Monday, May 30, 2011

School Schmool

Was shopping with Aiden today, saw this bear and cracked up!
I started this blog, initially, partly as a way to keep record of the one year I planned on homeschooling.  I have come to learn that many people enter homeschooling as some sort of temporary arrangement, but quickly fall into its charm and many merits.  I no longer preface my homeschooling choice with a disclaimer of its intended duration.  I no longer feel the need to seperate myself from whom I had imagined most homeschooling moms to be. (Sorry ladies....) 

I am more comfortable in our choice, mainly because I have been blessed enough to have access to a local support group, filled with lovely women, and their beautiful children.  Finding others who share your normal makes all the difference.  A few months ago, I started arranging monthly meetings for those of us within the group who are homeschooling children with special needs.  This has been a great source of encouragement and support to me, like I have learned so often since Aiden's diagnosis, none of us are alone in our challenges.  For some reason, that is one lesson I keep on learning.

Knowing that this is the right educational choice for us doesn't mean it's an easy one.  There have been days that have been just plain tortorous.  Seriously, painful.  But there have also been many, many days that have been highly successful.  Sometimes I look through all of the work we have accomplished, and I can't help but feel proud.  Today Aiden started work on a "Cleaning up on Grade One" booklet I made him, with relish he dipped into his janitorial themed math problems.  Where else could he recieve such individualized, motivational materials?  He carefully drew and recorded the changes in his caterpillars, anxiously awaiting the formation of a chrysalis... engaged, excited learning.  In a regular classroom, he would be too distracted and distressed to benefit from such a science project.

I've had a paradigm shift with my attitude towards homeschooling.  Initially it was begun out of necessity, and our sheer terror of facing the public school system.  Now, I see its discovery as yet one more gift discovered by our family since we started calling Aiden's autism by name.

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