April 13, 2010

Not Ready to Call Him Hamster Huey

If you read in the comments of my previous post, Bones got into the school he needed to get into! Woot!

We're very very excited, although it is tempered by our sadness for our friends that did not... and who needed to be there as well. It sickens all of us...

Bones at first was scared to death. I may have been jumping, everyone else may have been Yahooing!, but he was subdued. He is afraid to leave his friends. It is what he knows.

Talking to a girlfriend of mine, I realized, he really only knows his current school. He was just a year old and on my hip when his eldest brother started Kindergarten there. He's known the kids in his class since he was 3 and 4 years old.

There is a comfort to him... it's been 10 years.

We've convinced him that he is collecting friends, not shedding them. He seems to be coming around and is more excited as I quietly let him know of other faces he will see that he will know.

Meanwhile, I'm overwhelmed, in a GOOD WAY!, with paperwork. Transferring from a private to a public school is not going to be easy. The placement of Bones in his classes is going to be easier than I suspected, not knowing a comparison of his current curriculum vs. public schools.

I can thank the ease of placement to last October.

There are four levels of classes at this school... children who need help, average classes, advanced classes, and Gifted classes. Bones for the most part is not advanced or gifted in areas that are measurable on paper. There are some areas such as science where an advanced class would be good, but reading and math, he's probably right on par.

I just hope they don't try to drop him because... they want to see his standardized test scores.

I don't think I blogged this.

Bones does not test well. If you recall, last October we took him off his meds. He'd had that whole heart thing in May when we switched meds and I flat quit coping. So I took him off and was hoping it would work. We gave it about 8 weeks.

It was disasterous. (I blogged that part.) He nearly failed out of 5th grade in just 8 short weeks, but even worse, he had his Iowa testing during that time.

Whereas I have spent years verbally jousting with our Principal that average on standardized tests is NOT 50 because NOBODY scores a 0%... I got proved wrong.

Or dang close.

Because, ever, in your life, have you EVER, heard of a child... that Christmas Tree'd an ENTIRE standardized test? People who doubt ADD exists, they need to come speak to me and his teachers in a group conference.

The kid, who was the poster child for the unfocused masses in October, literally picked answers randomly for nearly every section of the test. I believe Social Studies was the all time low of... 8. As in 8%.

I know the kid's IQ and I am here to tell you, it is not hamster level.

I got his test and said to my husband, "I truly believe in all my heart... that *I* could have guessed better than he did."

Fortunately, I'd had a heads up from his teacher who called me and said, "Bou, you need to be prepared for the Math section grade when he receives it. He took it in 2.5 minutes and it didn't matter what I said to him, he was NOT going back to redo ANYTHING."

And math wasn't the worst. He guessed better in math than social studies.

So from there they will see that he belongs in the average classes, of which I am totally cool, and I'm just hoping they don't try to take him down to special ed...

Our new path starts in August. Stay tuned... I suspect it will not be a smooth ride, but when has it ever been with a Boy Like Bones?

Posted by Boudicca at April 13, 2010 09:14 PM

oh dear- sadly I know a few students who test like that. teachers come out of the class shaking their head, going "X was the first one done. X should never be the first one done, particularly not by a margin like that. they could do SO WELL if they would just try... how do I make them try?" normal tests often get handed back right as its handed in with a lot of "no, redo this one." standardized testing you can't do that obviously, and some kids persist in seeing it as a race, even when finishing early just means... more time to sit and be bored while everyone else finishes?

makes my brain hurt every time.

Posted by: S at April 13, 2010 10:33 PM

It's always a fight. No matter what goes right there is always something else to go sideways. And then Bones will go diagonal. Heh.

If you can get him to the first week of classes without him freaking out, he'll be good. It's the anxiety leading up to it that might be the worst part of the year. *sigh*. And here's hoping for teachers who actually care... If they work at that school, you may have a chance to be able to relax just a tad.

Posted by: Teresa at April 13, 2010 10:39 PM

Bou, I remember the fun of taking the Iowa back in 5th grade. Our race was in the results ... to see who could get their score high enough to freak out the teachers. (And we did. But then we were already involved in classes funded by the National Defense Education Act.) The test lacked a scale to measure our reading ... its only response was, yup, reads better than 12th grade. Fun though.

The same approach caused all sorts of havoc when I took the ASVAB after I got my "Greetings!" letter. High 90's percentiles tend to freak people out.

You must tell Bones that this new cohort can be the best one he will ever know. The only people I still really talk to from Jr Hi & High School were involved in Music and Drama.

We are all over the place. Some are professional musicians and actors/directors/authors/playwrights, but the rest of us are every place imaginable ... Engineering, State Department, ONDCP, Banks, DMORT, Doctors, Dentists ... even some Lawyers (but not that many).

Bones should have a lot of fun. I know I did, even though it made my parents concerned in oh so many ways. This was the late 60s, after all.

Posted by: The Thomas at April 13, 2010 11:28 PM

Woo Hoo!

Congrats to Bones and You!

So how long before we see him on the red carpet at the Oscars?

Posted by: Quality Weenie at April 14, 2010 09:06 AM

"Because, ever, in your life, have you EVER, heard of a child... that Christmas Tree'd an ENTIRE standardized test?"

I'm raising my hand. My oldest son did that to a college entrance exam. He said, "I didn't think it was important. I didn't want to go to that school any how."

Posted by: Sticks at April 14, 2010 05:32 PM

Yahoo for getting into the school!

And for the other...was he diagnosed via your pediatrician, or through a process at his school? He should have had some type of intelligence test with that process (and it's different format than standardized testing). The new school will look at that. Most 'real' ADHD kids are VERY creative, and schools know that...especially the school to which he is going. If you have any concerns, contact the guidance counselor at the new school to give him/her a heads-up.

Plus...going from private to public schools, he should do fine, too. And you would be amazed at what kids like him actually absorb!

Posted by: Mrs. Who at April 14, 2010 06:10 PM

Congrats to Bones!!!

And Congrats to you and G-man for looking for alternatives...

The hardest part about ADHD is the fact that it is nearly impossible to conform when you are wired to non-conform....

You are doing the right thing...

As for the tests, give him time and he will be smoking them...

We have had these discussions before so I won't bore you with more....


Posted by: P'cola Titan at April 18, 2010 04:54 PM