Lauren quietly sat in the back of the classroom, not engaging with students around her and never offering to raise her hand to respond in class. She felt so inadequate in the responses she thought of, or her answers were already shared by the time she worked up the confidence to raise her hand. Lauren’s slow processing speed along with her dyslexia constantly interfered in her engagement in learning like other students. She was certainly at disadvantage on the average, but with the advent of immediacy in our culture she was distinctly but unintentionally left out.
Caleb seemed to learn well when he was at home and in the orchard because there was always time to practice and get it right. But at school, it was a different thing, Caleb never felt like he had mastery of anything. He was so convicted by his learning between home and school. He did not let his parents know; as they thought he learned just fine. But with the school year winding down and the orchard needing attention, Caleb’s frustration grew. He finally had had enough. One evening he asked his parents if he could be homeschooled.
After they’d arrived back home, and had put Spencer to bed, Sandy sat with Ben who was preparing for Monday’s lessons at work. She broached his experiences in school first to learn more about how he struggled. Ben shared his difficulty with language. He said I thought you knew since I still have some weaknesses. Sandy honestly hadn’t put much thought to it; she’d just been helpful to her love. When Ben had shared without emotion about his own problems, she felt much more comfortable with sharing what she’d learned about Spencer. Sandy told Ben about her conversation with Spencer’s teacher. She asked him if he’d noticed the change in Spencer too?
Hannah shared the story of helping her mother with the plants and tried to draw an analogy to bound roots in language. She said the bound root in language cannot grow like the bound roots of a potted plant because it needs a prefix or a suffix. Potted plants roots need space and soil. Her tutor encouraged her to keep making such connections to learning from other parts of her life, as it helps her hang on to the meaning of new learning as well. Hannah was kind of inspired by this connection she had come up with.
When Helena now in second-grade, wears her hair in a pony with a large ribbon, and her favorite outfit for school. The school suggested that she might benefit from using colored overlays, as she was struggling with reading. Mom and Dad not knowing any better said yes. The overlays proved to be exciting for Helena and for a while she improved a little. But once it became routine her gains quickly disappeared.