Tuesday, July 11, 2006
The big question once more
My friend gave me some good advice many years ago which I still remember: "Don't make decisions during your weak times." I'm remembering that today (frankly, this month) as I stomp around cleaning, running (stomp-jogging:), contemplating, fretting. The whole issue of "Should I homeschool this year or not?" has crossed and recrossed and zizgazzed all over the vast spaces of my mind. I was relieved to see the same topic broached on a Homeschool online newsletter that I receive. Thank God, the homeschool community at large encounters The Decision as a common, real issue. At times, it's easy to believe that all homeschoolers are much better, and much more committed, and much more superior in so many ways than I am. They know the stakes; they clothe themselves with commitment; they are always prepared and happy. Always.
As some of you know, I began homeschooling Cody due to problems at public school. His Asperger Syndrome (high functioning autism) and adhd issues were quite disruptive. I consoled him daily after school for hours; I met with teachers and principals frequently; we tried medicine against my better judgment. He was physically sick; the learning specialist thought he needed to go see a counselor; Cody frequently wrote things on paper like "I hate myself; I am stupid and ugly." As a mother, I felt wrung out constantly trying to figure ways out to help him, being an advocate. Finally, after going to one more IEP (individualized education plan) meeting and hearing what was wrong with my son, I felt like it was time to focus on what is right about him. Lots of things. I pulled him out, and he became healthier, happier, and more mentally confident.
Wow, it's done me some good to even write that to recall the problems we had and why would I want to risk that again? Not to mention some other benefits of homeschooling we've had: the ability to travel when we want; the slowness of the morning and the stress-free evenings, which would normally be filled with homework; the sharing of learning; the jumping on the trampoline breaks; more frequent visits with grandparents, etc.
It's just sometimes I long for "normalcy" with him. Normal school, normal adaptations, normal mother and father attendance of normal events (like sports for instance). I would like to work and could've stayed in a public school teaching role without these concerns. To be honest, I still would like to work as crazy as that sounds. My whole view of Normal has got to be adjusted I've been realizing lately. With my daughter's unforeseen issues too, The Normal Child/Life might be a slippery eel that may not even exist.
Homeschooling. I shouldn't make the decision now. I should just remember why we're doing it and let it seep in and speak to me with reassurance. I know that Cody is not ready for public school again. I'm just a bit tired from constantly encouraging him, worrying for him, feeling generally inadequate, but at least I have the time and energy to do what I think is best to help him as a homeschool mother. For that, I'm grateful. Lord, help me to know and yield to your better purposes. Amen.
Posted by Fieldfleur at 10:50 AM