My Choice: Diverse Classes or Diverse Classmates

August 29th, 2013

classDuring my daughter's last year in preschool, the school's administration decided to start a private kindergarten.  If the first year of the new school was successful, they planned to add a grade a year each year as long as it was feasible, possibly up to eighth grade. I wouldn't have sought out a private school ordinarily.  I believe in public education and the impact it has on a community, the economy, and democracy as a whole.  But this seemed like such a good fit.  My daughter would begin school knowing her teacher and many of her classmates.  The class size would be small - only 12 students -  and there would be opportunities for unique learning experiences.  The down side though, she… [more]

Choosing Child Care: Options Available to Adoptive Parents

November 20th, 2008

My background is in Early Childhood Education, and pre-motherhood, I worked for a social service agency that helped parents choose quality child care. I created and delivered workshops, and educational materials to help parents navigate the many options available to them. If you need, or desire, to put your child in a child care setting, here are some tips to keep in mind: Finding Child Care: Contact your Employee Assistance Program: Some companies offer on-site child care, discounted child care with contracted providers, dependent care flexible spending accounts (pre-tax dollars that can be used for child care expenses), and/or provide assistance in choosing child care in the form of onsite workshops in choosing child care and/or enhanced referral services (someone assigned to you to help you locate programs according… [more]

Turning “I Can’t” Into “I Can!”

November 14th, 2008
Categories: School Issues

Before my youngest came to me, I noticed on the phone that he said, “Huh?” a lot. I asked his foster parents if he had had his speech and hearing checked. They stated they had, but it had been awhile, and he was pretty squiggly through the whole thing being 2 or 3 at the time. They had him checked out again, and sure enough, he had a chronic sinus condition, while not oozing green so as to clue folks in, was significant enough to make his hearing incredibly difficult. All this at an age where his speech was still developing, thus, his speech was often unclear. From what I understand, he had been to Head Start as well as some sort of after-care situation. However… [more]

Should You Join Your Adopted Child in the Classroom?

May 18th, 2008

What are the advantages of spending time in a classroom with your adopted child? It doesn’t matter if you choose to be a classroom mom at public school, participate in a homeschool cooperative, or teach a Sunday school class. The point is to see your child interacting with peers and to note how your child compares academically with similar aged peers. What can you expect to get out of this classroom experience with your child? Children adopted at an older age sometimes fall into odd patterns of communication with their parents. Unless you are an employed teacher in the current grade level of your child, you can’t know how your child compares academically with peers. Why would you want to know how your children interact with… [more]

Starting Over, an Advantage of Homeschooling Special Needs Children

May 5th, 2008

With about six weeks of school left, it has become apparent that my teenage daughter, Lyn, cannot possibly pass four of her fourth grade classes. She has special needs that include a learning disability, fetal alcohol, ADD, and verbal Apraxia. There cannot be any benefit to her education or her self-esteem to continue to fail for the rest of the school year. If she were in public school, instead of homeschooling, there wouldn’t be any choice. She would have to finish out the current school year before starting summer school. What a waste of time and energy. However, since our children are homeschooling Lyn focused on just the two classes that she was passing all of last week. She ignored the classes she was failing giving… [more]

Talking With Teacher About Child’s Adoption

November 13th, 2007
Categories: School Issues

One issue that adoptive parents face is whether or not to tell the teacher about the child's adoption. I went into the pros and cons in my post, Telling the Teacher about Child’s Adoption.

This year, I decided not to tell my son's teacher until later in the year. I did not want the fact that he was adopted to influence her opinion of my son. Also, I already met with her to discuss his asthma and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), so I figured she had enough to deal with.

I finally told his teacher about his adoption a couple of weeks ago. My son had been going through a phase of talking about his "real mom" (meaning his birthmother), so I did not want… [more]

Telling the Teacher about Child’s Adoption

July 30th, 2007
Categories: School Issues

Classroom (c) Lynda Bernhardt

Should you tell your child’s teacher about his adoption? If yes, then when should you share this information? Is a child’s adoption something that a teacher needs to know about, or is it private information that your child should decide whether to share?

I am active on a message board for adoptive mothers, and we have debated this topic several times. We have never been able to reach consensus, so I will share with you the pros and cons discussed. I do not believe there is a right or wrong answer: Follow your own intuition.

Reasons to Tell

If the teacher plans any family history or genetics projects, knowing about a child’s adoption can help her present the project in a better… [more]

Love Thursday- First day of School

March 15th, 2007
Categories: School Issues

Livi finally started her occupational therapy center based services otherwise known as school in our house .She goes twice a week for an hour each session. We are just getting started and our first week included filling out the sensory profile and a language profile. I will let you all know how things go from this point on. There is just something about your two year old going off to school, putting her little coat in her locker that just pulls at my heart and makes me want to pick her up and head home to our rocking chair. I just want to keep her little and not rush the whole growing up… [more]

Sleepaway and Reunion. Conclusion

September 20th, 2006
Categories: School Issues

It won't come as any surprise that when the girls returned from their weeklong field trip we were all excited as heck to see each other. Even their brother admitted to being glad that they were coming home. It just wasn't the same without them. I went to school early on the day that they returned, so that they wouldn't have to get on the school bus lugging their roll-on suitcases with them. Of course, I, also, couldn't wait another minute to see their (hopefully) smiling little faces. I was not dissapointed. They defined the very expression "happy campers." It had only been a week, but they looked like they had each grown an inch. And, oh boy, I'm telling you the… [more]

Sleepaway and Reunion

September 18th, 2006
Categories: School Issues

So, as I was saying in my last post, my girls went on a week long sleepaway field trip with the school last week. If I have ever wondered what would it be like to have only one child, I am still wondering. That's because when you have three children and two of them are away for a week...you still have three children. The two who are away still occupy your emotional, mental, and psychological space, even though they are not in your physical space. That's what happened with us. Every other minute, I was wondering what the girls were doing and hoping that they were enjoying themselves and worrying that they were okay. Nothing about the rhythm of the house was the same. The morning routine, the evening… [more]