Stay In School, New School or No School?
Posted by: Teacher ia | on September 4, 2013
Sometimes we think that finding a good school can help our children actually do better in school. If that is really the case then these schools will have zero drop-outs. However, is that really the case here in the Philippines? On a related note, I remember Dr. Queenie Lee-Chua saying that tutorial centers along Katipunan is a booming business. She even joked that in Ateneo there is a remedial class for those who are in remedial class already. Now, I don’t think that is an isolated case for Ateneo or other big schools. So why is a good school not the sole answer to our children’s problems in school?
Because school is not the be all and end all of a child’s life in school. Some will say “I can’t just drop out from work and dedicate my life to my children to homeschool. Times are different now. Both parents have to work just to survive.” or “Do you know how long is the queue for a formal assessment not to mention how expensive it is!”. Personally, this for me is the worst thing a parent can say “My child does not have a problem.” while ignoring all his struggles in school. (Why did you think we called you for a PTC??? On a side note, I wish there is a PTC also for just sharing wins. Wait, there is but not all schools might have that. )
Going back to the topic…
I’ve heard these stories from various lips: different parents, guardians and adults. After hearing these parents side, I wonder “Alright that’s your issue, when will we talk about your child’s concern because you see I thought this was about your child’s needs not yours.” It might sound like tough love for some but at the end of the day we both know we need to do something concrete and we can’t move forward if the parent is going to make it about themselves rather than the child.
That’s why when I receive a request such as the one below I paused from my busy morning (I have to be at the Premier Thought Leaders Conference – The Next Best Selling Authors by 8 am and it’s 7:37 now). However, this is my advocacy and every sinew of my being said I won’t be satisfied until I’m sure I gave it my 100%.
That’s why I am sharing this post and hopefully when you read this you take something from it. What can you take from it? Well, it can be:
1. strength to move forward
2. inspiration to help
3. wisdom to be and do better
or something else… something more… Whatever it is, I only have one wish for you “Live abundantly!”.
From Mrs. School,
“Hi, can you please advise me what would I do for my son (12 years old) who doesn’t want to go to school. He stopped in school for 2 years now. I transferred him to a new school thinking that he might continue but in the new school he has the same problem. We live in Mandaluyong. Please help us.”
First, I will tell you with all my heart that it is not yet too late to help your child so don’t lose hope. Whew. Alright now that I got that out of my chest I can help you better.
We don’t know each other personally but I will be asking you personal questions. Forgive me if some of them might be touchy. It’s your prerogative to answer them truthfully or not. Just remember, I am doing this for your son because I believe that we can help him.
1. Have you had him assessed?
2. If yes, what is the diagnosis?
3. If no, when did you first notice that he was having problems in school? What grade? What kind of problems?
4. Did something happen in school before he quit? Bullying? Failing a level? etc.
5. Are both parents working? Are you a single parent?
6. What is your dream for your son 10 years from now? (most important question)
Anyway, I just want to say this because this might help you because it is related to your concern. Assessment is the first real big step we can do to help your son. If you have not received any formal assessment then NOW is the time to do that.
BrainFit is one of the institutions that can help assess the five pillars of the brain. My child had his because like you we didn’t know how to proceed in helping our child with his difficulties. My husband and I are graduates of a science course that’s why we both know that we need facts. So we contacted a developmental pediatrician we met during the 6th ADHD Conference to schedule a re-assessment. We had a formal assessment when my child was 6 but we felt that that assessment needs updating.
While waiting for the queue to reach us, we had our child take a CogMap at BrainFit to help us see how his brain pillars are performing. After the test, the assessor approached us to warn me that for the attention pillar my son got an invalid score. I said, “Invalid? What does that mean?” She said that the test is usually graded from 0 to 100 to measure attention and my son’s score is “invalid”. So I said to her jokingly, “Does that mean ma’am that my child has non-existent attention?” Personally, I’m not surprised that attention will be a problem since my child has ADHD Type 1 but I thought he had developed some of it by now after all the programs that we took to improve it/ (In my mind I was panicking actually. I just didn’t want to show it to the assessor because she might think I might be having a breakdown or something). Anyway, she said that I just have to wait for the complete feedback and that she just made that comment so just that I will not be surprised when she finally gives her complete report when we return after a week. So now we are waiting, and waiting. Maring came and we are still waiting.
But you know what? Life does not end there. I look at my child and I said nothing really changed. I still have big hopes and dreams for him. I still think he can be anybody he wants to be and destined to have great things happen to him. Consequently, great things to do in life. And even if it takes a whole lifetime to help him improve his attention, I am sure I will be there. I might need some help though (chocolates, tea and milk) but you know what I will never give up.
If you want to understand what a CogMap is, read the link below. If you think it can help you, join the ongoing contest
Have an amazing weekend!