all about Ben

My little boy Ben is blue.  I really don't have a better description.  He has always been a happy go lucky kind of kid who loves just being included.  Ever since Ellie's T1D diagnosis, he has changed . . . . just lost some of his spunk.

If he is told 'no' to something, his eyebrows furrow, shoulders sag and his chin falls to his chest.  This type of reaction is common, I know, but for Ben it is not.  He used to smirk and snap his fingers and say "Oh Man!" in a Swiper the Fox type of reaction and then go on about his day.  A change is a change, however, and I know something bigger is bothering him.

We have been making special efforts around home to make sure Ben feels remembered.  He and his dad went on a 'boys only' overnight trip a couple of weeks ago.  Then last Saturday Ben's Boy Scout Den held their annual Pinewood Derby so we all made room in our schedule to attend.

Ben's car is the police car on top.  It looked great, but lost both times in the double elimination races.  Surprisingly he didn't get upset about the loses because it was such a fun time.  This was his first year and he is already talking about next year's design!  The photo on the far right makes me squeal with delight . . . . . saying the Boy Scout Promise and Law.

Yesterday, Valentines Day, I went up to school to attend the candy fests classroom parties.  The kids passed out their cards and then had a couple of minutes to sort through the loot.  Then the whole class participated in some Minute to Win It games.  It was fun to see Ben interact with his friends and to watch them all enjoy some non-instruction class time.

I do need to take a moment and point something out about the placement of Ben's desk.  I received a phone call last week from his teacher with concerns about Ben's inability to stay "on task" and "follow instruction".  He is not acting out or being disruptive, but everything that moves or makes a sound seems to distract HIM.  The teacher's solution was to move Ben's desk away from the group (see how everyone else's desk is connected to or across from another student?) and she calls it "Ben Island".  He is situated so that he faces out and away from the rest of the class. 

This makes me sad.  It singles Ben for something he is having a tough time with.  I know we need to talk with the school counselor or our pediatrician about some tools to help him focus, but I also feel like Ben should be allowed to learn in his own way and not be penalized. 

The reality is we need to focus on Ben and his strengths. (he is great at math, is reading above level and loves science)  Should he be forced to conform to the classroom standards and risk feeling like he doesn't belong?  Ack.  Obviously we have a lot of thinking and praying to do in this area.

Homeschooling?  I know it is quite the large elephant to through into the mix, but it is something I have always said I would be willing to entertain for the right circumstances.  With Ellie and all the class time she misses for her T1D and now Ben and his distractions, maybe these are the circumstances.  I don't know.  Maybe it would only be for a year or two?  I DO know I want the best fro my kiddos and if it takes moving out of my comfort zone and taking a risk by teaching them at home then I will do it.  I think.  Maybe.  Yes!  Yes, I will . . . . consider it.

I just want my fun-loving, silly Ben boy back.


Meri said...

My little L is easily distracted too...but I'm not a big fan of singling him out like that. :( Maybe place his desk nearest to the teacher...or at the end of a cluster...but an island. :( Me no likey!!

Football and Fried Rice said...

BEN ISLAND?? I about starting crying right here and now.

Oh, Amy - you are such a good mama bear. You need to do what's right for your family.

IF you want to talk home schooling - call me! I have FOUR bins of resources/books/curriculum and oddly, they are for the ages of Ben & Ellie. I wonder why I never got rid of them???

Nikki of Our Diabetic Warrior said...

Oh Amy, my heart is just breaking. Tears are flowing down my cheeks. What that teacher did is ABSOUTELY unacceptable! She put a cute name to it to make it seem ok, which it's not! What is coming from her completely cutting your child off from the rest of the class? What example is she setting for the other children as to how they should treat him? Not every child learns the same way and not every child has the same attention span. My boys are definitely more antsy than my daughter. When my son Andrew was Ben's age, I needed to give him more breaks because he'd be off in lala land. Once he had a snack and the opportunity to run around a bit, he was ready to crack down again. It makes me mad that teachers label kids as "ADHD" because they're antsy. Sometimes it's because the kids are bored to death. They're actually more intelligent than they're given credit for. I knew my son would have been one of the labeled kids and that was one of the many reasons why we chose to homeschool. I had the opportunity to work side by side giving individual attention and it has paid off. He's now a calm, independent worker and does great!

Our choice to Homeschool has been a huge blessing to our family especially with our circumstances now with diabetes.

Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it."

Amy, you're a super loving mom and know exactly what's best for your children. Spend time with the Lord and ask Him to open the doors if it's His will to do so.

Remember, you can always call me!

Donna ((Sweet Momma)) said...

OK - that teacher needs to be taken to task. That is in NO WAY acceptable! I agree with Meri, "me no likey!"

You are a GREAT Mama, Amy. I know you will handle whatever you decide to do for your kiddos with grace. :)

Reyna said...

BEN ISLAND needs to meet up with a frickin' typhoon girl! I don't like this either. I got so sad when I read that part.

You will figure out what your family needs through thought and prayer Amy. I heart you BIG TIME Mama Pancreas and I don't like knowing that your child is struggling on a damn "island" FFS!


Roselady said...

Hi Amy!
I so love to hear about your family, but sad that you detect something wrong with your son. Doesn't it just make your whole self feel off when one of your little ones isn't just right! School is hard simply for the fact that the teacher has so many kids to deal with; the nice thing about homeschool is they get a little more attention for their indiv. needs. (And, everyone will probably think you're weird if you decide to homeschool, so be prepared if you go that route, but it's actually kind of liberating...) Let me just say I love the lego name and also the derby car. When my son saw it, he wanted to join Boy Scouts immediately. Next year maybe...

Joanne said...

Ben Island... that is so sad what the teacher did. Go get 'em Mama!

And if I haven't told you lately... I totally heart you. Your comments make me laugh every time. I think we'd be great friends in real life. Wish we all lived a little closer.

And the dancing??? LOVE it. That video made me smile.

Tracy1918 said...

I do not like that teachers "solution" at all! Makes me mad.

We homeschooled for several years and LOVED it. Matthew now goes to a school that is a cross between homeschool and regular school. He goes 2 days a week with full days of homework on the other days. It works for us.

But I LOVED homeschooling. It was such a blessing in many ways. : )

Wendy said...

Oh, Amy.

I don't like Ben Island.

But I love your sweet boy. I love the sweet mama you are. I love your sweet family.