That is the question that I am mulling over currently as I look to the new school year. I have one child that has not 'got it' educationally. She doesn't read yet. She doesn't write well. Her math skills are mediocre. So, do I put her to work on an I Pad? I just don't know. Most of the kids that come out of foster care have been surrounded by the television and other screens. This is not always the case but often. The I Pad has a lot to offer. The technology is great but my concern is that unless I 'unplug' her- she won't get it. I realize that I could potentially be sparking a huge debate here. I am not… [more]
It is almost time to begin thinking about school again. The shelves of the local stores are filling up with crayons, paper and pencils. The parental itch to have the routine of the fall and winter months is starting to move. I see the look in people's eyes when they are shopping. The suiting up is about to start. I have to be honest, I love school. I love to read. My favorite thing to do is shop for dictionaries. So imagine how difficult it was for me when my foster children came and didn't have the same love that I possessed. In fact, many of them hated school and all that it involved. I have found that many children struggle in… [more]
I heard the saddest news yesterday when I was talking with a local third grade school teacher. She said that out of the 21 kids that she had in her class- 10 of them read at a first grade level. I really had to pity her. She is required to teach these children third grade material when over half of her class is not able to functionally read. This is not good. The area that she teaches is a lower income area. There are many children who are in and out of foster care in the town. Even with all of those reasons, my heart was still affected. These kids deserve better. That is where the foster families that are dedicated come… [more]
Lately the news media here in central Texas has been focusing on the issue of kids aging out of foster care. One statistic is that while foster (or former foster) children in Texas get a free college education in any state school, only 3% take advantage of that opportunity. More pressing, one out of 4 kids who age out of foster care are homeless within one year. That is a shocking statistic. The news media foists the blame squarely on Child Protective Services or uncaring foster parents. Reporters blame the state for not making sure these kids get access to transitional programs and ultimately succeed. It is a little less straightforward than that. Most of these reports are failing to look at… [more]
Every summer, the lazy days seem to fly by and before we know it- the start of school approaches. For many parents, this is a good thing. They are ready to get themselves and their children 'back on schedule.' Yet, for foster children this is often a hard time of year. Many of them struggle in school- they do not enjoy the idea of sitting in a classroom for hours every day. They meet the concept of school with negative behaviors. How can a parent make this time easier for the child who struggles? Of greatest importance is establishing the importance of school attendance and performance. Each child must work through the issue of not wanting to participate in learning activities after a… [more]
"...Life is Good."
These words have been popularized by a clothing line that seeks to show that doing what you love and with the people you care about, makes life good. I love it.
I looked up the original quote and was quite delighted with what I found.
"So long as the memory of certain beloved friends live in my heart,I shall say that life is good." Helen Keller
We live in a world that is based on relationship. Everywhere we go, we are involved with other people. We live amongst people. We work amongst people. People come into our lives. People leave our lives. Yet every time we come into contact with people, we learn… [more]
Most foster children struggle with school because of a lack of involvement by their parents which makes school very difficult. Foster children can come into care at 9 years old and have no idea how to read or know their phonic sounds. Foster children can also close down on you rather quickly when you try to work with them on educational needs. I have found that they are more responsive when you can make it fun for them. This also can help them not feel so bad about being delayed or behind their peers or siblings. A favorite learning game we do is like a guessing game. We play it with animals, movies, and cartoons but you can use anything. Someone thinks of an animal and everyone else… [more]
Continued....... In their lives they have not had an adult to provide for them or care for them. It is very possible when an adult had control over them the control was used to abuse, misuse, and hurt them. So as you can imagine allowing an adult to have control of them can be very difficult. You will have to have enough patience and understanding for yourself and the foster child. In the beginning the child will not believe what you say or what you are trying to do for them. I had a three year old little boy that was the parenting figure and provider for his two year old sister. He would try to take a food and give it to his sister. He would even take… [more]
Continued..... This is where having your own children model how to be a friend and how to act like a child. You may have to become creative and setup situations that a foster child can be successful in. The foster child will need guidance and help through this process. They need to be successful at this so this why you may need to set up a positive experience for the foster child. Foster children have a very difficult time fitting in and being accepted. I have found that activities away from school seem easy to set up for a positive experience for the child and it works better for us. They seem more out to let you have input and some control. I talk to the adult in charge and… [more]
Sadly to say that most foster children do not have the experience of a childhood or being a child. They have spent their lives caring for siblings and themselves. At times even caring for their bio parents that are unable to care for themselves due to drugs and alcohol. They have the responsibility that most adults have, providing food, cleaning the house, and finding a way to meet their needs along with their siblings needs. It is not uncommon to see three or four- year olds come into foster care still trying to care for younger siblings. The role of caretaker is not something they know how to give up or want to give up easily. This is something that will take time and patience on your part… [more]