My sweet little man.
Right now, Noah is coming to the end of his first year of preschool. While he's made tremendous growth during the past year, I can't really attribute any of it to his schooling. Most if his progress is from things we have worked on at home or in private speech therapy. This has left me with some concerns over how I should address his education in the future. Homeschooling has been very much on my mind but I worry that I'll have enough time to really focus on it while also working full time.
In preparation for his next year of preschool, Noah had his IEP (Individualize Education Plan). For those of you not aware of what an IEP is, it's basically a plan put in place with the school to address Noah's personal needs. It lists his goals and what items or accommodations he might need to reach those goals. After considering what might have contributed to this past less-than-stellar year, I decided that Noah's original goals, and how they were addressed, was the underlying problem. They had been working on basic low level goals and when he wouldn't participate due to sensory issues, disinterest, or even just because he's 3 they assumed he couldn't do it and never pushed for more.
This year, I went in prepared to really lay out what I felt he needed to be successful. And also some items that would help me track his progress and work. I suggested his ultimate goals be age appropriate based on requirements for starting school in an average kindergarten class. Even though these goals will push him, I am much more comfortable with a 50% attainment of something that is a challenge than 95% attainment of something easy.
I now feel much better about the whole thing. While I still have a few reservations about how much the teacher is actually involved in the class, at least now I have a legally binding contract to help get Noah what he needs. It also addresses his personal learning style. See, he is very HIGH-INTENSITY! He needs positive reinforcement. Lots of cheers and high-fives and screams when he gets something right. Without it, he quickly loses interest and shuts down. He also needs sensory integration assistance like jumping on a tramp, swinging, throwing balls. Without it he can't focus or pay attention.