It’s been a while, hasn’t it? So much has happened since I randomly decided to start up this little blog, then randomly fell off the face of the blogging planet. What initially distracted me was the volume of research needed to select curriculum options we think will work for our little bug. Then “life” tossed us a curveball we could not ignore. While that event was a stressor for all of us, we’re starting to find our balance again, and started the whole homeschooling journey a bit earlier than planned.
We ultimately decided on a hodgepodge of resources, which goes fantastically with our hodgepodge schedule! We have a Time4learning account, which is excellent for our boy who loves his computer time, and a great supplement for all his courses to give him another format to see the material and more practice. We have Abeka for History and Arithmetic. R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey is his Science curriculum. I stumbled a bit finding a Language Arts resource I felt cozy delivering and that he would have a chance of absorbing, and ultimately decided on a mixture of Easy Grammar, Daily Grams, and The Critical Thinking Co. workbooks. For Health, PE, Art, and Music… Well, we’re still working on those. Once we get started, I imagine we’ll need to do some fine-tuning of these, but it is enough to get us started without overwhelming him or ourselves.
Our son’s unique needs make him easy meat for kids who need to knock others down to feel better about themselves, and while there were a handful of one-time pickers that listened to reason when they were called to carpet, there is one child that continued to be a problem. Unfortunately, one final incident forced our hands to no longer trust school administrators to ensure the safety of our boy when he was there. When my ten year old son came home crying one more afternoon, terrified and emotionally broken in a way I’ve never seen my boy break, we made the snap decision that we could not potentially put him in that situation one more day. At this point, the details are unimportant, but it was bad, and I pray no other parent has to see their child in that kind of emotional pain. Sadly, I know many will, because teaching tolerance with respect to individual differences and disabilities seems to fall off a lot of parents’ radar.
Since we are Alabama residents, we needed to find a church school to take him on such short notice with so little time left in the school year. We made many calls that night, knowing no one would answer the phone because it was after-hours. But one wonderful woman did. Calvary School, based in Madison, AL, has one more sweetpea on the enrollment books. Thank you, Carla! Her understanding and time helped us get the legal i’s dotted and t’s crossed so we can focus on helping Little B get on the right road again, educationally and emotionally.
Each day since “that event,” our sweet boy is returning to us. See, if left to his own devices, he’s a cheerful, silly boy! He does not understand negativity or meanness, and when faced with it, he shuts down, not just during the episode, but for days afterward. My angel is coming back to me, and while we have a huge undertaking ahead of us to balance work, his education, and house…seeing his smile again is all the motivation I need to move heaven and earth to make it happen. And part of his lessons will be learning how to manage negativity from others – much as we would love to shelter him forever and keep cruelty away, we will not always be around – but for now, we are enjoying the carefree sunshine.
The last lesson we’ve had recently is sorting out a schedule. Since my husband and I both work full-time outside the home, taking on homeschooling is an all new time-management challenge. We were already decent at teamwork to tackle housecleaning and cooking tasks to keep our home from looking like it was Ground Zero for an Apocalyptic event, and to make sure we did not “cater” with take-out meals. That teamwork distribution just needs a bit more refining to open time for evening and weekend lessons. We are distributing teaching of classes between the two of us based on our strengths and Little Bug’s preferences (Mommy is the reading and Grammar pal, while Daddy is who he goes to for Science help, for example)…all so we still have time for the fun stuff. And, to make sure we have time to get all the “need to know” stuff in, we are using year-round teaching to allow more time to fit all the lessons. While we do not begin major lessons for a few more weeks, I got approved as a standardized test deliverer through BJU, and this weekend, sat him down to do the Stanford 10 and OLSTAT testing so we have a better gauge of weak spots to focus, and make sure he is progressing. It was a good dry run! Time will test us on the rest.
Of course, there will be days where hubby or I get sick, or I have some business trips coming up, but year-round planning gives a bit of wiggle room for us to be flexible. I think that will be the biggest key for us, and something we will need to teach Little B: flexibility.
Well, that gets us caught up! During the next few weeks, we will begin lessons, so wish us luck. We are open to suggestions to make it a seamless transition!