Sunday, April 10, 2011

And Now I am Freaking Out About 3rd Grade...

Yep. I have a general rule of Deal With The Now - don't regret the past (too much), don't fret about anything too far out. Oh, and one kid at a time. Otherwise my jesting about copious wine consumption would be less funny, more After School Special.

So just days after meeting with PPS and discussing O's immediate academic future and coming up with a plan for next year, I have moved on to freaking out about 3rd grade. I freak out in the same way, each time, each child. Mainly, horrid dreams, always tired, and incapable of making a decision. So healthy.

It started innocently enough, chatting with a Isaac's classmates Mom about how the friend ended up in Isaac's class (she is a new student, coming in from a school in NW PDX). Maybe not so innocent - it is like comparing war wounds at times. And we are so matter of fact about it. Anway, she said E had done fine being mainstreamed since Kindie, then 3rd grade. Larger classes, different teaching style, different level of class participation. E didn't so much fall behind since the she could finish her homework in no time flat. But she stopped particpating in her classroom. The day would start with her grabbing a book and reading it all day, shutting out everything else. So E started in a contained classroom with Isaac.

So what will this mean for us? I think I had it in my head that Isaac would move to being fully mainstreamed by 4th grade, spending a huge portion of 3rd grade with his typical peers. We definately saw him out of the CB classroom by middleschool. Now, I wonder if that is the best course to take. Now I am beginning to wonder if mainstream, or in our world, MAINSTREAM, is the best course of action. For us and him.

How important is mainstreaming, anyway?


  1. Are you living in my head? we haven't even started kindy and I wonder this ALL. THE. TIME.
    Everyone around me wants nothing morethan to have their kid mainstreamed... but is that really in the best interest of the child's educational process? Gah Pass the wine!

  2. Nope. Our goal is not to mainstream them, hoping that by pushing them into the world of their typical peers ASAP will make them "better". Our goal is to get them ready for that typical world at whatever pace they need. Granted, I keep on moving that goal post as needed. How can I help my kids be less rigid if I am being too rigid myself?

  3. We are in the Parkrose School District. It's all Mainstream. Ellie is pulled out of her Kindie class for O/T, Speech and other "special services" but spends most of her time in the classroom with "typical" children. We are lucky that she's in a small school with many aides that know and work with Ellie.
    During our last IEP, I asked if Ellie would do better in a special education class and I was informed that Parkrose only mainstreams. It was the special educators opinion, as well as the speech teacher that some children pick up the bad habits of the other children in special education. Hmmm?? What does that mean?
    When I worked with Ellie last night on her homework, I realized how much she struggles with writing and focusing on the task at hand. Is she falling behind because she's being mainstreamed and she's not getting more specialized time? Do I need to pull her out of a school that she enjoys so that we can put her in a special education class? What do we do next year? She can't continue to slide by because she's on the spectrum. I want her to write, understand the concept of time, etc. What is a parent to do?

  4. There are two types of CB classes. There is the Academic and the Functional. Isaac has been in both classes, by the way, and so this is based on what I observed. Wait - this is worthy of a post...