difficult child 1's crazy school schedule....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    is about to get crazier.

    Got an email from his orchestra teacher last night. She's wanting to eliminate the alternating-Monday-afterschool-rehearsals and just have the kids meet EARLIER each morning. So instead of starting at 6:50am on M,T,Th, she's proposing they start at 6:25am! So THAT means I'd be getting up at 4:45am to give difficult child 1 his Focalin, which I do so that it's working by the time I give him his Daytrana patch an hour later because the patch takes a couple hours to kick in, by which time the Focalin is wearing off. WHY does our life have to be SO. DARN. COMPLICATED?!!!

    I replied to the teacher that while I appreciate the hard work she's put into working on the schedule, and while I don't understand why it's such an atypical schedule in the first place, asking us to come in even earlier is a HUGE challenge because of difficult child 1's medication issues. We'll do whatever's decided, but I had to let her know how it's going to affect us. :faint:
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Holy cow! Gotta tell you, you're a better woman than I am! My brain doesn't start working until at least 6:30 am, and even later if I'm not teaching that day.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ok...I just gotta ask...what moron thinks HS kids are going to do well at 6:25 am? There are very few people in the world who actually do well at that hour. Tony actually can function at that time because he has been doing it for decades now but I cant. Actually Cory can do it too if he is going to work but school was another story.

    This is just nuts! What about staying after school?
  4. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member


    Teenagers just don't get up that early. Factor in the difficult child-ness and medications, and well.... :faint: Both easy child and difficult child have always been early risers (compared to their friends), but there's no way I could get either one of them to be at school at 6:25. They're up at that hour, but not ready to learn!

    Good luck and hugs!
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    This is just plain crazy. It is setting your son up to fail. There is a substantial body of research that says that teens should start LATER in the day, not earlier. This has even been published in magazines like Time. (If it wasn't actually Time it was US News and World Report or another such magazine.) The teacher may not be aware of it, but I would made sure she was BEFORE she made such an idiot move in my child's life. At the point she did that I would leave it up to my son to accept this or be taken out of orchestra or that part of orchestra.

    It is NOT worth sabotaging his entire school year to have this class. JUST in my opinion, of course.
  6. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Piglet handles morning orchestra without a problem.

    We modified morning orchestra in Tigger's IEP to contain only in-school sectionals and excuse him from morning orchestra and all concerts.

    Morning orchestra is cruel and unusual punishment to many children.
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I agree with all of you. It is crazy, and kids this age DO need more sleep!

    The teacher replied this morning with an explanation and an offer for difficult child 1. The explanation for the weird hours is essentially a funding and enrollment issue. When they originally calculated their enrollment numbers for this new high school, they did not think they would get very many students, nor did they think it would be a balanced group in terms of instrumentation. They were going to just have the band or choir director lead the group since it was going to be so small, and they were afraid it would just dissolve since most kids only want a period 1-6 academic schedule (I guess meaning they don't want to come in for a 0 period). And they were going to have our kids go over to another high school in the afternoons twice a month so they could play with a larger group that was better balanced. Plus, they weren't allowed any new hires to cover for orchestra because of our lovely state budget issues. They called in this teacher to help with the group, but she also teaches at a middle school and another high school in our district, so her time is compromised as well.

    Now that they see they have a full complement of instruments, going to the other high school twice a month is not required, but they still have to make up the time somehow and still make it work with this one teacher they have available to them. Thus the extended class time in the morning.

    The option that is being offered to difficult child 1 is that he will be allowed to come in "late" at 6:50 instead of 6:25 and he'd be given an automatic excused medical tardy. He would still have to make up the time, either by going to the afternoon rehearsal at the other school or through independent practice at home.

    He really wants to be in the orchestra, so as of today, dropping it is not an option for him. We need to talk about this today and make a decision. I guess the excused tardy is a reasonable option. I just don't know how that looks on a transcript for college, though...
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It sounds like they are trying to make the best of the situation. The first couple of years at a newly opened school can be a bit crazy.

    Since he wants to do orchestra I would let him choose between the options. You might try putting his focalin dose next to his bed, or toothbrush, or whatever. That way he could have the alarm set for the early medication time, get up, take it, and let you sleep a bit. they do have super-loud alarm clocks now if he needs it.

    I am not 100% sure but I really doubt colleges would even notice the absences. My high school transcript did not even have the tardies and absences on it. It didn't even have the comments that teachers tell you will "be in your permanent record". Mine were not anything even remotely bad. Some were really good. But they didn't even show up. transcripts may have changed, but I would not get too hyped up over the transcript thing.

    I hope he makes a wise choice and enjoys the year!
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Thanks, Susie. I got up at 5:15 and gave him the medications, then tried to go back to sleep myself, but that's tough for me to do once I physically get out of bed. I really didn't sleep.

    Then he could barely get up at 6am when I really woke him. His alarm IS loud (it starts playing music that gets progressively louder), but he just turns it off and goes right back to sleep. We may need to try the pills-on-the-nightstand and monitor whether he actually takes them when the alarm first goes off. I can try that tomorrow.

    But there is just no way on earth he can get up to make the 6:25 start time. He didn't even get out of the shower until 6:20 -- and I pointed out to him that he's got to move faster. He made a comment that he didn't think he could do the earlier time either (at first he didn't want any special treatment and wanted to just do the earlier time). He wasn't ready to go until 6:40 and husband had to take him. Our goal is for him to either walk or ride his bike this year and get himself there since it's only about 1.5 miles away.

    Well, one thing I have to look forward to is when easy child finally gets to this point. She is incredibly self-sufficient. I guess that's my payback for raising the difficult child's!
  10. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    He has impressed me! I don't think at 15 I would have even tried to make a 6:25am start (and I was a easy child!!!).