Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I wanted to homeschool so that Aiden could get the supports he needed. I wanted to homeschool so that I could teach him in the way that he'd learn best. I really feel that both of the goals are being met, and surpassed. But now I see how homeschooling affects families. I see families where siblings are growing up together, not seperated from each other all day long. And how learning isn't seperate from family life, but a natural flow, teaching your own child math and language arts is as natural as teaching them to say please and thank you. It just feels right.
I attended an autism support group last night, and the whole meeting was everyone talking about their school concerns. For us, sending our special needs children to school feels like throwing them out of an airplane without a parachute. And I'm not complaining about special service teachers here...remember, apart from this year, I am one. It's just that our kids need a lot of support, and it's not just how they learn, it's also how they cope with the obstacle course of transitions and sensory input of a school environment, I think for a lot of us, it's their anxiety. Autism is an anxiety disorder, and our kids are happiest when they feel secure.
They feel secure at home. I'm not suggesting our kids never leave the house, I work really hard at good socialization, and go, go, go a lot. But we have a home base, this is where we leave from and go back to. this is the sacred safe place. Is that so wrong?
Homeschooling is a valid, valuable option. It puts the focus on families, and it allows for truly individualized teaching. When done within a community it provides ample opportunities for socialization and friendships. I love it. I love doing it. I feel so good about being able to put my own experiences and knowledge to work for my own child. And something that I've heard several times now from parents who have switched to homeschooling, is that it takes the stress out of the children, and out of the entire family. Because when school isn't working out well for your child, it's not working out for anyone.