They also experience what we call the Trap Door Effect. Some days it seems like a trap door in their brain has opened and quite a bit has fallen out. What they knew two days ago is now just gone. But tomorrow it will mysteriously be back. It's fruitless to fight the trap door effect and it's unwise to give a child responsibility who is experiencing the effect.
I spend a significant amount of mental energy each week trying to figure out a better way to school my adoptees. Did I not explain the formula well? Should I have explained it a different way? Maybe a visual aid would have helped them understand better?
I've had to get creative. Neither of my school-age adoptees are reading fluently. Maya, who has been reading for 3 years now, made it up to a 2nd grade reading level and then progress just stopped. For a full year she didn't get any faster or any more fluent. Still sounding out words. I kept thinking it would click and she'd take off, but it didn't and she hasn't. So, I decided to go back to phonics instruction.
I've learned a lot in the process.
- I've learned that progress takes a lot longer with children whose brains were previously malnourished.
- I've learned to lower my expectations so that I'm not eternally frustrated.
- I've learned I have to rely on the Lord daily for patience and grace.
- I've learned that audio book classics are a great way to build vocabulary and improve grammar skills for a non-reader.
- I've learned that talking to people who haven't adopted about these issues doesn't help and almost always makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong.
- I've learned that talking to other adoptive parents about these issues helps a lot and always makes me relax and realize I'm not alone.
- I've learned that character and godliness should be my top priorities of homeschooling. Academics aren't everything.