I’ve mentioned here before that we homeschool. Oldest went to public school through the 4th grade, Son2 through 2nd grade and Son3 through K, Sons 4 and 5 have never attended public school. I always wanted to homeschool, stud had to be convinced.
I remember the first time I heard about homeschooling, I thought it was strange. After all, why would you keep your child at home instead of sending him off to school. Then I had kids and realized I didn’t want to send them to be taught by someone who wasn’t me for 8 hours a day.
Son2 came to me one day during the summer between 2nd and 3rd grade and asked to be homeschooled. He has never said why, just that he didn’t want to go back to school. We had already been discussing keeping Son3 at home, K was not a good experience for him and we thought he would do better at home.
My kids are an odd bunch I guess. I have two that are above average, one average and two that have multiple learning disabilities. I treated each of my pregnancies the same, doing the same things, eating the same foods, yet all of my children are so different.
This year, youngest graduates from high school. My last one. And tonight for the first time I question whether homeschooling was the right thing for him. Well, I don’t question it, a family member raised some concerns.
Youngest is one of the ones who has several learning disabilities. We have never been able to link them to any event or specific thing, its just how his brain functions.
He was 12 years old before he could read. He could sound words out, he knew the sounds, the blends, he knew how to spell words, but when looking at them in black and white, he couldn’t tell you what they were. Until that point, his strong point was math.
Then literally one morning he got up and he could read. It clicked. That part of his brain decided to spark. But when it did, the math left. It just kind of vanished.
He used to know his multiplication tables, fractions, decimals, division, he could do it all. Now, he uses a calculator for most every day tasks.
He’s been tested, yearly, some years more than once. He is not “special” as we would call it today. They really haven’t been able to find a reason for it. Just one day when one part clicked on, the other part clicked off. I hope that doesn’t happen again. He can use a calculator to figure mathematical problems, but there is no calculator to read for him.
Someone mentioned earlier that in their opinion he would have been better off in public school, to use the resources they have for special education. At first I let this get to me. I let it eat at me, that I had done my son a disservice by not putting him in public school.
Then I remembered.
I remembered all the specialists, occupational therapists, the world renown pediatric education specialists, pediatric education psychologist, and educational therapists that saw him yearly. All of which told me to teach him how to sign his name and fill out a job application, and a calculator and be happy. All of which told me he would probably never read a book. All of which told me he was better off at home than in a public school setting.
Guess what, he can read. He has read several books. He does have a brain in his head. It does work. He just needs a calculator to do a math equation.
We adapted over the years to whatever worked for him at the time. For many years we did his work orally, I asked him the question, he answered it. I read to him. I wrote the answers down for him. When he started high school, I started transitioning him to writing his own answers. That first year, he tested horribly in grammar and writing. His spelling was atrocious, seems as if it left when the reading began. But this past year, his grammar, writing and spelling all made it to grade level. He tested above grade level in a few areas, and below grade level in one, math computation.
So my son, who the specialist told me to give up on, that he would never be up to expectation, has met and in some cases exceeded expectation.
He take something that is broken, and figure out what the issue is, how to fix it then do it. Need something put together? He can look at the picture and put it together with no instructions. Its his thing. His specialty. He is amazing with animals. They love him. So do old people and kids. He has a generous heart, and a kind soul. Girls love him. So do I.
So no, I didn’t do him a disservice by keeping him home. I allowed him to grow in to himself, at his own pace. Who cares if he uses a calculator? I don’t.