Failing in Science leads to an answered prayer

In the beginning there was a catchy opening sentence to grab your attention and suck you in to continue reading.  This was followed by several thought-provoking paragraphs that left you educated, fulfilled and ponderous.  You carried the weight of those words throughout the rest of your day and maybe even shared them with a friend because they had such an impact on you.

This is not one of those posts.

I will admit that I really have nothing at the moment that needs to be said.  Sometimes I just get itchy fingers that need to write, yet there are no specific thoughts behind them.  Somebody needs to tell my brain and my fingers that they need to better coordinate their writing urges.  So well just embark on this together and see where it goes.  Maybe there will be a thought-provoking sentence hidden in there somewhere.

For lack of anything else to write about let’s talk about my kid.  Last week he brought home his first 100% of the school year on a spelling test.  This is huge news for him actually.  Ever since he started Headstart when he was four years old he has struggled (to put it mildly) in reading, writing, and spelling.  So anytime that he brings home anything that has a non-failing grade then it is a huge victory.

He doesn’t learn like other kids in his class.  The teacher can go through a lesson and most other children will understand it with little to no problem.  My son needs everything broken down into small pieces and then those pieces have to be repeated over and over and over and over and over again.  After all of that repetition the info might start to sink in.  Needless to say he gets frustrated because he sees the other kids learning to easily and he wants to be like them.  He is a super confident little boy.  He will talk your ear off about anything that pops into his head.  He has never met a stranger.  But the minute he walks into school his confidence in himself completely goes out the window.  Homework reduces him to tears on most nights.  On the worst nights you can watch his face crumple as he calls himself stupid.  It breaks my heart.  That is why the 100% on the spelling test last week was such a huge deal.

Last week also saw a prayer answered almost as quickly as I got it out of my mouth.  I had gotten upset with my sons teacher over the current state of his science grade.  Science has always been one of his best subjects.  The neat orderliness of science works well with his learning issues, I believe.  With science (especially in elementary school) there is a specific order to science.  “You dig a hole.  You plant a seed.  You water the seed.  It sprouts.  It grows.  It develops a flower.  It dies.”  It has very tangible steps that my son can see and remember because one step can not happen before another, as opposed to the many confusing rules of reading and spelling . . . i before e, silent consonants like in pterodactyl or gnome, and the “e” at the end of words that makes vowels long.  Science leaves little room for question for him.  He loves it.

So when he brought home his mid-quarter progress report imagine my surprise at seeing that he is failing science, and not just by a little bit.  At mid-quarter he had a 10% for his quarter grade thus far.  I was shocked!  I emailed his teacher and asked what was going on.  I didn’t know if he was out of the classroom with his resource teacher at the same time that the science lesson was taught, or if he just wasn’t doing the work.  I never did get my questions answered by the teacher.  Her reply to me was vague and frustrating.  I was at work as I read her reply and got so angry that I had to make myself go outside away from my computer because I was ready to fire off an email that I knew I would have regretted.  I stood outside smoking a cigarette and prayed.  My son just needs someone who sees in him what I see in him, someone who sees him not just as a child with learning difficulties but who sees the smart little boy behind the learning difficulties, a little boy who wants to learn.

That evening I was at a friend’s house and she brought up my son.  After discussing the state of his grades and his lack of confidence with school she said something that left me speechless and crying on her couch.  She offered to work with him after school a day or two a week.  She had helped him with his homework a few days earlier and saw where his weaknesses were and how to help him.  She told me that she had prayed about my little boy and God had put it on her heart to help him.  She didn’t want anything in return for working with him.  She just wants to see him succeed.

We’ve all had those moments that just seemed a little too coincidental, moments where everything worked out just right.  Then there are those rare and wonderful moments where all you can do is look up and say, “Yes, God, I know that was your work.  Thank you.”

In the course of the same conversation with my friend I learned a little bit more about her.  I found out that she is a Christian, completely devoted to her faith, and currently without a church home.  We talked about the current teaching series that my church is doing right now and invited her to come to church with me.

Nothing is accidental.  God puts us all right where he needs us to be so that we can carry out his plan for the world.  Too see that in action . . . breath-taking and awe-inspiring.  Praise God!

So it seems that I had something to say after all.  Thanks for your patience as I unloaded some thoughts from my head and relieved itchy writers fingers.

Until next time . . .

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