This was our third week of school and what started becoming increasingly apparent was that if William is interested in our studies, he engages and reads and does the work willingly. However, if it is something that he isn't interested in, he digs in his heels and gets very stubborn about doing whatever is required of him.
No amount of talking was going to persuade him to simply knuckle down and do it, even though I tried pointing out to him that he was determining the length of his school day.
The final straw was a 20 minute cry over writing one question. Just one: "What is something that you would ask Chief Cornplanter if you could interview him?" I was surprised that he was so uninterested in his social studies, but he's been bored by indigenous people for three weeks now. He finally did the question, but there was a lot of drama.
I knew that he could (and would) eventually do it, so I sat in the other room and waited out the storm. I felt increasingly sick as I waited. I remembered long struggles with his mother. She hated math, and would simply cry at the dining room table. It was difficult to remain patient with her as I tried to balance the needs of her two younger siblings. It was unproductive. It was frustrating. In the end, we were unsuccessful. We couldn't save her. That math anxiety turned into a kid who simply did not want to go to school at all.
And all these years later, I couldn't do it all over again. I simply could not run the risk of being unsuccessful with a beloved grandchild. I took a deep breath and decided that we were moving into a very unhealthy learning dynamic and that the end result could be that he began to hate school, to hate learning.
William's school teacher had a parent conference. It was suggested that William return to physical school.
He's never been a behavior problem in school. He would not cry in front of his peers, for fear of being labeled a baby. He wouldn't try to 'play' his teacher. I suspect that part of his problem was knowing that a lot of his friends had returned to school. He's a social kid. He missed that.
Mostly what I think is that if there is some sort of learning disability, it would be identified. Also, in school he would have text books and that's a big deal for a visual learner, which is William.
I can go on at great length about why it was the wise and sensible choice for William to return to a physical school, but it does not stop me from feeling like I failed.