Today was the first day since March 16th that I bought a bunch of junk cereal, mango tango, fresh strawberries and milk that was delivered at 8:30 AM from Safeway. I asked the kids for help putting away the groceries, they gladly obliged, I let them make their own breakfast and watch u-tube while I went to my studio and painted for three hours. Half way through Jack and Fiona came down to my studio. I had pre-emptively set up painting spots for each of them. They started painting with no obstacles, no barriers, no self doubt. Even Jack gave himself a compliment as he pulled a monoprint, “I’m good at this” he said. Can you imagine the joy in my heart. Plus the fear of school. Now that I’ve crossed the bridge back into my studio how can I stop? Now that my kids minds are turned on to barefoot wake up when you want freedom how can we cross back to boring virtual elementary school. A new online system that to children feels like a punishment. How can I parent effectively and teach my children how to behave well, how to practice writing, reading, math, science, art, geography, and how to treat others. The days ahead will be filled with bribing, star systems, all day interruption’s, not leaving time to transition the kids from one activity or online session to the next activity and online session. Setting up Fiona’s equipment takes 15 minutes at least. Getting Jack to sit in front of the computer takes 20-30 minutes of crying and hiding and yelling and bribing. When I could use the time to do a Printmaking lesson or a Lesson on Civil Rights or Write a play. We could spend the day outside making mud pies and talking about measurements.
I will always have to deal with Jacks Oppositional Defiance Disorder, I really think that’s what he has. Fiona needs things repeated and signed. She needs eye contact and to see the whole face. It’s so hard to believe What’s happening right now. I think things are so hard right now learning should be a wonderful escape. My ASL online class through Gallaudet starts August 31st. I’m excited and hope Fiona and Jack will join me any finally learn basic ASL. It could be part of the kids curriculum.
Things have been improving with accessing my creative bravery. In some ways the failure to start a DHH virtual or in-person class for Fiona and other DHH kindergartners and First graders taught by a trained DHH teacher has been a good push for me mentally. I am finally done second guessing myself and giving in to the school district. The longer I do that the longer things will take to change. I know what I’m saying about Fiona being completely cut off from education unless she has a teacher who was fluent in ASL and knew how to not overwhelm Deaf young children visually on-line is the right way, it’s the way that will come out on the right side of history. From now on I will involve my attorney and my DHH consultant/expert at any IEP or ADR. I’m not doing this by myself anymore. I’m tired of doing and saying the same thing over and over and all they can say is “no” and we need to make sure it’s “Least Restrictive Environment”. But Fiona’s experience in Kindergarten and her experience so far on-line during SIP has been the most Restrictive Environment. So the wording in the law must be changed. That’s where I’m at now. Thank You for giving my the push. Full Steam Ahead.