Sweetie – I getcha.

We just received H6’s progress report. She’s doing fine, but the teacher noticed that she is very fidgety in class. She takes her glasses off a lot, puts them back on, takes them off, puts them back on, etc. Her work is also a little inconsistent. Some days she gets everything right and other days she makes a lot of mistakes. Her teacher was wondering if I had any insight into this.

Sigh – that would be a huge yes.

I know exactly what she is doing. She is rushing ahead of the class and then trying hard to sit still while everyone else finishes. When she rushes, her work is poor, not because she doesn’t understand it, but because it just feels better to go fast. On days where she is able to hang with the class and slow her mind down, she does fine and can demonstrate her understanding. I don’t think she’s too smart for the class as much as she hasn’t figured out how to manage her mind and body. She’s probably headed for a diagnosis of ADD or something… But, not if I can help it.

She is me. And although I wasn’t diagnosed with anything in the 70’s, I do remember being sent to the special ed teacher a few times. I would rush through my work 100 miles an hour and then sit there looking around at everyone else and have no idea what to do with myself. It wasn’t that I was brilliant, or that my work was perfect, it just felt better to do things quickly. I was a very average student until college, when I suddenly shot to the top of all my classes.

Why? Because I discovered multi-tasking.  No one notices that while you are taking notes you are also writing a paper, a letter, rearranging the information into diagrams and flow charts, or simply writing down every single word the professor said. I discovered that doing two things at once helped me do the one thing better. Instead of rushing through the one thing, I would just do two things, which helped me slow down and stay on track.

So, listening to H6’s teacher describe her, and knowing she is if anything bored with material in class since she whips through her homework each night, the light suddenly went on. And you know, it’s really, really needed to come on.

I get her. I don’t know exactly what will help her yet, but I have a clue about her that I didn’t have before. And I think it’s the start of developing the compassion and understanding for her I’ve been struggling to find. I’m going to use these next weeks (hopefully just weeks, Lord???) to do some research on this before we try homeschooling.

Instead of being fearful or worried about H6, I’m really thankful for the information. I just hope I can put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, and find ways to help her that will work well for her. It’s not severe enough, and maybe it will never be, to be debilitating, but I want her to enjoy learning, like I finally did in college, not just survive the experience.

After school I’m going to look into those beautiful blue eyes and tell her, “Sweetie. I getcha!”

5 thoughts on “Sweetie – I getcha.

  1. I’ve heard ADD described like this before — the mind gets bored and tries to occupy itself somehow. If you give it something to do (as you mentioned with multi-tasking), you give it a better chance of focussing on the task at hand. If I remember correctly, this is why uppers actually calm ADD kids down — the uppers keep the mind busy so it doesn’t get distracted.

    I think you’re an excellent Mom. I feel so sorry for kids whose parents don’t take the time to “get them.” Those kids often get lost in the system or are given drugs they may not need. It seems like H6 is going to benefit from your love & attention with homeschooling in a huge way!

  2. Khrista says:

    I get her too! I am the same way! I did the same thing in school, and now I see it in G. I was nodding my head the whole time I read how you described H6. It’s exactly what G. is doing in school. You’re a great Mom and I know you two will get through this just fine! 🙂

  3. ness says:

    I get it too! I used to write notes to my friends, read a book and take notes in class, which were always strewn with doodles…the doodles actually helped me do better because I could remember the picture next to that section of notes. In elementary school, my teacher always said “Vanessa’s papers would be neater if she did not draw on them so much.” WELL DUH!

    See if the teacher will let her illustrate her work. Multi-tasking!

  4. SA Megan says:

    That is such a great realization, Jess. I have to admit that since Amy took that mini-personaliity test, I have a better understanding of why she does what she does, etc. and it is so much easier to get along around here. Now if I can just figure out Soph…

  5. i was the same way when i was younger and all the way through college. in high school, i discovered that (and my teachers allowed it, oddly enough…they were good teachers) if I crocheted during class, I was able to concentrate much better.
    In college, I would write my notes over again as I took them in 2 separate notebooks, which inevitably made me learn better because if I wrote something out, it stuck in my head.

    Maybe H6 needs a doodle book?

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