One of the main reasons I left the previous Arabic Centre was because of the amount of stress I felt while studying there. I believed they had good teachers and curriculum, even if it was hard. The exams were also very hard, and the oral exams were worth equal weight to the written. I often failed my orals and excelled in the written. I understood a lot but I have a very hard time speaking Arabic. Even if I might know the answer, the amount of anxiety I feel when put on the spot is too powerful for me. I had numerous conversations there about this aspect, and a teacher said to me, basically, this is the way it is. You have to do it this way. And I am sorry, but I really disagree. Sure, if I want to study THERE, at a place unwilling to acknowledge my difficulties, I would have to do it that way. But I do not believe that there is only one way to stay on any path. I believe we are all different, with unique capabilities, and in my opinion, if someone shows the ability, but has almost a physical or emotional or mental block, then I believe learning centres have to find a way to help the student, not force them to quit and feel like a failure.
Thankfully, I am stronger now than I used to be. I didn’t feel like a failure, but I wonder how many children in the educational system do because of their unique issues? I personally had a hard time in school growing up, and always felt uncomfortable around people. I still do. I don’t like how many children are bullied today; how many school shootings I hear about; how many people drop out, thinking they are stupid. Personally, I think there is a HUGE problem in the educational system.
It is proven that children learn in different ways. I watched my son count a math problem visually without any visual aids. It was fascinating. I believe he is intelligent, but I KNOW if I send him to school, I will be setting him up for failure. If you think there is a problem in the educational system in the West, one can only imagine the problems here in Egypt! I worked in a private school for 6 months, and immediately felt that I could do a better job “winging it” then these supposed educators could. I know that sounds arrogant, and there ARE good teachers here, but unfortunately employed by a faulty system. I also believe that people get too wrapped up in numbers, in pleasing others, in the business of it all, that we have lost the main purpose of the system: the nurture our children’s minds.
I admit, I am not always the most patient person, and my son does push my buttons. Actually, the sounds of the children fighting always set me off. I don’t actually know how I am going to home school them at times, and whatever it looks like we achieve here, is a much prettier picture than what occurs. However, I do know I am not forcing my children into pegs which they weren’t meant to fit. Any of them, but especially my son. No one will understand him. I will not send him anywhere that will add to his difficulties.
I do worry about his “socialization”, especially having a disorder that makes socializing complicated. But, sending his little innocent self to a place where he will already stand out, is not going to socialize him, it will only add to his insecurities. And this is coming from someone who was tortured for years, by bullies. I really do not know how we are all going to fare, but as a Mother, my job is to PROTECT him first. Most of what I have learned that is valuable in life, was not learned in school anyhow. What I learned there, most assuredly led to more psychological issues than it was worth.
I am at a loss really, how much intolerance there is amongst humans. It is scary to me, how much we hurt and torture each other. How little we try to understand, and accommodate. How judgmental we are.
Even recently, dealing with these “doctors”, and spending way too much of my time discussing why my son is learning classical Arabic. Of course *if* he learned Arabic at all it should be the local dialect, not the classical Arabic that he would need to watch the news or read books, or listen to Quran. They just could NOT comprehend why a child would learn that. Actually, the centre also believes in mainstreaming all HFA children which also blows me away. I do understand, homeschooling is not even legal for Egyptians. But, educators and doctors should really be up to speed on how popular homeschooling is in Western countries these days. I read SO MANY horror stories about what typical and challenged children have to face from students and staff in school, that it literally blows my mind. And never mind that, if you do not agree fine, I understand how the culture is here. But please do not make me feel that whatever I am doing out of love and concern for my children, is WRONG simply because you cannot understand it.
People fking bug me. I have literally not slept in a week because of all these issues, and this place should be a support for me, especially considering how much we are paying for it. I am of course, on the look out for other places, but have enrolled him for group therapy in the meantime, because frankly there is not much here, and I do believe they can help because they did pick up on small things with him that I worried others might overlook, even though the time he spent with them was not hugely significant. So, I am hoping that they can aid him to feeling more comfortable in dealing with others and sorting through his emotions, and I really just want to learn more and have the experience to compare with other places. I do not want to judge THEM so harshly either, however tempted I am…
I have prayed and prayed and cried and cried… and can only try my very best, even if it never ever seems like it is enough. Giving up, giving in, this will never be an option.