Sunday, March 4, 2012

Awesome!

He said to me,'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' "Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10






Last week Kayla participated in a Living Museum at her middle school. It was for Black History Month and each student in the eighth grade was assigned a person to research and transform themselves into. Kayla was assigned Jackie Joyner Kersee who was an Olympic track and field star. Kayla was confused by the assignment because the teacher said the person was selected to fit the student. Kayla is anything but an athlete..she considers herself an "academic" and would have loved an assignment as a scientist or author. I am just in awe of her when I say that she is an "academic"! This has definitely been something she has grown into. And I take none of the glory for it!

My baby girl who at 1 1/2 was a biter at daycare! She was so quiet that nobody knew she could talk and she was frustrated and acted out. It drove me crazy trying to figure out her motives and was so relieved when she stopped biting and started talking more. And granted, the period only lasted about a month but it was excruciating to me as a parent!

My girl who spent her second year in my classroom and was a teacher's worst student! She never attended my circle times, defied my instructions at every chance and had the other teachers wrapped around her little finger. I was so happy when at three she moved onto preschool! This year was not easy though. She was the "blendable" child as I would call her and had an assistant teacher who openly declared she didn't like her! I know, shocking as that statement is, there are individuals who work with children who really shouldn't. Kayla was "blendable" in that she was a good girl who didn't get into trouble and who just went with the flow of things. A good quality but one that didn't allow some of her qualities to shine.

Pre-kindergarten was a blessing as Kayla had teachers who loved her and cared about her happiness. But Kayla continued to baffle me in terms of her academics. She could copy anything placed in front of her but couldn't recite or identify her alphabet. She didn't sing traditional songs either.. she still gets hung up on "Twinkle Twinkle" and "Mary Had a Little Lamb", lol!

Kindergarten was the year in which I requested Kayla be tested for a learning disability. It was a slow process and Kayla moved into First grade without any diagnosis. First grade was a nightmare. It was the year that I sat at our kitchen table with Kayla studying for spelling tests. Each session ended with one or both of us in tears. She could pick out a word on a card in a group but not individually. How was this possible? And how could a teacher not be able to teach her own child? Finally, at the end of that year, we had a diagnosis. Kayla has an auditory and visual processing disorder!

With a diagnosis Kayla got the resources she needed in school. She still struggled and spent a lot of time in the nurses office trying to get sent home sick! She did not enjoy school and hated homework. But then, something amazing happened; Kayla discovered the joy of reading! It was two books that changed everything for her. Stonefox and The Tale of Despereaux were the answer to Kayla's troubles. She discovered how amazing books can be and then there was no stopping her! Kayla was released from special education at the end of sixth grade. She really could have been released at the end of fourth but I was too scared to allow it.

Now Kayla's favorite place is Barnes and Noble (she'd live there if she could)and has read so many books that she needs more bookshelves. She loves everything about her books (the dust jackets, the print, the feel, the smell) and "must" own them. She finds my Nook to be somewhat ridiculous! When Kayla gets extra money she doesn't want to spent it on clothes or anything else a tween girl might choose..she wants more books! She loves Harry Potter, dark romances, poetry and the classics.

This week Kayla had to select her courses for next year... ninth grade..high school. The idea is very scary for me. In fact, just listening to the course descriptions was overwhelming and anxiety filled for me! Not for Kayla though. She has been approved for four weighted honors classes (English, Algebra II, Science and Social Studies) and has chosen Business and Law as two of her electives. She is excited that her honor classes may even count toward college credits. Yes, she is planning for college. She originally said she wanted to be a veterinarian and go to the University of Minnesota. But she is now reconsidering this as she hates to see sick or hurt animals..it's taken her years just to be able to watch the SPCA commericals! Now on her possible list of majors are forensic psychologist, clinical psychologist and forensic anthropologist.

I am in awe seeing what changes Kayla has gone through. I am amazed by her determination and focus. And I know that all the glory must go to Kayla and God! I am so thankful for the blessings He has bestowed onto her.

Now, if only she would clean up her room!!

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