Posts Tagged ‘Special Education’

I’ve always been under the thought that not all people learn the same way. That point was proven when I worked and one of my responsibilities was training employees on new computer systems or contracts or whatever it is I had to train.

Not to pat myself on the back, but I AM a good teacher.

Sorry.. just had to throw that in there.

But you know, some people are visual learners.. some are lazy learners.. some are better at comprehending direction literally, etc.

Same with kids.

Bubba’s issues with school have been VERY well documented on here. In a nutshell, he trashed 7th grade .. we sent him to Sylvan Learning Center.. he trashed 8th grade.. he was socially passed to high school .. he trashed 9th grade and then his school advisers bumped him down to Special Ed classes for 10th grade.

He doesn’t need Special Education.. unless laziness and lack of motivation require Special Education. Because what his problem is and truthfully, up until I came into their lives, their father had the same lack of motivation in motivating them. Maybe he didn’t know how.. maybe he wasn’t around enough.. but whatever the excuse :: because he’s not getting a free pass from me on this :: Bubba figured out a long time ago how to do what little work as possible and then smooze whatever teacher he had at the end of the year.

Not to mention that we live in probably one of the worst school districts in the state.

Not to mention that Bubba was placed on an IEP (Individual Education Program) that to me, gave student and teachers a like the ability to write everything off as a learning disability. I am STRONGLY against IEP’s and if you research the No Child Left Behind nonsense, what really was done was lower the bar so it APPEARED that students were doing better then actually working hard to ensure that kids are educated.

Just my opinion.. save your time on the hate mail.

At any rate, Bubba  is a smart kid. You can’t be that good at beating the system without being smart. He just didn’t like school and one of the things that we learned from his time at Sylvan is that he is a visual learner. Even though he has a ridiculously high reading ability, he learns better when shown how to do it versus reading how to do it. He aslo performed better when in a smaller class environment.

That’s all fine well and good except that the only place meeting those requirements was Special Ed classes.

At first, the thought of being in a small classroom doing 4th or 5th grade work appealed to Bubba.. but after about 2 months the novelty wore off and one night, I happened to see a report that he had written on the computer regarding his education and how he realized that purposefully trashing his education up until that point had screwed him up and how he felt horrible that we had spent so much money on sending him to Sylvan and he hadn’t taken advantage of it.

It was a pretty mature assessment and I remember thinking to myself.. yea, this kid is FINALLY getting it!!

ALL the kids can tell you how much I harp on education.. how valuable it is.. how it sets the stage for the rest of your life.. how much I loved school and how wanting to learn is something that will serve you well in all areas of your life.

Yep.. call me the Education Czar.

When we started getting phone calls from his teachers recommending him for Cyber School, I thought that maybe he was at a maturity level to handle the responsibility. Because it IS a responsibility. I met with the teacher in charge of alternate education at his high school and we ran through a demo of the program.. I asked every question I could think of.. and was assured that not only does the system total the time actually spend WORKING (not just from logging in) but offers a variety of different reports that the parent can access so that you can actually SEE what your kid is doing.. or not doing for that matter.

My personal opinion was that Bubba, not having to go to a brick and mortar school and sitting all day in front of a computer in his pajamas, would be more interested in learning and that he could actually get enough credits to graduate a lot sooner then if he went to school.

The fact that both of us were going to be home to monitor him was actually the deciding factor BUT we told Bubba that he still needed structure. He was still going to have a bedtime.. was still going to get up early and still spend an X amount of hours on school work.

He readily agreed and for the first week, he did.

But like everything else, he started to slack and his father started to slack.

I was pulling the reports daily.. showing his father who would just make comments about telling Bubba this or making Bubba do that which never materialized.. showing Bubba who half paid attention and then still did what he wanted to do because when I forced his father to get involved.. he would yell at him and then go back to doing what he was doing leaving Bubba to just go back to doing what HE was doing.. which wasn’t school work.

It’s all very frustrating for me because I can only do so much…

So when the move to West Virginia was put on the table, I took the opportunity over family dinner to lay it out for Bubba.

West Virginia does have a cyber school program.. Bubba had to the choice to commit to his work now so that the WV Board of Education would allow him to continue.. OR he goes back to regular high school. A county high school that’s way bigger then the one that he was in here. Plus, there would be no limo service. Chief and I will both have to get jobs so we won’t be available to drive him and pick him up.. he’d have to catch the school bus.

If that were to happen, he could forget about getting a job when he turned 16 to afford his own car and insurance. Going to a brick and mortar school means that he would be vying for the same shifts that every other student wanting to work would be trying for.

He said he wanted to stay in cyber school so that he could work. I told him that no one can make that happen but him and I was going to stop taking his education personally.. it was his decision and he needed to make it happen but one way or the other, he WAS going to get an education.

This conversation started at the beginning of traditional Christmas break.

Did he do anything? Nope. I kept bringing it up.. bringing it up.. bringing it up.. telling his father to do something.. and all Bubba did was sleep at the Crack Whore’s or spend the night with friends.

All very frustrating for me.

Today, everything came to a head.

Last night I told Chief that he had to wake Bubba up at 9am.. show him the reports.. show him what he wasn’t doing.. and sit next to him if he had to to make sure he did it.

That didn’t happen.

When I came home at 10:30, Bubba was still asleep. I tried waking him up but he ignored me. Chief tried to wake him up and he ignored him. When he finally DID get up, he bitched that it was “early” .. um, sorry son, 11am is NOT early.. but I sat him down at the computer and showed him the reports that WE were looking at and explained to him where he was lacking and what he needed to do.

I told him that he had to hit every subject, not just the ones he liked or he found easy. Part of this district’s program is that he has the opportunity to get instruction from a real teacher if there is something that he gets hung up on or doesn’t quite understand.

There really are no excuses.

After 47 MINUTES, he told me he did work on every subject.

So I grabbed his father.. pulled up the reports and told him that what he DID was complete ONE LESSON from every unit. Not good enough. He started getting flippy .. which made his father angry and started yelling .. and then Chief retreated back to the bedroom to play video games leaving Bubba to go back to playing his computer game.

All very frustrating for me and so I told Chief that the experiment was over. Tomorrow we were going back to the high school to get Bubba back in there on Monday. If he chooses not to come to WV because he doesn’t want to go to a regular high school there then he can stay here. Right or wrong, there’s very little I can do without any support from his father.

While I totally believe in the advantages of cyber school, I also believe that it takes a certain type of kid AND a certain type of parent. Obviously, not all parents are cut out for the additional responsibility of making sure their kid gets the education available to them and that’s a shame because the benefits far out way the down falls.

… ok.


I’m still going to post about what happened between me and Chief last week but wanted to get this out there first because.. well.. the two are actually related in a way.



You know.. when you’re in a situation where you’re living with non-adult kids that aren’t yours it’s hard. It’s especially hard when the canal used to birth those kids is a fucking ignorant crack whore who wants nothing more then to undermine any type of authority or rule or wish of the FULL CUSTODIAL PARENT of the kids because she’s a miserable crack whore who can’t stand to see her kids happy or healthy.

Get the picture?

HEADS UP: I will be going on a rant here and it may seem as though I’m being bitter or unfair but in all sincerity, I’m only relating the facts. You can judge yourself whether I’m being bitter or unfair.

As long as I’ve been with Chief, the crack whore has been breezing in and out of the kids lives. At her discretion, mind you. She isn’t one to put anyone other then herself at the top of the list. But then, she’s a crack whore so what do you really expect.

It is my firm belief that she cannot stand the fact that Chief is happy without her.. that the boys have a strong female role model and support system that doesn’t come with an addiction.

Her idea of being a “mother” is to basically buy them. As long as she’s shelling out money.. or lets them to what they’re not suppose to do.. they want to be around her. She thinks that that means that they prefer her over me. I think that the last thing you would want to do is “guilt” your kids into thinking they had to chose between their biological mother and their step mother.

But that’s just me.

At any rate..

In order to have the following make any kind of sense, I’m going to have to go into the fall out with Chief. Just a little anyway. But basically what happened was that I walked into the shop to find him cutting a lunch meat order for her. She said “hello” to me and I told her to not even bother because I’ve been harboring animosity towards her since the last text exchange we had.. we wound up getting into an old fashioned ghetto style shouting match with  me calling her out on all her bullshit and Chief telling ME to stop shouting.

That didn’t fly too well.. as I guess you can imagine.

Anyway.. I told her she wasn’t allowed in the store anymore and when she finally left I told Chief that I couldn’t believe that he had lied to me about him going to tell her she wasn’t allowed in the store anymore… that I can’t believe that he didn’t have MY back and that how dare he tell ME to stop yelling after everything that I’ve been through with her.

I’ll go into more detail about all that in another post but the result was that SHE was going to take on the “Mother Of The Year” mantel. Because.. you know.. she has all this money burning a whole in her pocket.

So the next day, she picks up Bubba from school :: oh yea.. she bought a car :: to take him clothes shopping. A few pairs of jeans.. a few t-shirts.. a hoodie and two pairs of nylon basketball shorts.

NOTE: Just a side thing to put this into perspective, but Bubba wears a size 40/34. She bought him 42/32.

When he came home that night, we were just sitting down to dinner and he starts going into how she was telling him about the blow out that she and I had. He was speaking cryptically because Spaz was there and he just LOVES tormenting him when he knows something that Spaz doesn’t.

Right away, I nipped it. I told him that she had no business telling a 14 year old something that should be kept between adults. Chief concurred and said that that was one of the reasons why he can’t stand having anything to do with her because she does not have the ability to act like an adult OR to not drag Bubba and Spaz into things they shouldn’t be in.

The following day she was taking Spaz out shopping and Bubba had mentioned that she wanted him to stay at the crack den while they were out so that all the things she had bought wouldn’t be stolen.

Ok.. now..

In one breath you say that there is nothing illegal going on at your place.. that there are only reputable pillar of society gracing you with your presence and yet.. and yet.. you’re worried about stuff getting stolen from your place.


Better call Gil Grissom and the CSI crew for that one!

It turns out that she takes Spaz but Bubba remains home because he wants to do something with his friends. Fine. Whatever. Spaz winds up sleeping over there and that’s fine. Whatever. Not my decision whether they stay or not.. it’s Chief’s. I’m tired of that dog and pony show.

Spaz comes home that Sunday night and tells me that she bought him other things then the two t-shirts and pair of jeans that he came home with but that he’s keeping them over her house for when he sleeps over again.

Whatever. I really don’t care.

NOTE: Just a side thing to put it in perspective, Spaz takes a size 18 Husky pants. What size did she buy him? 32/34. TWO INCHES longer then the pair she bought Bubba who is at least a good foot taller then Spaz.

Ok.. so whatever on all that.

Fast forward a week and Bubba stays home from school sick. He really was sick.. in fact, he was ground zero for whatever me and Chief wound up catching. But he doesn’t want to stay HOME.. he wants to go over to the crack whore’s because well.. at least there would be someone at his mental capacity to talk to :: she only has a 7th grade education and Bubba isn’t the brightest crayon in the box :: and she would make him stuff to eat.

Fine.. whatever. I really don’t care. I drop him off there before taking Spaz to school and return home to the glory that is a Nyquil coma.

Oh but when he comes home? He comes home with a laptop that she bought him. A laptop that Chief INSISTED that he wasn’t allowed to have because he has this thing about computers being in the kids bedrooms until their 16.

Too late though.. because Chief finds out AFTER she already bought it and Bubba has it in his hands.

Personally, I would have taken it right off him but in a lot of ways :: more then he really should be as a parent :: Chief is a pussy when it comes to the boys.

I don’t say anything. By this point.. I’m just over the whole deal and I’m not going to give my input or advice or concerns or anything.

By Friday, I’m so sick that I’m trying to buy a ticket online to cross the River Styx and am gluing half dollar pieces to my own eyelids that the kids have to get to school on their own.

I wound up not seeing Spaz until last night because he spends the weekend at the crack den.

Whatever.. I can’t hold it against the kids for wanting to be with someone who is showering him with everything he wants :: like a fireproof house safe with a digital lock.. don’t ask :: After all, he’s only 11.

But this morning… this morning.. things really set in cement.

Every Friday, Spaz receives a behavior report. He’s in Emotional Support classes at school :: read that as Special Ed for kids with a lot of baggage :: and the report has to be signed  by a parent and returned the following Monday.

Anything that has to do with the kids and school is my responsibility. I’m more then willing to put the time and effort into what they need because Chief is at the shop.

So this morning when I was putting Spaz’s lunch in his schoolbag, guess what I find? The behavior report that the crack whore signed and included a note about how SHE was to be contacted regarding anything to do with Spaz’s education.. behavior or needs.

SHE being the parent that has ABSOLUTELY NO LEGAL RIGHTS OR CUSTODY since she was arrested for her 4th DUI on the day she was suppose to appear in court for her 3rd DUI.

And of course, she signed it MRS :: complete with an underline ::

So.. am I the only one who read that as a “FUCK YOU”?

So right then and there I was done trudging the uphill battle for these kids and their future. If she wants to be mother of the year.. then have at it. She can do the homework.. talk to the teachers.. volunteer at the school.. do all the things that she will surely tire of after the novelty wears off or when it begins to infringe on the things she wants to do OR when she just gets tired of doing it.

I emailed Spaz’ teacher who is VERY AWARE of the situation :: she was his teacher when the crack whore went to jail :: and basically told her that even though it isn’t my intent to put her in the middle, she needed to be aware of any situation that was going to cause Spaz to act out in class. I explained why I was removing myself and that she was going to be dealing with the crack whore. I explained that it may be conceived as throwing Spaz under the bus but it has to be the way it’s going to be.

On the drive into school, I explained to Spaz that he can’t just let the crack whore sign his paper.. that his father has to see it too. He said that he forgot and then I went on to explain to him that he can go over to her crack den after school to do his homework and that she will be the one that deals with his school and stuff.

He asked why and I explained to him that even though I never talked bad about her to him, she seems to have issues with me. He said he knew.. that she tells him things. I told him that he didn’t need to either listen to them or feel as though he has to choose.. that I am here for him no matter what but that right now, she wants to control certain things and I’m tired of the constant tug of war with her. And maybe.. maybe.. this time she’ll step up to the plate and be the mother she wants to believe that she is.

I didn’t say it to him in those words but you get the drift.

So I drop him off and head to the shop .. kind of emotional because I know that this is NOT in the kids best interest but wrestling with the fact that I’m the only one who seems to have their best interest at heart and tell Chief about what happened.

His face gets all twisted and torqued and he tells me that I should still do what I want to do and I tell him that I can’t. It’s self preservation time and if truth be told.. THIS is probably the reason why all his other relationships’ failed. He said something about whatever not being a competition and I told him that I’m not the one competing for anything.. that the crack whore is. All in all, he told me that I was doing the right thing because the kids are at the age that their going to have to start learning for themselves the kind of person she is the hard way and all we :: read ME :: can do is be there to pick up the pieces.. again.

Not two hours went by when the shop phone rang and it was Spaz’ teacher calling for Chief. Spaz was acting out.. refusing to do his work.. saying that he hated everyone.. and generally being uncontrollable.

She put Spaz on the phone and Chief told him in no uncertain terms that he was not going to tolerate this behavior anymore and that he was grounded.. no computer.. no video games.. etc.

I felt horrible because it felt like I set him up. By having the conversation with him like I did in the morning, it affected him in a bad way and because he does have issues and baggage I feel like it was my fault.

I told Chief about it and he said that he knew this was going to happen.. but didn’t think it would happen THIS soon. I told him that I didn’t say anything to Spaz that was negative and in fact, made it seem like a positive thing that the crack whore wanted to be more involved in his school.

Chief said it wasn’t me.. he knew that SHE being involved again was going to cause a problem.. because it ALWAYS causes a problem and because she’s so fucking confrontational about everything and doesn’t want to do what’s best for the kids, the suffer for it.

Seriously… you want to buy them things? Great.. but shouldn’t you ask what they need? Shouldn’t you confer with their father about purchases like a laptop for a 14 year old? What are you really teaching them? That rules don’t count? That you don’t have to work for anything as long as there is someone who will get it for you? :: Well.. that is how SHE lives after all :: Isn’t it ever parents goal, biological or step, to have your children succeed and surpass you in life?

I have to be honest.. I didn’t feel that bad about it after.

I know.. deep in my heart.. that everything I do for the kids is for their best interest and future. I know that it also puts the burden on me to always do the right thing when no one else it. But for now.. and maybe this is a risk that is going to burn me in the ass.. I think the BEST thing for them is let everything blow up around them so that Chief will see that the way he does things isn’t always the best for them.

We’ll see..

But as of right now, Spaz should have been home from school. He isn’t which means because of his punishment, he is probably at the crack whore’s. Which means.. that he is telling her about our conversation this morning and Chief should be getting a phone call… right.. about… now.

I’ll keep you posted.