SD6 starts first grade in September but she's not willing to read or even try!
This summer has been a complete nightmare dealing with BM over school, daycare, therapist and extra circulars. DH and I became more and more involved in SD6's schooling and I guess you can say life in general when she started going to an actual school instead of the daycare where BM works. He argued with her about putting SD in a real school for 4K (which is like pre-Kindergarten) to no avail, as BM insisted the daycare program was great, blah, blah, blah. He never got any information or feedback from the daycare AT ALL and outside of BM's occasional complaint or request that DH pick SD6 up early since her behavior was out of hand that day, he was kept completely in the dark due to her employment there. Even now, after we've gone to the daycare, complained to the assistant director, the director, the district manager and made several calls to the Licensing Board that oversees the daycare, we STILL haven't gotten anywhere with them. Luckily SD6's kindergarten teacher and the school social worker thought it was important that DH knew what was going on and the more involved we became, the problems we discovered.
By February, SD6's behavior was still troublesome, her lack of sleep was becoming a real issue and she was falling farther behind academically due to her slow progress and lack of fundamentals starting out. We kept in constant contact with her teacher and had met with her on several occasions to work out ways to help SD. We also began taking her 2 nights per week instead of just one, which turned into her spending more and more time with us. The more I worked with SD, the more I realized not only was she pretty far behind, but it was obvious that BM never read to her, hadn't worked on the basics of letters and letter sounds, etc. and without having had that exposure or any time in a structured setting, she seemed almost incapable of sitting still and listening. What made it worse was she had almost no DESIRE to learn! BS14 was an early reader, I read to him all the time and he couldn't wait to learn to read himself. SD6's teacher had expressed many concerns over the year from SD6's behavior to her overall attitude about trying if she didn't immediately succeed and instead of having the mindset of a child who was going to be seven in just a few months, she acted more like a three to four year old.
Like everything else, BM dropped the ball on summer school and we picked it up, enrolling her by us after getting a letter from BM's school district that said SD wasn't enrolled with them. DH has fought with her all the way on summer school since BM has insisted that attending the daycare and taking their "phonics program" would be best. We got the information on it and even the word program is a stretch. It's 20 min of learning letters for children ages 3+! SD knows all of her letters and their sounds, she just has no desire to learn. She regularly says "I can't read" or "I don't want to read", "I hate reading" etc. Her writing skills are just as poor and it's another thing she doesn't want to practice. We have her all week because DH took his vacation time per the divorce decree just so SD could get another week of summer school in. The biggest problem is SD's ATTITUDE about learning. She actually told us out of the blue the other day that she'd rather be pretty and popular than to be smart, which is so crazy to me to even have thought about something like that, much less have that attitude which is just one of the many reasons we have her in therapy. She told her therapist that she's mean to the other kids at school and they won't hit her back because they're afraid of her. She's already gotten a bad reputation because of her behavior, she was made fun of because BM dressed her in ragged or ill fitting clothes and never brushed her hair and there were several times that she tried to talk to a classmate after school and the parents would literally pull their children away from her.
We're really worried about what's going to happen when she starts school again in September. Our court date is two weeks after school starts and I'm hoping that doesn't bite us in the butt when it comes to the change of placement but realistically, I'm pretty sure that she'll have problems right off the jump between the month of attending that damn daycare, not getting any structure or enough sleep at BM's and the fact that the other kids aren't likely to give her a fresh start. Once BM gets the court paperwork, she's not going to let DH have an hour more than the court order gives him, which not only sucks but it's going to hurt SD. I don't know if I can change SD's attitude about learning in the meantime but if anyone has any suggestions???