Saturday, April 10, 2010

The One where I get schooled...again

NERF Reactor GunImage via Wikipedia

Homeschooling can be a lot of fun. What? Stop laughing, no really. I mean, the times I lie awake at night worried that my son can't do Algebra and my daughter can't read well enough are just a million laughs. The stress and responsibility I feel when it seems the kids cannot function academically, socially or behaviorally the way I believe they should, well, it makes me want to drink. And I am not talking about Tang or Milk here, either. Send Mama a martini!

Often, though, when I feel like I have reached my limit…when I think I am doing my children a great disservice by schooling them at home and that they would be better off in a public school setting, with all of its weaknesses and the lack of placement for higher-functioning autism/Asperger's? Well,the kids go and make cognitive leaps, seemingly overnight. Almost like they have to prove me wrong. They show me that it isn't that bad, and that it always gets better. Or, you drink. Something the kids didn't show me. And just an aside, I talk about drinking, but do very little of it. It doesn't make a very good coping mechanism, to be honest. Karate works better. And yoga. And screaming. In the car, with the windows up. By myself. I tried it once with the kids in the car, and they flipped out. Thought I grew two heads. Note to self: save the theatrics for alone time, mama!

In any case, I have been laboring over my daughter's lack of reading fluency. This week, JBean started to read. And she did it the way her brother did…which is what I kept telling myself, even as I second-guessed her progress. "She will get there, and it will seem almost overnight." This is my wakeup mantra when I want to close the book on the whole homeschool experiment. One morning she woke up, wanted to read with me. I obliged. One hundred pages of Dick & Jane later? She is finally a reader, in her own mind. I knew she could read, but she didn't want to call herself a reader, she thought she wasn't "good enough." Yes, she read all of those pages in one morning, and was still rarin' to go when I called No Joy and begged for a break. My ears were tired!

This morning,needing an audience for her newest parlor trick, she waylaid Poppy, our pup, to show her what she had learned. And, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words:

So. I will keep homeschooling my children, because I believe that it works best for our family. They will continue to do outside activities and lessons and we will treasure this time together. They will grow and mature, and continue to trust themselves, as I try not to undermine that. And we will continue to love one another. That is, when we aren't wanting to hurl Nerf darts at one another. Although, now that I think about it...that could work. We'll just call it P.E. Kids need P.E. don't they? What did I do with that blasted Nerf gun?

T, who learns so much from homeschooling her children

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3 sent chocolate:

Spot said...

I talk about drinking but don't do it very often either. But's there if I need it, right? And try crying in the shower. Very effective.

I, also, had those days when I was convinced that I was ruining my children's lives and damaging their psyches with my homeschooling. Now that one has been done with school for a year, and the other finishes this spring and both start college in the fall, I'm pretty sure I did okay. Both will have finished high school a full year before their classmates. It gave my daughter a chance to take a year and travel and work full time and really know what she wanted out of life. I honestly believe homeschooling, especially children who think outside the box, is the best way to go. And I wouldn't trade the time we got to spend together for anything. I wouldn't want to miss those times when they really "got it" and I could see the learning click.

Keep on keepin' on!!

Tony Letts said...

They are obviously proud when they learn - that's the battle won!

Anonymous said...

Way to go JBean! I'm glad she is enjoying the Dick and Jane book. I think we gave it to you after the fire. There is something about the massive size that gets them to realize they can read. Beth

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