Let my teaching drop as the rain, My speech distill as the dew, As raindrops on the tender herb, And as showers on the grass.
Deut. 32:2

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Where have I been? (part 1)

I have been experiencing some major home educating reality checks for the past several months. Experienced some setbacks and disappointments as well as some blessings. I had to really go introspective as everything I have been doing was brought in to question, on a personal level.

Is home educating *really* the best educational choice? Is it the best educational choice for our family? Am I able to accomplish it well, with a baby in the house? Have I been taking it for granted? Have I compromised anywhere along the way at the expense of my children's academic success?

Deeper than all those questions, was facing the reality that my son has a learning disability. Learning disability. Disability.

He is doing great.  I know there are worse things many parents are contending with.  However, I am not other parents.  I am contending with *this*.  No one has children and prays for them to have a disability.  We don't even admit to gender preferences, we simply pray for good health. Right? Over all, we expect it.

I thought, at first, he must have a different learning style.  Then I figured he was going to be a late reader.  I did not expect that he would actually have a disability in his brain that would hinder his academic success.  Something I could not control or change.  I felt relieved by the idea at first. It explained alot.  You would think it would boost my confidence to know that I was not the cause of my son's academic struggles.  But then the self-doubt set in, naturally.

Was there some explanation? Was I not healthy enough during my pregnancy?  Did I not offer him the healthiest most nutritious foods during his formative years?  Was it the immunizations? He did have that 'reaction' once that the doc on call dismissed as 'normal', but my mother's intuition felt otherwise... Should I, could I, have recognized it sooner? Helped him sooner?

And then most of all: WHAT now? and always nagging in the back of my mind: Why?  I realized, minor issue or not, it is a loss I had to deal with, as a mother.  The loss of those ideals of normalhood we have for our children.  He no longer fits in that very narrow but much coveted 'box' of 'normal'.  Grief goes along with that.

He needs extra/special help.  Which he's getting and I am super grateful and thankful to God for that.  He put someone in our lives that has taken up this challenge when I did not even know where or how to begin.  He's showing so much improvement but he still has a long way to go.

Why did I ever buy into the notion that *I* would be *all* my children ever needed?  That *I* would be able to meet all their academic needs? I don't know why.  I realize though, that I could not handle this on my own.  Could I do it on my own--sure.  I believe that would have hindered his progress.  I had to admit that while I was focusing all my attention on trying to get him reading and figured out, my next in line was suffering and falling behind.

I have no doubt she will catch up quickly as there appears to be no learning obstacles for her.  She will probably surpass him if truth be told, and quickly.  The truth is, no man (or woman) is an island.  I don't think we were meant to take this all upon ourselves.  I forgot that main truth.

Home educating parents are *resourceful*.  We know how to find *resources* for our kiddos when they need them.  I don't play a musical instrument so I would never dream of trying to teach my child to play one either.  So why in the world would I expect myself to be able to over come this challenge that I had no experience with, on my own?

There is a very positive side to all of this too.  Our friend, who is tutoring him, encouraged me with these thoughts: she said she has worked with so many children, who by this age, have been so wounded.  They don't want to try anything new for fear or expectation of failure.  Our son, however, is not afraid.  He is willing to try new things and he works so hard.  She said we had done a good job of protecting his spirit.

I specefically attribute that to home educating.

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