Yes, I am still here. Barely. It has been an overwhelming few months. I have sat down to write a few times but was not quite sure where to start, so here it goes. I am just plunging in!
Leading up to the holidays there were several things going on- one, I started going to counseling to deal with some depression/anxiety issues. This has been such an enriching experience but also hard- when you are a "stuffer" like I am it takes alot of energy to deal with all those stuffed thoughts and emotions (and energy is not something I have alot of these days!). But, I feel like I have been given some great tools to deal with some of those issues and I am in the process of learning how to apply them.
The second thing that was going on was a growing frustration with Jesse. We were having struggles with homeschool, specifically sitting still and focusing. He was having no trouble learning the things I was teaching him, it was just taking obnoxious amounts of time for him to complete work that he clearly knew how to do. I had to cut out some of the "fun" parts just so we would have time to get math and reading done and have everyone still in one piece. It was exhausting for me and stressful for Jesse. He has also been exhibiting some anxiety symptoms as well- grinding his teeth during the day, having a hard time getting to sleep, not wanting to engage in activities he normally loves. He has been hyperactive, uncontrollable sometimes, like he just can't contain all the energy. I wasn't sure if this was normal five year old behavior or if we had some ADHD things going on- so, we got him into counseling too.
So, where are we now? Jesse's counselor is also a school psychologist so she was able to give him a ADHD screening (not an official "test" but a comparison study to other kids his age). The results came back "clinically significant"- not a diagnosis, just a place for us to see where he compares. She gave me some tools that are used in schools to help ADHD kids with their work and behavior. She thought that maybe being in a school setting would be helpful for him because of the structure that it would provide. Also, a school setting wouldn't have alot of the distractions that a home setting has. This has been very difficult for me to process. I don't want to give up homeschooling but I do want to do what is best for Jesse- I am just not sure what that is. I am not 100% convinced that sticking him in a traditional classroom is going to be beneficial for him. I am not 100% sure that homeschooling will be either- at least as we are doing it now. So, I am doing alot of reading about homeschooling the ADHD child and praying about what the best thing is for next year. I don't think that we will get him officially tested (unless he does end up gong to school) but will treat the symptoms that he has so that he can be successful. I am not sure a label will help anything at the moment.
The other aspect that we are praying through is how best to discipline Jesse. We are becoming increasingly aware that the traditional forms of discipline that we have been using are not working with Jesse and could actually be causing some of the anxiety. So, we are re-evaluating and I think I have found a very helpful book- we just need to evaluate whether it fits our Biblical principles of raising children- a future blog post on this for feedback will be forthcoming!
Well, I am out of time- I will keep you faithful readers updated, at least I will try!