Wednesday, February 15, 2006

This past weekends sleep over was not only fun for the girls, but enlightening for me. I learned a great deal about what is going on durring the after school program we have Erin enrolled in. When we signed her up, we thought it would be a possitive thing for her. It would provide the tutoring she needed and interaction with other children. What we failed to focus on was the fact that it is a program for "at risk" children. It was only opened to those not at risk once the others had been given the chance to signup. I'm not sure what determines if a child is"at risk". I do know that it means children who's first language is not english and those who have had diciplinary action taken. I think it is a great program and wonderful opportunity, but not for Erin. She doesn't have a healthy selfesteem and when you mix that with children who behave badly it can only lead to disaster. I don't think that this is entirely the cause of the difficulty we are having with Erin, but after the sleepover I can see that it is playing a roll. This is her last week in the after school program. I am looking into a martial arts program she and I can take together, and I have a friend who is going to do some art therapy work with her. She is devistated because she will not get to see her friends anymore or play with them. I told her we could make play dates. I know that once she is involved in something else it will be easier, but the transition will be hard for her. It's the first thing I've seen her so attached to. That makes it tough to take her out, but I really feel like it is the right choice. Especially after picking her up and whitnessing a child talking to one of the leaders in a completely inappropriate way. Her words to him were "Shut up! You're so stupid and you stink. Can you do something about the way you smell?" When I asked Erin about it she said they were just joking. I explained that joking or not, that is no way to talk to someone who is in charge. She said she doesn't talk that way to them, but with that type of behavior being accepted by the staff, it's only a matter of time before she's involved if she isn't already.
I think this will be a good move for our relationship as well. Currently she only sees me about 3 hours out of the day. When we enrolled her in this program this is what bothered me most, but I thought that the tutoring was something she needed so we made the sacrafice. Now, I'm not so sure the tutoring is as important as spending more time with us. I think I can handle helping her with her homework and giving her the one on one attention she needs and isn't able to get in this program.
What are your thoughts? Have any ideas on some good after school activites? The problem with things around here is that they cost an arm and a leg. We'll make it happen though.

4 comments:

Becky said...

I think that was an excellent move.

I was always surprised at how quickly the group can sway an idividual student.

The more influence you can have -- the better, I'd say.

Aola said...

I agree with Becky. I think you are the best influence she can have right now and I'm glad you are not letting her make the decsions about what is best for her (because she doesn't know). She will get over it.

Rob Spain said...

Well coming from a Special Ed Teacher there is no better academic support than your parents.

Kristen said...

Just being together is a good after-school activity, but the martial arts thing sounds like a lot of fun. Maybe an art class?