I need to remember that, especially now, as we are daily confronting the learning challenges of our children. My meeting with AJ's teacher last week revealed he's no where near on track with his classmates and the girls are struggling with their course work also. Retention is the main problem and many of my friends/clients with kids from 'hard places' are telling me the same thing about their kids. Reasoning, problem solving, retention: all things that come from proper brain development of the frontal lobe during a child's first 3 years of life. If a child experiences any trauma (lack of prenatal care, traumatic birth, early hospitalization, abuse, neglect, malnourished) during the first 3 years of their lives, the development of that frontal lobe is going to be a bit off. Not that it can't be restored and healing come, it just takes intentional parenting. And let me tell you, intentional parenting is exhausting. And well meaning people keep encouraging us to try this teaching technique or spend more time reading with our kids, etc. I have to tell you, my kids do more 'homework' than almost any other family I know of. We have private tutors and spend time every night reading to and having our kids read to us. All of my kids are getting extra assistance at school (though that's another tangent I could go down but won't right now) and I have several 'school help' websites bookmarked and we use these often. They don't watch TV or play video games during the weekly (usually) but there comes point where I shut the books and tell them, "go outside and play". They are kids after all. I just find it so hard to balance the pressures of academia with the necessity of just being kids. And as parents, we put more pressure on ourselves than anyone to have our kids "succeed". Well, I need to get to the grocery store to fret over how much money I'm spending to provide healthy foods to help my kids' brain development. =) At least it will get my mind of school woes, right? I'll leave you with a picture of my cuties who woke me up at 6am (an hour before they need to get up) this morning because they wanted to wear their "tight pants & tutus" to school today.
ps. Thanks for all the comments regarding the fort from my last post. You helped rebuild my mommy self esteem. =)