By Amy Lynette Simmans
The article shared below is another beautiful perspective of mothers now homeschooling. Yes, I too cried in the beginning because I thought I was failing at it and failing them.I was overwhelmed with millions of resources. I was overwhelmed with other homeschool mom’s opinions, I was overwhelmed because my kids are Autistic so may of the easier homescooler sites where everything is worked out for you with reports and all were all rejected by my children (learned that is why schools are forcing those programs- diagnostics and reporting). I was overwhelmed with the research and courses of information on approaches to learning and methods and Curriculum. I was financially crippled by the purchases in trial and error and for that resent that it was so costly for us while everyone else is getting it free. I was overwhelmed because I had NO ONE who understood what special education entails and what resource is for accomodations and modifications for FOUR kids at once. If the schools cannot afford it- how can I? I was overwhelmed with the pain and trauma of a school system who allowed my children to suffer. I was overwhelmed with having to put together full learning plans for all kids at once. And I was overwhelmed with the fact not one person in our lives knew or understood what we were going through. I was overwhelmed because the school had misrepresented all of my school kids Education be it over or under represented which meant everything I tried to continue was either too easy or too difficult so I had to find their real place and close the gaps myself. The school had minimal unambitious goals for one child and refused to do more while another child they had severely over represented and yet one more is twice exceptional so now I had to learn to provide a gifted Education. The Education my twice exceptionally gifted child deserves we will never afford to do him justice unless some very generous people find him and scholarship or apprentice him. He is twelve, a mathematical genius with 99% IQ and is into math beyond college level, quantum physics and coding. He already understands code in a way I never thought possible. The numbers in code have value and meaning to him and tell a story. He is twelve. How do I look at the schools joke of a packet when he is breezing through every assignment I give him. I have every aspect of Autism and co-morbids in this home. No one can afford this. Also, we were moving in the middle of it. This was Jan 2019.
Not now like everyone else – last year.
I cried. So did they.
And as my Autism goes I melted down with all of this at once. We are still very hurt from it. We are hurt there was no justice. I prayed hard not understanding why God allowed this to happen to every one of my children and why He gave us no justice. I cried. I cried in a complete meltdown in the bathroom and immediately called my psychologist and set up an appointment. I had not had a meltdown in very many years. All of this in a few short months.
But, guess what?
In just a few short months we navigated it. Every Homeschool parent will tell you , “Take 6 months to DESCHOOL yourself”. Do not bring home what public school gives you. Teach them what you want and when you want. If your kid is crying, do not push that program, site, Curriculum, whatever. To learn, a child MUST be engaged. To engage them you must find what Sparks a twinkle in their eye. Every child can learn to divide but some learn with Legos, some by cooking and dividing ingredients , some with websites, some standing in the store and working out how many M & M’s each person gets if you buy this many bags, and then probability of color if you remove a color. The list goes on. Scope and sequence are even your choice. You do NOT have to teach about the Holocaust if you think it will shred their tender heart and maybe wait til next year.
Fact: your child can learn EVERYTHING a child learns between kindergarten and 5th grade in 3 months at the age of twelve. But they cannot do it at all under stress.
Fact: some people pass kindergarten through 12th grade and drop out and take a G.E.D test.
Fact: Your child does not have to be a mathematical Ace in the hole if all they want to do is be an artist and your mathematical genius does not have to paint with you if he only wants to be an engineer- as long as he knows where to learn it in case he ever decides to!
What is your job as a parent? To help your child discover their strengths, expose them to the world and all its charms, develop their passions and encourage them through it all.
Sitting there forcing the public school Curriculum because it is how the school needs to run diagnostics, benchmark and measure your child for performance ratings while your child cries or you cry is not your job.
You will cry. In case I have never told anyone that before I DID CRY. The weight I carried was much more, I could not just try it and stick mine back in public school if I failed – I was their last chance – the school already failed them all. But just know that all homeschool mom’s need support. We all communicate and support each other in finding the resources the parent wants for their child. No judgement. We meet each other where we are at and help life each other up. You have a gift right now, the whole world can identify with you right now. Everyone is going through it.
When life is throwing something at us we cannot schedule I shave down the heavy conceptual learning-and do unit studies or move to something more Calming, Creative, Cathartic and Connective to immediate circumstances which can even become a Coping mechanism. Teachers could refer to this as moving from the 5 E’s to the 5 C’s…my 5 C’s. Life learning is a big part of this. But I will actually wrought curriculum to speak to our life moments. Life is chaos and unstable right now. This is a brilliant time for keyboarding/typing because it is kind of mindless muscle memory and does not require too much mental processing (even my 7 year old asked and is doing it and I did not plan for that). Also a brilliant time to enjoy music and talk about Mozart or let them pick music and find out what they love while baking. Let them pick recipes. I created an Allrecipes account for my son so he can send me what he wants me to get. We are reading literature together on Amazon Kindles and making connotations in notes for vocabulary words under electric blankets with snacks. I am trying to create an environment which will foster a love for literature with a story which meets them where they are at in themes of maturity and an epic economy windfall. It could very well be another Great Depression and I want them to comprehend that. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls is an excellent story to share right now for reading aloud together. I have the study.com assignments to accompany the story. I will not make it too heavy; just expose and introduce, no pressure. Baking, math, English, grammar, vocabulary, coming of age and rites of passage, economics, escape through nature, together and learning to type for the next season when I begin incorporating research papers, composition and the reward of ability to code better for one. Also, because of Quarantine we can do walks, proper weight-lifting, running, biking and calisthenics. Typing also teaches spelling. We are painting, gardening, typing, baking exercise and reading. We have so much more to do but I will not push it right now.
Life moves in seasons and phases. No one expects your child to be ready to graduate. You do not have to prove your ability or your child’s ability to anyone. Do not care about that. This is about your child making a way through life and find his or her place in the world and you actually have time for that – a month ago millions of kids finished high school with no idea of those things because the school does not help them do that.
I cried too. In less than a year we have already moved ABOVE AND BEYOND public school. This took more than a month. You cannot fail your child – and even if you could fail them you cannot fail them in a month.
But, do not miss that your school has been pushing much much more on your children on a daily basis and has completely failed the nation’s last 15 years of graduates with common core, removing the arts, and 64% of the nation’s 8th graders cannot read beyond a 3rd grade level. So, they already failed them, not you. If you are going to cry over anything – cry for that. Cry for what your child has been forced to do on a daily basis. Cry for that. You can do this. By the fall I already started having a feel for what I wanted to do. In six months time, you can LOVE life and your child love calling you their teacher. You will feel a whole new sense of what parenting can be and you will be awakened to how you were deprived of this.
Chin up – you got this. It may sound cliche but sincerely, if we can, you can.
Inspired by Article below: