Seriously though, people, I have been homeschooling for about seven years. From before my first child was born, my husband and I planned on homeschooling our children "differently." You see, the educational system was not a good fit at all for Michael and he knew we could do better. I was sympathetic to this because, although I did well in a traditional classroom setting, I knew many people who were very intelligent, but did not do well there. I also had been a high school and junior high math teacher and had seen first-hand that my most brilliant students did not always make the highest grades and some of my "low" students would have probably done fine if they hadn't been damaged by years of being taught contrary to their style of learning.
--I am in real danger of digressing here, but I am going to reign myself in and not go into the eight hundred other thoughts I have on this topic.--
It turns out that I was super-fortunate to be able to stay home with my kiddos after my husband died so I have had the opportunity to live our dream. I'll save what it looks like to homeschool "differently" at our house for another post, but suffice it to say that my research and theories and God's guidance are paying off and The Philosopher and Little Pud are thriving in our unorthodox style.
Enter Super-T. Of course I planned to homeschool him as well. He will learn like the other children, just a bit more slowly...right? Well, come to find out, teaching Super-T is a whole 'nuther ball of wax. (Where did I get that expression? Is it a real cliche' or did I make it up?) I kept Super-T home for nearly two years. The first few months were all about bonding and learning to live in our family and also contained The Great Language Explosion (where Super-T went from having a vocabulary of about 25 words he said/signed to having around 100 words.) We then moved on to reading, but still the focus was really on becoming a family and dealing with some sensory issues. What I found out is that for Super-T learning does not come as automatically as it did for my other children. He is happy to just zone out and/or listen to music. He also can be quite resistant to learning even though he is very smart and learns super-fast when it is something that interests him.
After praying about it, I finally knew it was the right time to put Super-T in school. I never thought I'd have a child in public school. Ever. It has been a whole new world of IEP's and assessments. And do you know what? I have had to eat humble pie. Super-T is THRIVING! He has now been in school for eight weeks. He is currently going half days, which is great because it lets me still work with him in the afternoons without him being exhausted. He loves school and his teacher told me he is like a sponge, learning so quickly. And I am seeing the difference in what we do at home.
I have always said that schooling is a decision that each family needs to prayerfully and informedly make for themselves. Now I am living that belief. Homeschooling is not for every parent or every child or for all time. Neither is public school or Christian school. Each child, each parent, and each situation is unique. I know without a doubt that I am doing right by all three of my kiddos and my horizons have been widened. For that I am thankful.
P.S. For those of you who have asked. Our first Widow's Might meeting went great! Thank you for your prayers and ideas for the future of this ministry!
P.P.S. I think I may have coined a word: informedly...is this a real word?