our journey to homeschooling part 4
You can find the first three parts of our journey to homeschooling here: part one, part two, part three.
Homeschooling had always been an idea we volleyed because it was an option and it sounded like something I would enjoy doing. My reservations about homeschooling included the fear that my children would not be "socialized" well and that we would end up disconnected, isolated and quite frankly we would be that "weird family." I'd reach a point of being ready to commit to it, but my fears would ultimately win out and I'd rattle off a list of reasons why being in a school was actually best. Our treating home-school as optional was about to change. Despite all the indicators that our son had a learning disability, we started him back to school in the fall for his first grade year. He spent the first nine weeks of first grade in a school, but it only took two of those weeks to see that he would not thrive and in fact we were sinking quickly. At the end of his first nine weeks and with a note home from his teacher detailing the multiple areas that he was failing in, we withdrew our son and took him home. Home-school was no longer an idea to play with or dream about maybe doing some day, it was now a necessity.
And do it begins
In the weeks leading up to withdrawing our son I began doing a lot of research on curriculum etc. I had explored some options over the years but now my efforts needed to be targeted to work with a little boy who was still not reading and my knowledge of how to help him was limited. During this same time period I became aware of the Scottish Rites expertise in diagnosing dyslexia and reached out to get an appointment for him to be evaluated. This waiting period would turn out to be one year but he was eventually diagnosed as having "profound delays" in his reading as a consequence of dyslexia but it didn't stop there. In the end my son was diagnosed with dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia and with impaired short term memory (it's like living with Dori!). I cried A LOT of tears when his results were given to me. I still find myself hiding in my bathroom shedding tears on some days, but I will tell you this, he is reading and almost on grade level. So we made the right decision by bringing him home despite feeling like I have no idea what I'm doing on some days,
Our decision to home-school was a slow and sometimes agonizing decision. My fears and insecurities about being a little counter culture kept me from making a decision for too long. I look back now and realize how silly it was to allow my fears to have such a grip on me, but isn't that how it goes with fear? I love homeschooling and it has proven to be a huge gift in our lives. Yes, we lost some friendships, he rarely sees any of the kids from his old classroom. Yes, I lost contact with a lot of their moms. But we gained friends who also home-school, who all battle learning disabilities, who have faced similar challenges and decisions so you can imagine the support we are for one another. We meet with our homeschooling friends routinely for learning activities and for play dates. My goal with my blog is to share some of the resources we have tried and continued to use. This is what helped me when I began, reading what other parents are using with their children and hearing about their experiences. Homeschooling is hard, I won't tell you otherwise, but it has been the single most rewarding experience I have had outside of raising a family.