I just don’t know……

What a day it’s been today and it’s only 12:45pm……CRAZY!

Right now, Jeremy and Josiah are outside for a little “Daily Physical Activity”, Judah is sleeping on the couch and I’m taking a moment for myself.

I kept Jeremy home from school today because I figured he needed a “Mental Health Day”.  He’s been having some social difficulties at school and I’m concerned about him.  Because of the severity of ADHD, there is a lot of “social conduct” that Jeremy has not learned.  There are so many things that he just doesn’t “get” and it’s so hard because between him not understanding what is socially acceptable and unacceptable and him being “different” it can get him into social situations that look a lot like bullying.  Not where he is bullying, but where he is being bullied.

I was talking with Jon yesterday about this and just comparing it to rape.  Obviously, that is a bad comparison, but when it comes down to it….no woman “asks or deserves” to be raped and no child “asks or deserves” to be bullied…..regardless of what they do or do not do.

Jeremy is different.  I will be the first to acknowledge that.  Jeremy often makes awkward social choices without understanding how others will perceive him.  He is not aware of how his actions come across or how they are inappropriate.  And yet, the way he is currently being treated is not okay.  Something has to change.

I’m not sure what the right thing to do is.  I don’t want him to “quit”.  I don’t want him to “give up”.  This is not something that he should just “suck up” and “get over”.  There are more and more kids committing suicide over bullying these days and while I don’t believe that is something that I need to worry about with Jeremy…..I don’t ever want it to get to the place where he might ever contemplate that.  I want to advocate for him before it ever got anywhere close to that.

At the beginning of the year, Jeremy was so excited about school.  He had such a positive outlook on school.  He was excited about his teacher.  He was excited because we were getting his meds tweaked.  He was just really, really excited about school in general.  So much has changed over the last 3 months.  At this point, Jeremy wakes up in the morning and typically the first thing he says to me is that he’s not going to school.  He continues to inform me that he’s not going to school until the moment I drop him off at school.  And then from the minute he walks in the door, he lets me know that he hates school and that he’s not going back the next day…..He’s called me twice within the last week during the day to let me know that he’s stressed out and needs to come home.  I don’t think that he’s being bullied the entire time that he’s at school, but I do think that the stress is wearing on him and making it difficult to focus and concentrate.

He called me yesterday crying and last night he fell apart.  And so…..I told him that he could have a Mental Health day. He calmed a bit after that.

He is aware that he is going back to school tomorrow and today has not just been a free for all.  I have contemplated home schooling him before.  I have just as many pros as cons for doing it and for not doing it.  It’s a tough call and ultimately I want to be able to do what is best for Jeremy while taking our family into consideration.

I see that there are things that are so beneficial for example….he’s got a science test coming up and we were studying for that.  I was able to help him find the key points and we were able to talk through some of the issues that he didn’t fully understand.  I had the ability to walk him through something one on one….and that I can see as totally beneficial.  The down side to that, is that I had the two little boys going NUTS on me while I tried to do this.  And it was a bit of a gong show.  Now, it’s not something that we’ve done before and so I believe that they could learn to do something to entertain themselves which I would like them to do, but there is that factor of them being around to take into the mix. We were also able to play some classical music at the same time and Jeremy does seem to respond to that.  He finds it easier to focus when there is classical music on…not something that they can do as easily in the classroom.

After the science, we worked on his spelling for a bit and I was able to test him orally while he walked around and moved.  He got 14 out of 20 and seemed to really like the fact that he was allowed to move and pace.  I made him print out the 6 words that he got wrong while standing at our kitchen counter…..on a wobble board.  He does so much better when he can move and I think that it was a bonus.

After that, he played with both his brothers for ten minutes while I tidied up the kitchen.  As much as that may seem silly…typically they fight when they play together and my rule was 10 minutes of playing with no fighting.  Learning how to co-operate and problem solve while incorporating three very different age groups into the same activity.  There was only one small squabble and Jeremy handled it very well….learning leadership….

After that we had an art period where we painted.  We talked about how colors can be transparent or opaque and we started to paint some large garden rocks to prep them to become ladybugs.  We talked about doing jobs with excellence especially if you are interested in selling them….he is…and how people want to buy things that are done with excellence.  There is a higher value on well made items.

We cleaned up from our art time and then had lunch.  I loved that Jeremy was able to eat a balanced and healthy lunch.  I took the baby and nursed him to sleep and then shooshed the two boys outside for half an hour of Daily Physical Activity.

They are playing amazingly right now.  Typically all I hear from them is fighting and screaming….so this is a bit of a Christmas miracle.  I don’t know if the fact that everything has been broken down into small chunks of time has made a difference or what, but I like it.

When they come inside, I’ve got some math worksheets for Jeremy to do and then we are going to do 10 minutes of house tidying.  After that I’m going to have them help me with making some cookies and we are going to talk about fractions and multiplication and division wile learning some home ec skills.

I’m also going to have Jeremy write up a journal entry about his day today.

There are so many good aspects of today and yet…I’m still not sure.  What is the right thing to do?  Would homeschooling him for half a year and then sending him back to school be the best thing for him?  Would changing schools help?  Would just sticking it out, be the best thing?  What is the best thing for him?  Is there even a “best thing” or do we just make a choice and go with it and believe that whatever we choose will work?

What do we do about the whole social skills thing?  Obviously I could work on it with him at home, but it that the best thing??? Is it better to have an entire school to muddle through these things with?  Is he really going to grow up to be in a position where he is in a huge group of people all the time or is there a greater likelihood that he winds up in a more solitary job?  Does he need  peace for his own mental good and what gives him the greatest amount of peace?  I don’t know all the answers to my questions and that’s tough on me.

I like to know.  I like to have a plan and for this…..I’m unsure.  I don’t want to romanticize something and yet at the same time, i don’t want to pass something by that could be the best thing for him.  Or it could be the worst thing for him….I just don’t know.

I just don’t know.

And so for now….I just keep encouraging him to forgive. I keep encouraging him to keep his heart soft and to not harden it.  I keep encouraging him to try and try and try again.





Author: Patricia Culley

I'm the ringmaster of my own circus. Just trying to stay one step ahead of the monkeys.

4 thoughts on “I just don’t know……”

  1. hey, I am not sure if I can be any help as I am only 18. But i baby sat 3 kids for a full school year. One of these kids was 8 years old and does not have ADHD but other things that cause him to struggle socially. This kid is beyond smart, I forget what they call it but he has a very high intelligence level. But this caused him to not understand what was appropriate, and made it hard for him to make friends. He often fought with his brother and sister because they “Didnt understand”. He also has break outs of anger to the point he throws things and hits people, and doesn’t know how to calm himself down. I know this is far from the same situation, but I know this family contemplated home schooling him for a long period of time. I am not sure what there decision is at this point. He changed schools from the school he went to and got one on one help from a student aid. That helped him but at the same time things only got a bit better. I am not sure what would be best for Jeremy, but I hope you figure it out. Hes not the only one in this situation. I don’t really know why I said this but I thought it could be useful.

  2. I’ve just started homeschooling both of my kids, for very different reasons than you are contemplating with Jeremy, but reasons nonetheless. I think you have to decide what is best for you and Jeremy. From what I read, your biggest concerns for homeschooling Jeremy are the socialization and how to juggle the homeschooling and the other duties that you have around the house/with the other two children. I’m going to be honest with you, it will be a tough learning curve at the beginning but you’ll find a groove that works for all of you. You can study that tough subjects when Jeremy is the freshest. You can take breaks for lunch, give him “recess”, have him learn in a way that works for him (like you said: keeping him moving physically, which is something that can’t be done in a regular classroom). There are lots of opportunities and resources for making sure that homeschoolers get the socialization they need. There are joint field trips and study groups, and oh, just lots of stuff! I know of a great homeschooling option for your area. If you drop me a line via email, I hook you up with the info. They are super supportive and lots of resources for the homeschooling parent – from online resources to seminars for you, the educator.

    You are going to make a good decision. I’m confident in that because you are caring and empathetic and you take the time to gather all the necessary information so you can make a confident decision. You are a good mom. Jeremy is blessed to have you. 🙂

  3. Praying for Jeremy throughout the day today, and I will continue to pray – for all that you share in your blog, all that is going on in your family and in all of your lives. And I really pray that Jeremy had a better day today, and that the other students will have grace, and somehow they will realize that they need to be kind….I don’t really know the situation, but God does, and I will continue to pray for Jeremy. And I also pray that some students will stand up for Jeremy when different things are happening, and they won’t just stand by and do nothing…..And that Jeremy will have the strength to make it through each day, and the wisdom to handle these situations. So stressful as a parent….being worried and praying all day, as each of our kids are at school, dealing with different things in their daily lives….the power of a praying parent!!! Does Jeremy have a few good friends at school, kids that he enjoys being with at Recess and Lunch? Does he have a good friend in his class? Take care, and I really hope and pray that today was a better day. And I will also pray for wisdom for your whole family, as you decide what is best in regards to the ‘school’ situation….Jeremy is very blessed to come home to a wonderful family, loving parents, lots of family support, and unconditional love!!

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