I haven’t shared about the older kids for a while. It is tough to share stuff about them as they get older. I am more aware of how it will affect them and also, I have been really fortunate that we have had no real issues with either one of the teens. But this is something that needs to be share because it hasn’t always been easy.
If you are one of my older readers you will know Kiara’s school journey. It has not been an easy journey. We were really fortunate to find a school that understood her, her needs and her learning style and it took a while but they built her confidence, gave her the skills she needed to deal with her challenges.
It was not easy for me as a parent for a whole lot of reasons. I had to accept that she was never going to fit the cookie cutter mould that schools have set out. I also had no experience in how to help her, Cameron fits the cookie cutters and thrives in standard settings, I knew how to deal with that.
When you realise your child has a learning challenge it knocks the wind out of your sails a little. It is hard not to blame yourself or wonder if you could have done something differently, maybe you should have played more with or done more crafts or taken them to more moms and babes classes.
Our family as a whole is incredibly lucky to have the support we do of our extended family. My parents have been there for both Kiara and I and I think having my mom on our side while we navigated Kiara’s journey in the early days was what kept us all going.
When Kiara finished Grade 7 her school decided she was ready to move from the remedial stream to the main stream class. Obviously we were incredibly proud but also a little nervous. Would she cope? Would she go from the top of the class to the bottom? How would she cope emotionally?
Well, she proved us all (and herself) wrong. She thrived. She had found her wings and little did we know just how high she would fly. She had a great Grade 8 year and blew us all away with just how well she had done.
But this year, she used her wings and she flew, past everyone’s expectations.
During a cultural evening earlier this year, she had a room full of parents and learners spell bound. She had to talk about a topic that she had just been given, there were certain rules but she started speaking and the room went dead quiet. Everyone was captivated as her story unfolded. It was probably one of my proudest moments as parent. It was not only what she was saying and the fact that she was so easily able to hold the attention of a room full of people, it was the confidence with which she did it.
Last week she had prize giving and she was awarded the top achiever award in her grade.
In Grade 3 her teacher told us she thinks there is something wrong with her and we need to have her tested. Last week, 7 years later she won the top academic achiever in her grade.
A few years ago she could not spell properly and refused to read anything. Last week, she won the top academic achiever in her grade.
There was a time when I wasn’t sure that she would get a matric exemption, never mind a university entrance. While I am not sure she will actually go on to university, she is well on her way to qualifying.
There was a time I did not think we would get here but Kiara likes to do things her own way, in her own time and here we are and I could not be prouder!
Until you spread your wings, you’ll have no idea how far you can fly.