After his second write up I pulled all his Nike clothing thinking that might be a motivator for him to earn it back.  Yes, the pulling of all things Nike motivated him. His teacher reports that his little disrespectful comments, talking in class and such have all disappeared. He has earned all his Nike clothing back. It is funny what motivates some kids and nice when you find a motivator. He wants computer and PS4 time which were motivators for doing his assignments.

I wish that I could find a motivator for Michelle. She does not have any learning disabilities (she was tested).  However, she brings home some very low grades. She is very lazy about completing assignments. She has been working on a project at home and was shocked when I didn't accept her report that she completed in 10 minutes. She is doing a project on Nelson Mandela. I asked her a few questions which told me that she really had no idea what he did or even what apartheid was. I pointed out spelling errors, grammatical errors and where she needs to add some information. I helped her with spelling corrections and had her go read more.  She sat and cried and carried on. I just looked at her like "really". This is for a class that she is failing.  She has lost all electronics and is quite mad.  She knows what she has to do to earn them back. Sometimes I wonder if she wants held back or home schooled. She is failing two out of four classes. Her birthday is in July and she is in the 5th grade.  Larissa's birthday is two months later in September and she is in the 4th grade.

It is frustrating because we give her the tools, time, and help but she refuses to study or do her work well.  We have 4 kids in school, each with their own challenges.  We do not compare them because that is not fair. However, we want each child to do the best that they can. If the best that you can do is a C then we understand that. However, if we know that you can do A/B work and you are failing then there is a problem. Any motivation suggestions?

In an effort to show the kids the importance of an education I developed a game, Welcome to Adulthood.  More on that tomorrow.


  1. The only child I struggle with motivating is Whitney, who is extremely bright and is capable of all As without even putting in effort. All she has to do to get high grades is do her work and turn it in on time. It is so hard to get her to remember it all. I wish I could figure it out.

  2. Felicia, I just have to say, I think you are such an incredible parent.I've been following your blog for year and just keep coming back. You never give up and are so consistent. I am a teacher myself and it is so hard to meet each child's needs, but I try my very best with the supports we have access to(which vary depending on the situation!). I think it's fantastic that you are willing to do whatever you need to in order to help each one of your children be successful. I don't have much for motivation suggestions-it truly really depends on the child. You know Michelle best. Some kids respond better to negative consequences, while others are more motivated when they can earn something. I'm still discovering how best to figure this out with my students. But I just wanted to say you're doing an amazing job. I wish there were more parents like you.