For those of you who have followed Giovanna’s story and progress, there have been some significant gains. She is reading! At least she is reading simple words and when she was tested she tested at the first grade level. However there are still some significant challenges.
I just completed her annual assessment/meeting with the teachers that work with her. They are pleased with her accomplishments, but for me it was more of a realization of how big the gap is between her age/grade which is 9/4th and where she landed when she was tested. She tests out at the first grade level for math, reading etc. While this is an improvement over where she has been, the gap is significant.
This means that there are some decisions looming. One thing that is certain is that none of us have figured out the key to unlocking her learning style. We have tried various systems and teaching methods, but so far nothing seems to click with her. The next step is to have a neruo psychology test which will help us determine how she processes information. Once we know that, it might be easier to decide how to teach so she can learn, retain and tell back the information. As it stands currently, we are not sure we are getting accurate information from the tests due to limited English and physical limitations.
There is a bright side to all of this testing – she tested out in the physical assessment ahead of her age! The PE instructor is also the coach of the Jr. High Physically Impaired (PI) softball team and is recruiting her to play on the team once she hits 7th grade! Giovanna would also like to try soccer!
The other issue that is looming is that according to the current school system, she has only one more year in the elementary school before she would be in Middle School. There is absolutely no way she will go into middle school. So on option would be to hold her back a year and keep her at the elementary school with the same team for 2 more years.
There are many options/decisions out there. The one thing that is clear is that I need to figure out how she processes and learns information. Then we can move on. The gap between where she is and where she should be needs closing. Easier said than done.
There are some things that are more important than academics. Things like – does she know and obey the Lord? Does she know how to respond in socially appropriate ways? Does she treat others with love and kindness? The purpose of learning to read is to read God’s word so that she can grow in her relationship with Him.
So while there have been gain made, there are still challenges. Pray for wisdom to unlock her learning style so that she can be taught in the best way for her to continue to learn and that God will be glorified in her life!