Lately (as I am sure you've noticed from my constant whining), we have been dissatisfied with how things are going. I love the job but it takes way more time than I was led to believe and interferes with how we like to homeschool. I love to homeschool, but it makes working difficult and none of the really fun stuff is getting done like it used to. I love my house but since September, it looks like a tornado hit it.
We have been talking about this a lot this week, my husband and I, because it's the first time we've had to just...be.....in a while. And we have concluded that despite all the challenges, homeschooling is absolutely the best thing for our family.
My oldest was twelve when we pulled him out. He won't like me sharing a lot of the history here, but to summarize, he has some learning challenges including ADHD and an unspecified time delay in comprehension. He also still can not read an analog clock to save his life. And, as we all know, schoolchildren take their cues from their teachers - and the teachers did not like him. You can't blame them for finding him difficult. I do blame them for verbally abusing him, singling him out, and I blame the admin staff who bullied him so unmercifully when he turned to them for help that he threatened to commit suicide...more than once.
We began homeschooling in grade seven, within a month of finding out that it was legal in Quebec (A HUGE thank you to my sister in law!). We spent a year fighting the school board who threatened us with everything from Youth Protection to lawsuits to jail time. And yet, despite that, we persevered and we saw wonderful changes in him. Academic, yes, but at that point we were more concerned with his well-being. And what we saw was a child who no longer looked over his shoulder constantly as he scuttled down the street. A child who was sleeping all night, peacefully, for the first time since kindergarten. A child who had interests again. A child who, within months, had gone from 4'11 and 70 lbs to over six feet and more than 100lbs heavier, after years of being too stressed to keep food down. And he would walk alone to the store. Asked to join rock climbing, soccer, and other classes. Would speak up and expect that people would listen. We were convinced. People say that he is young for his age in some ways. I think it's wonderful because he got back some of the childlike pleasure he lost in the school years....let him enjoy it.
We pulled M out of daycare at that point. She is the classic description now of "11 going on 30" and was the same at that age. She was 4 and teaching herself multi-digit multiplication. The daycare was teaching them number recognition from 1 to 10. Every kid is different and D would have been fine with that, but M was itching for more. Within a couple of years we discovered her vision problems and dyslexia. All I could think was "thank goodness we're homeschooling". Her bff has almost exactly the same challenges. The bff is a bright, articulate girl. In school she is bullied by students and teachers alike. She is in the "slow learners" class. She has been held back despite the fact that she is capable of great things. M would have been there with her.
So we are making changes in other areas of our life. I will cut down on my hours at work, even though it means some major reshuffling of budgetary priorities. I have prepared some fun things to do with M as well as the academics she has been working on independently. And the house? Well, it can wait.
Happy New Year to everyone, and hoping that you see the great things happening in your own homeschool and your own children....despite the challenges. You are doing a wonderful job. Trust me.