Many Hats Mommy

Finding Grace & Choosing Gratitude

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My Homeschool Story

9 Comments

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.

See the sunglasses? Sensory issues caused him to wear sunglasses constantly, sometimes even inside.

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!

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9 thoughts on “My Homeschool Story

  1. I’v had the blessed privillage of home schooling for going on 9 years. I have a 14 year old, 8,5,&3 year old (one that’s Aspie) . Although its been a challenging road, it has been absolutely well worth it. I myself am on the spectrum and went to 15 different schools, was in RSP, and speech classes. I have many good and bad experiences ( mostly bad) from school. I’ll share one. In high school 12th grade…because I was several grades below (actually elementary). I couldn’t pass my proficiency test. So they gave me a tutor. I held the pencil and bubbled in all the answers from the tutor. So I passed into society with all my disabilities. People still get mad at me because I get freaked out at the ATMs or because I have trouble spelling or comprehending. But I’m perfectly fine with all that. I have had to ignore what others may think. Now with my oldest. He is college age in every subject. My two youngest children are also advanced. My middle boy is JUST LIKE I WAS. So the most neatest thing about home schooling, is that we are learning together, one on one (which is the way I learn best). I’m getting the education through my children that I never received. I will say that my RSP teachers made a positive impact on my education in public school. They tried so hard to encourage the kids to learn. But when they would put me in a class with 30 kids, I would get detention every day for staring out the window. :( So my challenge with my kids, is to remember how I was treated good or bad. That’s a snippet of my story. I do have a friend (actually several friends) that have their kids (autistic) in public school who are doing great. I usually go to them for advice on a lot of things. We are all supporting each other in different ways. Thank you for letting me share after reading your testimony MannyHats mom!

  2. Thanks for sharing your story. I would love that magazine. I am finishing my first week of homeschool. I can see the wonderful thing it can be and my boys like it for the most part, but it is infinitely harder than I imagined. I am not a teacher, I’m a lawyer by schooling. I think we will find a groove, but my husband is already threatening to send them back to public school and questioning what we are doing. Today was a great day, but yesterday, not so much! I will give it a go and pray for the best.

  3. Dr. J sounds so much like my D. I have thought that for a while, but this story sounds so much like ours. I wish I had done this when he was Dr. J’s age. Now, hubby is afraid for us to pull him from public school and it is a nightmare! :( Oh yeah and I’d love to win since I’m HS the girls. :)

  4. I was a reluctant homeschooler, too. ;0)

    My husband was all for it, but I wasn’t convinced until we discovered that traditional school was a poor fit for my oldest son. As it turns out, each of my 4 children is such a unique individual and I can’t see them flourishing quite as much in a school environment as they do at home, either. But I had to be convinced.

    Thank you for sharing your story, and I’d love to win a subscription to the mag.

  5. So much of this hits home for my situation. The site is such a good resource to have. I hope to learn to utilize it more.. Adjusting to a whole new lifestyle is quite an undertaking!!! But I know it will be worth it.

  6. I’d love to win!!! Thanks!

  7. What a great story, Jenny! I’d love to hear more of those details! Mine is a high functioning autistic son, first diagnosed Asperger’s then it was rediagnosed Autism. But I can relate to so much of this. Thanks for sharing!!

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