As usual my middle daughter has summer session aka summer school as per her IEP. She has to get up more than an hour earlier than she would during the regular school year and she isn’t happy about it. Other than the benefits she gets at school from it, there are some major benefits that I see at home. She thrives on this routine. She’s more pleasant on these mornings than during the school year because she’s too tired to fight me. She willingly goes to bed earlier. She’s delighted at getting to spend time with her friends at school in a structured environment. She’s only there for four hours, but she still comes home tired because of how early woke up.
It’s very hard work for her, and I assume she’s doing well because in spite of her IEP and my pointed requests to the para and the teacher to keep in close contact with me at least on a weekly basis, they haven’t bothered to call me once. The only contact we’ve had has been when I called them and was treated as if I were bothering them. I still don’t know if they have her file and are following her specific IEP. I do know that she and a couple of her classmates don’t have their year-round paraprofessional as they were supposed to. They do have one, just not one that knows them and is aware of their individual IEP’s.
Since we’ve been on this schedule for her for the past 3 solid weeks, we haven’t really been able to do too much during the week that’s very vacation-like. There’s one week left and then we have one month free and clear before the new school year starts although the kids do have some important summer school work to finish to hand in when they go back. I’ve written about that in the past and how I feel about it. But we’ve procrastinated this summer on it and have to get cracking. Monday is our “go to the library day” to pick out the books and hope they don’t get lost before the return date. This means it’s also time to pay off some unpaid overdue fees.
Aside from that, we haven’t done much this summer. We’ve been lazing about and I’ve let the girls play video games, read, play with the hose outside, color a lot, play card games, dolls, and the odd play date. My eldest has decided that it’s just not summer vacation unless you travel. Considering that we haven’t ever traveled overnight with the kids I’m not sure why she’s decided that. My best friend often goes overnight with her kids in their camper or a few nights in a hotel, and once took my eldest with her… and she has the comparison of what her friends do. Surely, though, she has to understand that with having a mom that stays home now, our vacations are not determined by whether we travel overnight.
She’s very much into comparing what we have or don’t have against what her friends have. She’s almost 11 years old. She takes these things very personally. “Why don’t we go on a plane to Florida for vacation? All of my friends get to go! You just don’t want me to ever have fun or fly on a plane!” Yes, darling… we don’t go on vacation because I just hate you so very much. It has nothing to do with finances or our schedules or the times your father is able to get vacation from his two jobs.
This will change eventually. I plan to get back to work. When that happens, a whole new host of opportunities for the girls will open. I just wish the girls could understand being happy with what they have and not wishing for what they haven’t got.
Edited to add: Let’s please not let it go unnoticed that I’m not happy with the lack of communication on the part of the summer school staff. They usually do an excellent job, but every year it’s a different teacher who does not know my daughter or her particular issues and quirks and medical concerns. That frustrates me. At the same time, I know that the lack of communication means that the staff must feel that they’re handling whatever is occurring without requiring my advice or intercession. I’m a control freak, but this isn’t entirely about control. I just like to know what my child is up to since she won’t/can’t tell me. She’s non-verbal about school most of the time and shuts down when I try to discuss it with her. In fact it makes her anxious if I press her too much, which makes her non-verbal completely for a while and can make a day go from Decent to Hell in moments.