UPDATE: Congratulations to Lisa, the winner of the magazine subscription!
If you don’t know me, you may not know that I’m a former elementary classroom teacher. I started out teaching sixth grade in a local Christian school, then moved to third when that teacher got pregnant, and then over to fifth when another colleague became expecting. (In case you’re curious, fifth grade was my favorite!)
Even though I had a degree in education and acquired a graduate degree in children’s literature, I did not plan to homeschool my children. I expected they’d probably go to the Christian school where I formerly taught.
Enter Asperger’s syndrome.
Dr. J’s world turned upside down when he went to preschool. The short version is…he went to preschool to see if he would be able to cope, or if he would fall apart. He fell apart. It was the worst six or seven weeks of my life. For time’s sake we’ll skip the details. Let’s just say he became aggressive and angry, and the stress from preschool took its toll on the entire family.
We agonized over moving Dr. J to the developmental delay preschool room in our school district, but ultimately decided that was the way to go. The difference was immediate and amazing. (You can read about that here.) Dr. J made great progress in this classroom. So much so that he eventually passed his peers. I don’t mean that in a bragging way, just a fact of life. He started copying students and bringing home regressive behaviors. Even though he enjoyed school, every day for at least a half hour before he had to take the bus was horrible, trying to get him ready. Every day for at least an hour after he got home, I had to let him unwind. He’d worked so hard all day that he let go at home and sometimes took it out on others on the bus ride home or in our family, or just drove me crazy with sensory needs.
And there you have it. The short version of my homeschool story. It doesn’t include the tears, the meltdowns, the physical and emotional pain. I can’t even put all that in one post. This version doesn’t include the dragging of my feet–I didn’t WANT to homeschool!
But, it was a great decision. Dr. J’s behavior calmed down in a matter of months. Yes, at first we had some resistance because it was change. However, the beauty of homeschooling is that we can make it fit our life. Dr. J can practice social skills (and we DO!) at home in a safe environment and then use them outside in the real world when he’s ready. He can learn while taking jumping jack breaks or sitting on a therapy ball. We can work above grade level where he excels and below grade level where he doesn’t.
Are some days hard? OF COURSE! Are some days easier? Yes. Am I glad we made this decision? Yes.
This post is part of a blog hop for Home Educating Family’s review team! We’re celebrating Not-Back-to-School with posts on Fridays in September. Future posts will be about personalizing your school, teaching outside the curriculum box, and field trips. You can find more homeschool stories here.
PLUS, to help celebrate homeschooling, Home Educating Family has offered our readers some prizes! This week, one reader will win a one-year subscription to Home Educating Family Magazine. This quarterly magazine is packed with encouragement for all families, because they know all parents are educating their children! To enter, simply leave a comment like, “Please enter me!” or “I want to win!”. For additional entries, share this on your social media sites. You can share once per each day of the giveaway. You must leave a SEPARATE entry for each share. Contest starts today and ends Thursday at 5pm EST. Winner will be announced next Friday in the next blog hop post!
Due to international sweepstakes laws, this giveaway is for US entrants only. This giveaway is not attached to any social media site. Enjoy!