That Edgar Allan Poe was one messed up dude. Right? Poor guy.
Just one of the fun things I have had the opportunity to learn as a homeschooling mom. Of course, you might already know that, if you dig that sorta thing.
We are three years into this homeschool business. It is not for the faint of heart, I tell you. I have days where I think I must have lost my ever lovin’ mind to believe that I was capable of educating my child…during his high school years, no less! Sheesh!
Yeah, last train to crazy town! All aboooaaaard! Woo woooooooooo!
All joking aside, it has been an extremely rewarding experience so far. I have learned so much about myself and about my amazing son. And hey, I even understand Algebra this time around. Bonus!
I never EVER imagined myself as the homeschool-y type. Ne. Ver. You know, those hard core, skirt wearing, no hair cutting, no radio listening, living on some compound, having lots of kids homeschoolers. Yeah. I know, very judgmental, right? <shivers> But I am just being honest here. That was what I envisioned when I thought of homeschoolers. That was also back when I used to say, “I could NEVER homeschool my kids.” <cringe>
Basically, it used to be my opinion that it was fine for “those” people, but it was not for me. Hey, rock ON if you want to homeschool! But not me! It was also my opinion that homeschooled kids were poorly socialized and, hey, public school was fine for the Hubby and me, so why wouldn’t it be okay for my kids?
Well, public school was fine for me, and for the Hub. It was fine for my kids—both of them—for a while. In fact, it still seems to be working well for Emma. But, starting in 8th grade, it was not working for Jacob anymore.
In the fall of 8th grade, with high school looming, ever so hauntingly, in the near future, we were faced with the reality of our son being thrown into the lion’s den, which was our local high school. A den of nearly 3500 lions, to be more precise…3500 loud, squeal-y adolescents. You would barely be able to traverse the hallways through that sea of bodies! Forget about getting to your locker! One on one attention? Fuggeddaboudit!
I don’t care what it said in our IEP, I just wasn’t feeling it. And if you are a person with sensory issues, most predominantly noise-related sensory sensitivities (try saying THAT 10 times fast), a narrow hallway crammed to the gills with squeal-y teens is not your idea of a good time. Even after meeting with a representative of said high school at our IEP meeting, the Hub and I were in no way convinced that they could or would provide for Jacob’s unique situation.
Private school was not an option financially. And frankly, it would not have solved the most pressing challenge—Jacob’s difficulty in tolerating the noise level while managing his school work at the same time. So, after much prayer and consulting with other homeschoolers to find out what it was all about, it was decided.
Oh! God’s sense of humor is awesome, isn’t it? What we have here, my friends, is another example of why your mama always told you to “never say never.” Well, Justin Bieber says that too, but my mama said it before he did, so I’ll give her the credit, thank ya verra much.
It wasn’t long before I had a realization: I was wrong about homeschoolers. I mean, really wrong. Not everyone who homeschools does so for religious reasons, wears only skirts, and lives on a compound. In fact, I have yet to meet any homeschoolers who live on a compound. There are many people out there like us, who have concerns about their kids with special needs. And yes, there are some families out there who fit that “Duggar” vision—and who are very lovely people. I don’t want to disparage the Duggars in any way—I think we could probably all benefit from becoming a little more Duggar-ized, but I digress. All the homeschool families we have met are very regular folks (as regular as “regular” gets, anyway), who are as varied as their reasons for choosing home education for their families.
And then there is the “S” word—socialization. The question we homeschoolers can never escape. The myth about homeschooled kids lacking socialization is also busted. You could take a field trip every day if you wanted to. Our homeschool support group has something going on every day of the week: park gatherings, trips to museums, bonfires, bowling, paintball, educational co-ops, chess club, Lego club, Drama club, chorus. You can also participate in athletics, student council, band, prom, yearbook staff…the list could go on and on. Pretty much any activity that kids have available in public school, exists in the homeschool arena as well. In fact, I have decided that homeschoolers have quite the opposite problem of not getting enough socialization. The problem is fitting in all the SCHOOL around the socialization!
Crow is sometimes a pretty tasty treat, I would like to say. Everyone should have the opportunity to try it sometime.
We are certainly not your run-of-the-mill homeschoolers. With one foot in the public school world and the other in the home school world, we are not the norm. You think you get a weird look from folks when you tell them you homeschool; you really get the raised eyebrow when you tell them you have one at home and one in public school. Yeah, we are a conundrum. What else is new?
But, hey, it’s what works for our family. Who knew?