When my son reached the age of two and a half, I sent him to a full time daycare. A few weeks later, I was called in by his teacher to discuss some difficulties that she had with his behavior. As young and inexperienced parents we arrived to the meeting not realizing that this single meeting will turn out to be a part of our daily life routine, and will turn our daily life routine upside down. My son’s professional and experienced teacher explained to us that “your son is a challenging child who needs constant supervision”, but as his parents we hoped and expected that this is just a phase in his growth. We thought that our son will grow up and mature; however, soon enough we realized that this is not the case. As he was growing older so was his difficult and challenging behavior.
A major turning point came about when my son reached grade three. During the first semester we were called in for an urgent meeting by his principal and the social worker. At this particular meeting it was made very clear to us, as we were told “our school is not equipped to teach students with special needs. Hence, as his parents you have a week to get your son on the proper medication (Ritalin) if you would like him to continue learning in our establishment”. This ultimatum came out of the blue and stunned us to our very core. For the reminder of that academic year my son stopped going to school and started his independent learning at home with professional private teachers. The school staff at the Cheder supported our decision, supplied us with the academic material and even marked our son’s tests. Indeed that academic year my son graduated from his homeschooling with honors, B’H. Knowing the benefits of the Cheder and socializing, we did however; try every academic year to integrate our son into the Cheder system. Unfortunately this only started a vicious cycle. We signed a contract with the Cheder, our son returns to a half day at school for a period of time then he goes back to homeschooling, but then he wants to give it another try at the Cheder. He attends the Cheder for a short period but then it becomes too difficult. And so the cycle repeats itself: homeschooling, Cheder, homeschooling and so forth. This becomes a heavy burden and the challenges are getting harder and harder.
Our son is bright, successful, independent, happy, and is very capable individual, so what is the issue? What do we do? How can we help as parents?

Our Story Part One

Cheder Menahem Plus