Tag Archives: homeschooling

Aspie plus One

005I was pretty sure that bringing home my spitfire of a girl, my second oldest, would result in epic battles between she and my Aspie. She is delightfully strong-minded and I don’t mind telling you she’s adept at making many people cry. Her skills would do well in a future career of law, but she is setting her mind to be a Veterinarian.  She can be her own boss and Top Dog at the same time!

I have had a few friends and community contacts ask why we took her out of school to home school her. After all, she does just fine in the public system. I have many reasons, but I’ll just share a few.

1. My Aspie needed a sibling at home. He is definitely not going back to school and he needed a pal. Out of all of my kids, historically he and she do not mix well. This is going to be an opportunity to build their friendship and give company for each other during the times we are not actively doing “schoolwork”. It has worked out VERY well (so far) as I see them working out the differences many times. Sometimes I have to step in and help them work out squabbles, but mostly they are working it out and dare I say…having fun! There have been a couple of times where he’s begged “Can you please send her back…PLEASE!”

2. She is on the brightly intelligent spectrum and I foresee no problems getting her going on some projects that would help push her even further, intellectually and personally. I fear she has not been pushed to excellence and I can work one on one with her in areas that need improvement, like handwriting and printing. I know how much more she can do, even if she’s pulling easy 90’s. She likes a challenge and I’m good with being the one who is challenging her to reach farther.

3. Spiritually, she has so much potential and in school she was becoming discouraged with the amount of non spiritual content. She felt like she was spiritually alone in the school and that there were very few people that she could relate to in that way. That is not to say that she did not have some good friends at the school. She values those relationships greatly. We still make sure she can have opportunities to see those friends from time to time. Homeschooling allows us the time to play/interact with some peers who do love God and are now a part of her social group. We have also been able to take many teachable moments to discuss in-depth what the Bible says about certain topics.

There are a few more reasons I took her out. I was nervous about having her home. She and I can have some epic battles of the wills but I have not found that to be the case at all recently. In fact, she seems so much more relaxed and willing to back down. She has been the loving, caring, helpful and respectful child I knew that she could be.

The last six years, with my kids gradually going into the public school, I found myself more and more having to manage stress and fatigue fall-out from school. I would have to work out situations that were almost daily in occurrence. After school activities included De-escalating behaviors, instead of doing their homework and playing. Everyone felt deregulated.

This year, it seems like (for the most part) my two at home stay regulated and happy or at least relaxed when the other two come home. The other two are thrilled with school this year and so I think we are a happier and calmer family all around. There are still days, but I remember months of days where I would be talking all four children down from their proverbial ledges (simultaneously) from the time they arrived home until the time they would (finally) fall asleep. Homework often got pushed aside while we tried to manage life and behaviors.

I am so very thankful for the direction and support I have received from friends who homeschool. Also, I appreciate the folks who don’t understand why we do what we are doing, yet still accept that we are doing the best we know how for our family. We’ve got a pretty great community here.

Taking him out of school

Today we made the decision to pull our boy from school.

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It was a big decision but one that has been coming for a long, long time.

Before he even entered school we had entertained thoughts that his differences may make him a target for other children who would not be understanding of his differences. In other words, we pretty much knew bullying could be an issue for him and put him into public school hoping that “the establishment” could help other kids become more compassionate and keep those kids accountable for their actions. We knew that it could be a learning and strengthening thing in is life. That is to a certain point. We know that adversity brings great strength or great chaos into a person’s character. We were committed to helping him be the person of strength. We’re not through on this one, but we see great strides.

That being said, we didn’t know that he would face such drama! His last five years have been filled with situations that have not been something any child should go through. I can’t go through it all as I love the kids that have done and said things to him, and I’m not going to release information that isn’t mine to share. I see their potential as much as I see my son’s. There are some amazing kids in that class but they are also a tough bunch. They are with each other from Kindergarten until they graduate, most of them. It’s a small town. It goes down like that.

When things took a dramatic turn last week in an incident that involved some of his closest friends, who described it as “it’s just a game”….that’s when we knew that our boy had to be kept safe. When close friends, whom he is fiercely loyal to, then betrayed that trust and became a part of the group targeting him, well, the last bell had been rung.

I need to keep my child safe. He doesn’t get all the situations going on. He can’t keep track of all the innuendo and whether they are mocking him this time or not, whether that friend is telling me to do something I shouldn’t? He has too many messages coming at him that are NOT healthy and have scarred his sensitive heart.

HE has been AMAZING in his ability to get through the difficult and sometimes excruciating  “incidents” he’s had to endure. He’s the kind of guy who hates conflict (doesn’t know why they start) and having to work it out. If it is “worked out” (according to the system in place) then he thinks  all is good and everything is right again. When best friends turned on him he didn’t know what to think. He just wanted to be a part of the group and the group excluded him, on many occasions. So much confusion right now.  We needed to take him out of it. Thankfully, he left on a good  note thinking all was well and friends were friends. I am thankful that the powers that be have been committed to try and mend situations as best they can. Some of it is out of their hands and some of it is interpretation of the “law”.

Sure it’s going to be a process. I mean, Me? Teaching Math??? Scary thought. But you know, I am ready to do anything my kids need to help them to be beacons of light in this world. I am prepared to do what it takes to parent each of my children in the ways they need me to. I want my kids to be Brave kids who can tackle what the world throws at them. I believe my son has learned a bit of what the world can throw at him and in the end faced it well. He’s grown so much!

I am proud of him and see him thriving with a homeschooling atmosphere. We can adapt our lives and his education to fit him. I can give him one on one personal attention and introduce him to a different social group. One that I can keep track of personally.

He is going to ROCK it!

But first he’s grieving a change and he’s grieving his change in friendships. Aspies don’t love change and this is a change he is not looking forward to. Eventually, it will just become what we do and everything will get easier and we’ll have a routine/schedule that he’ll get into.

I am so proud of the things I see developing in his life and look forward to bringing the tools to further develop his potential personally.