Moving Forward

I allowed myself to get really, really mad at myself.

I know what you're going to say and yes, I was THAT mad.  I thought I might never speak to myself again.

See, here's the thing about the past two years: I messed up.  I messed up badly. I got lulled into thinking my daughter Jane (almost 10) was being, you know, TAUGHT things in school.  She brought home perfect report cards.  We met with her teachers and they extolled her academic virtues. So, you know, I got all involved with myself and my pain management and I took my eye off of the ball.  (Okay, when I start making sports analogies, you KNOW I'm upset.)  She's a reader.  She's a writer. She's got lots of energy --I thought it was all good.

I kind of missed the fact that she wasn't actually learning anything, especially math-wise.

Until now, anyway.  Because, in a response to a bad school situation, we have moved Jane into an academically advanced private school. The transition is going to be tough because she's going to be a bit behind.  I have faith in her ability to catch up, but it's going to be hard.

And actually, maybe we're ALL making some strides forward.  I mean, I got really mad at myself but instead of wallowing in it and having such wallowing lead to a whole downward spiral where I beat myself up over everything from current shortcomings to things I did wrong in the second grade --I simply got mad, decided that it was unproductive to focus on what happened in the past, got over it, and developed some strategies for moving forward.  Our house right now?  ALL ABOUT THE MATH, BABY.

And this?  This is the first day of school in the Do-Over year.


Bullwinkle said…
I adore that outfit! Priceless! Excellent! (And Jane would probably roll her eyes at my reaction. I'm o.k. with that.)

First, it's not too late - she will catch up. Fear not!

Second, don't bother beating yourself up - it's hard to think straight when you feel like crap. Get mad at the school system that doesn't challenge your daughter and lulls you into a false sense of security.

Focus on Mad Math skills instead ;)

(I love math! I used to teach math! Math is fun!!)
ellen said…
long time lurker peeking out just to suggest that you not bother being angry with yourself over this. these kinds of discoveries are made tiny bits at a time, distractions or no distractions.

if it were black or white, there would have been no discussion. it's the gray area that takes time. now you have the information you need to go forward. i bet the communication you've had with jane about this has been priceless. onward!
Only 5th-grade, right? Definitely time to catch up. Plus, you yourself say it is an "academically-advanced" school. So maybe it is the private school pushing the envelope a bit, you know?

There are way bigger balls to drop as a parent, believe me. I know. I hope she's enjoying the new school!
Rhonda from Baddeck said…
Good for you, putting the energy into constructive action. You can learn from the past, but don't re-live it. Continue to practice the forgiveness (of yourself) that you started a while ago - even a little bit is helpful. Jane is smart (and stubborn) enough to catch up quickly. I bet she's going to thrive at the new school.
jennyp said…
Just think about the endgame: Jane will be so much happier being challenged! Once you get past this being behind period, she'll be golden. And, having to work hard for a bit is a good thing. Sometimes really bright kids don't have that happen until middle/high school, when it is a horrible shock rather than something to work through. Congrats on finding a good school that will be a positive place for Jane!
ccr in MA said…
I think you're handling the situation quite well, actually. Realizing that beating yourself up over the past is non-productive, and working instead to improve the future--that's hard! Good luck to Jane.
Blogless A.R. said…
Don't blame yourself for this one. How are you supposed to be clairvoyant to know what kids at other schools are learning in comparison with the curriculum at your kids' school? And being "behind" in a subject doesn't happen exclusively (or at all!) from a parent's inattentiveness. Plus, I really doubt you've ever been truly inattentive to your kids!

I switched schools several times before 5th grade due to moving and my parents' preferences for/against particular schools at certain grade levels. In a preemptive move (Mom had ideological conflicts with a certain teacher at the public school, who would have been just fine in all likelihood), I was switched to a private school for 5th grade. I was "behind" in language studies, even though I'd been the top of my 4th grade public school class. I got caught up, but not before getting a B on my report card--quite a blow for me, the Little Miss Achiever, but NOT AN ISSUE in the bigger picture. I have a few advanced degrees now. :-)

Your love and care for your kids is evident, regardless of how math is going this year. Best wishes for Jane in her new adventure! Her sense of style matches my own at that age -- rock the "mis"paired shoes, girl!
Mrs.Q said…
AWESOME shoes! Wishing all of you luck through this transition...I know you & Jane are both going to rise to the occasion, and kick that math in the butt!
Karen said…
Yay You! It's actually a good thing to have moved her to a challenging situation - so many kids (and I was one of 'em) never feel the true challenge of academia until college hits - and then it's a SHOCK. All caps. She now gets the golden opportunity to learn how to push herself, which she most likely has never had to do before in school, and learn both the joy of achievement from overcoming the challenge, and to realize that not everything in life is going to come so easily you didn't even have to really think much about it.

And this is really isn't coming out quite how I want it to, not that I am going to take the time to start over - instead I am going to count on you reading what I mean in my heart and know that it's all good :-)

With my own kids, the wake-up moment was when my oldest was in 3rd grade and got suspended for, basically, being bored. (it was a bit more complex than that, but that's the gist.) My reaction? Pull him out and homeschool for the next 5 years.

Best choice we ever made. And yes, I berated myself for letting it go until 3rd grade ... but what are you going to do, except like someone else said (or several someones) focus on the bright future instead of the past.

Move forward boldly!

Again - YAY YOU!
Cascader said…
I have that same book Jane is holding!

I`m sorry, I couldn`t help saying so.

(BTW, I`m your friend Ann`s daughter. She told me to comment about it XD)
Susan said…
I think it is a good lesson for our kids that we try to work it out before we make a big change. Maybe you feel you waited too long, but we can't always cut and run when there are problems. She is ahead of the game compared to most kids in the country - believe me it all works it's way out in the long run.
Neiley said…
THIS is a cool kid. She will do well regardless of the bumps in the road! And you are being mindful of the things that need attention, so they will be attended to. So happy I found your blog today!, Being a Mom is tough, keep up the good work. :)