Dh and I tried to encourage her, spoke kind words of affirmation to her, assured her that these jittery feelings are a normal response when encountering something new, different. Still, she didn't seem convinced, but she wanted to try.
She did okay until mid-morning when, in her geography class, the teacher called on her to read aloud. She told me that it all went downhill from there. She tried to describe to me what she felt... "My voice was trembling, I could barely speak above a whisper, my heart was pounding and I couldn't hear anything except a loud roaring sound in my ears. I thought I was about to faint."
I've been there and done that! I have a real fear of speaking and/or reading aloud in front of others. In the days preceeding the start of school, I tried to discuss some of the things that she could expect that would be different from what she is used to, having been home-schooled.
She told me that in her Algebra class, the teacher covered the material so quickly she couldn't keep up. In the rest of her classes, she was so afraid that she would be called on to read aloud again. Needless to say, she spent much time in the bathroom, she couldn't eat her lunch and her stomach was upset and in pain all day. All in all, a miserable first day of school for my dd.
Now, for most people, I am sure this is just a normal part of life; but for dd, this is not good. She is the nervous, worrying sort (in a serious way)... so much so that it has caused a great deal of irritation in her stomach lining, which causes much pain for her. She has been on medication for this for about a year now, but after this day we felt that another visit to the doctor was in order.
He changed some of her medicines, suggested that we try altering (again) her diet, and try eliminating some of the sources of stress so that her stomach can heal itself. Dh made a trip to the school to speak to the teachers, and all are more than happy to help in whatever way they can (specifically not having her read aloud or speak in front of the class, for now). The algebra teacher already stays after school to help students, so dd makes a quick stop by her class if she had trouble with the lesson that day.
We are doing what we can to help her, most importantly we are lifting her up in prayer to our heavenly Father, and pointing her to Him in her time of need. I don't really understand why a child so young can spend so much time worrying about all the what-ifs in life, and stressing over even the smallest of concerns. She has been this way as long as I can remember. Yes, she knows what God says in His Word about worrying. We have talked to her about it; she has read it for herself. Applying what she knows... that's a different story.
We let her know that the door will always be open to come back to home-schooling. She has chosen to stay and finish the first semester, and then we will re-evaluate and decide what is best. She said that each day of last week seemed a little better than the first. She did comment that it doesn't take all day to finish the school work and the school day doesn't really need to be that long (lol). And that if she didn't love to participate in sports so much, coming back home would be a no-brainer!
She is enjoying cheerleading tremendously, and I think that is helping alot. On Friday, we went to the school to watch the pep rally. She seemed a little nervous to me, but she did great! And I think that being on the cheer squad and being in front of the crowd will help her to overcome her shyness and hopefully the nervousness. I have a feeling that when this semester comes to an end, she is going to be well-adjusted to life at school.