Life lessons from a 6 year old

Her sense of style is unrivaled lol

We recently made a big decision that I’m embarrassed to say took WAY too long to come to. A lot of the reason it took so long was that I was worried what others would think of my smart, adorable, crazy at times, little girl. I didn’t want anyone thinking badly of her. Mama bear instinct was STRONG.

Let me back up a little.. I first noticed something wasn’t quite right about 2 years ago. Illa remembered details, and caught on quick to a lot of things beyond her age but simple things like counting to 10 was a challenge. SO after working with her myself I decided we needed a higher power. I made an appt. with Brain Balance and we went in. They came back and confirmed what I had been thinking. Work needed to be done that I didn’t know how to give.

We hit Brain Balance hard. 3 times a week for 6 months I was driving there for her appt. She made progress, they were helping the pathways in her brain make lasting connections so that she could succeed in life and in school. I wanted more than anything for school to not be a “bad or hard” experience but rather something she loved and looked forward too.

Even with the help Kindergarten was a bit of a struggle. She fought me on homework, writing, letters, you name it. Math seems to be the one area she LOVED. (thank goodness because math and I don’t get along ha ha) At the end of the school year her teacher came to me and suggested I think about having Illa revisit Kindergarten in the upcoming school year.

I’ll be honest, my first thought was ” um, no. Not MY kid” I promised I’d work hard with her throughout the summer and we would test her in the fall before school starts to see if she was up to snuff for first grade.

I also noticed near the end of school that she was really struggling when she had to much sugar. So I made the executive decision to cut out as much sugar as possible. It was making both kids have similar symptoms to those children that have ADHD. I wanted to try cutting sugar first to see if it helped at all. The difference I saw was immediate and profound. It was rough getting Illa to understand that we didn’t need ALL the snacks all the time. It’s better now, she understands and sees the difference. Once in awhile I let her indulge but it’s rare now.

We worked hard this summer. Almost everyday we had “workbook time” For an hour we would work on sight words, writing, recognizing patterns, colors, shapes, numbers , all of it. I had prizes for both of them when they did well and we had fun. Finally the big day came where they were going to administer her assessment .

We went in and I felt confident it would go well… I was wrong.

When she came out of the assessment I went and met with the teacher that gave it and the principle. Right away the teacher said how lovely Illa was and that she was very bright and then she showed me the assessment results. The bottom fell out of my stomach. There had been no improvement at all. In fact it looked worse than her last report card at the end of kindergarten. I went through a lot of emotions sitting in that little office. I was upset, sad, angry, frustrated..

As she was flipping through the papers and showing me things and talking I was half listening. My brain had become a litany of questions. “What is going on here?” “I thought we had made progress!” ” I can’t believe what I’m seeing!” ” I have failed my child.” ” She can’t possibly go on to first grade, she will struggle so bad.” “I have wasted our time.” ” I wasn’t helpful to her at all.”

I cried. In the office in front of two grown women. I cried. I was just SO frustrated. They were both so kind and gave me their professional opinions which I took to heart. I walked out of there defeated and promised to think about if I wanted Illa to revisit kindergarten or if I wanted to push her and put her into first grade.

My little Helper, isn’t she cute?!

I was lost in thought for most of the day. All of the questions from earlier were swirling around in my head along with a bunch of new ones. ” What about her friends? Will they notice she didn’t move on with them?” “What am I going to tell everyone?” ” People are bound to notice when I post pictures about her going to school and doing all the same things again..” ” What about my schedule I had all worked out? That’s out the window.” “How is this going to work?” ” I don’t want her embarrassed by having to do this again.” And then something really important happened. I asked myself honestly the only question that mattered ..

“What will be the best decision for Illa?”

The answer was so clear that I was embarrassed by the way the other questions had bombarded me.

Revisiting Kindergarten was really the only answer to that question. It’s crazy the power your thoughts can have over you should you choose to let them take over.

I got this shirt for the reminder that Satan needs not have power over my thoughts and try to make a hard situation worse by bringing up all the questions and insecurities that I have floating around in my brain.

I had a close friend ask me in the middle of all of this “Have you asked Illa what she would like to do ?”

Uh…… NO, sadly that thought hadn’t even occurred to me. Here I am making important life decisions that directly affect her and I hadn’t even thought to ask her opinion on the matter. So I did and her response was simple and put the matter to rest.

She said ” Well mom, I think I should go back and do kindergarten again. I mean, I really don’t know all the things I need to know to go to first grade. So , yeah. I think I should go back. I’ll get it this time!”

There you have it folks.

So it is with great pride that we announce Illa will be headed back to Kindergarten . It was so nice , she gotta do it twice !

Till next time!

~ Laura

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