Monday, April 20, 2009

Why am I doing this home school thing?

This is a long post so you don't have to read it if you don't want to.

The reason is because I love my daughter. I had big plans for her to attend the most perfect little private school we could find. And she did...for 2 years. Kindergarten was great and first grade was very, very hard. It was hard for all of us in the family. It turned my sweet little girl into a ball of raging anxiety in just a few weeks. How do you not know that your child has a learning difference? The answer is sometimes you just don't. Sometimes you stick your head in the sand and sometimes your kid is a pretty good faker. In our case it was a little of both.

One month before Sydney was to start first grade, I had emergency surgery. The kind you hear about on ER where you are faced with dying. When I asked the doctor what are my options? He said "you will die". That is not what you want to hear when you think you probably have a really bad case of gas. This is a long story and I won't bore you with the details but it is important to my home schooling story. My daughter didn't react well to my surgery or the other 2 that followed. So when she started having reflux and biting her nails shortly after the beginning of school, I thought it was just nerves. She had also been having a lot of melt downs of the nuclear type. Her teacher wrote me a note and wanted to talk. She suspected Dyslexia and maybe ADD. Sydney was a model student and tried her absolute best. She never got in trouble in school and was always able to "keep it together". Once she got to the comfort of home, she would usually go ballistic...usually during homework time. She was not catching on to reading at all. Math was also a struggle. In March of 1st grade, we were faced with the fact that she could not return to that school. Most private Christian schools are not equipped to deal with Special Education. We were shattered and I was scheduled for more surgery in a couple of weeks to reverse the colostomy I had in July. At that time we didn't know what we would do or where we would go. We talked about special private schools and maybe even public school. We touched on home school but only briefly because I really didn't know that much about it. Turns out there are a lot of us.

The expensive private school that was an option for us was triple what we were paying in tuition and the public schools in our area are awful and I really didn't want her in Special Ed. Once my surgery was over I sought God's help in this area and "home school" kept popping into my mind over and over. That wasn't the answer I wanted. The answer that I wanted was to wake up and this was all a dream. I didn't and it wasn't. So through out my recovery and in between chapters of Lonesome Dove I researched and read and looked at all of the recommendations from the Learning Center of N. Texas where we had her tested. And I prayed some more. Within a couple of weeks our minds were made up that this was the right choice for us.

I was told over and over that the first year would be the hardest and it has. It has been a huge adjustment for all of us. Mostly for Sydney. We have had lots of ups and downs but mostly ups when I look at the big picture. I had more unexpected surgery in November for repairing some damage that I think I did at Six Flags (another long story). That was quite a set back but we keep trying and I found out that you can conduct school from a comfy king size bed, or the playroom floor or the dining room or even in the car. You see, if you are a mother, you are a teacher. Maybe someday I will write about how all of this causes childhood depression but not today.


  1. Great post! You definetely made the right decision for Sydney AND YOU!

  2. I am so glad that God directed you in this way - it certainly has been interesting and challenging in MANY ways as our little girls have worked out their friendship - and you have been there for me too!

    May blessings continue on your home education endeavors!