Why We Started Homeschooling

After our Healing Touch session, it occurred to me that I never really shared the reason why we homeschool. One thing I have learned in Al-Anon is that sharing your story, helps you to heal the wounds from it. Since our homeschool story is quite lengthy, I will share it in parts. This is the emotional part of Why our journey began.

Beth was being bullied by three typical boys, in her blended class, at our public school. At first we did not know the extent of the bullying. Thankfully, when we asked the school for assistance in helping her identify the correct emotions, and understand the difference between a friend and a bully (for lack of a better word), the response was unbelievable. The Director of Special Education cut off all our communication with the staff, and became VERY defensive. Her extreme overreaction, and attempt at “handling” us, was a HUGE red flag that there was much more to the story.

The director told us our daughter did not need to know what a bully was, because it could not happen at this age. She told us our daughter created issues where there were none; her examples only proved that she knew nothing about Autism and the literal thinker. She told us when we spent hours trying to console Beth during her meltdowns, we were telling her, that her issue was more important than it was. I could go on for pages, but I will spare you all the other inappropriate things this “professional” had to say, except this last one. Her ultimate solution to the problem was to teach Beth not to cry, so that the children with less control (aka the bullies) would not be as compelled to target her.

As I explained to the Director in our last communication, before we withdrew the girls, her solution did nothing to help our daughter, and only served to foster more bullies. To not reprimand the bullies, and teach them to behave with respect and kindness is wrong. To teach a victim to not cry, and just accept that they are less than their peers, is WRONG. Her way of “helping” special needs students, which is sadly the same almost everywhere in the USA, is one of the reasons so many of our children are abused and tortured every day at school.

Having taught preschool myself, I know this is the age that can set the tone for a child’s future. I was disappointed and outraged by the way this situation was handled. I was also horrified by how Anne was starting to behave, after only being in that school for a few months. She was becoming disrespectful and cruel. I knew exactly what was happening to Beth at school, because I was seeing it happen at home.

We knew our daughters deserved better, as a result we withdrew our children from the public school district, and began making plans to homeschool. The socialization the school had to offer, was nothing our children needed.

You may have caught the word thankfully above. It may be hard to believe, but we are thankful for this ugliness, because it led us to something wonderful. Also, please know that if it were not for Al-Anon, this story would be very different, and not in a good way.

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

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Serenity Spectrum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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Should Have Known

We had a really ROUGH day on Friday. Aside from Occupational Therapy for Anne, we ended up scrapping the entire school day. I suppose you could say we took an emergency institute day. 😉

Friday evening, as I listened to Beth struggling to breath normally, our rough day started to make sense. Whenever Beth is sick, she is “off” and VERY meltdown prone; because her sensory system is trying to deal with the illness, and it makes her self-regulation much more difficult. Excessive meltdowns are typically our first sign of illness, and always send me into high alert. My current cause of terror is the respiratory virus hitting the midwest.

At 5 years old, Beth has spent more time in the hospital than I have in my 38 years. Thankfully, I have learned to notice the signs and can usually catch the illnesses before we get to the hospital stage, but I am always preparing for our next trip to the ER. We are blessed to have found a good combination of supplements, which typically help her immune system stay strong. We have not had an illness related hospitalization in almost two years (knock on wood), and I pray that we can keep it that way.

Yesterday when she woke up, she told me her throat did not feel good. She kept clearing her throat and I could tell it was really bothering her. A few hours later, my throat felt like it was on fire and it hurt to swallow. Beth appears to have a much higher pain tolerance than I do, but if she was feeling half as horrible as I was, then I knew ibuprofen was not going to be enough. So off to Walmart I went to get us both some cold medicine.

Last night, I introduced her to my mom’s secret weapon for sore throats. I rubbed her neck in with vapor-rub and wrapped one of Henry’s socks around her neck before bed. I am close to 40yrs old, and still wear one my Dad’s socks with vicks every time I have a sore throat. We are both feeling much better today, but our socks are hanging in the bathroom waiting to be used again this evening.

Anne is also congested today, so I will be trying the magic sock with her. Hopefully she will think that “matching magic socks” are as cool as Beth thinks they are. Although, in all honesty, I doubt she will let me put it on and/or wear it for long.

While it is possible for all of us to have picked up a virus in our travels; I am hoping that since Beth and I seem to have recovered quickly, it is simply allergies and we will be healthy for all our outings this week. My girls LOVE to be out and about socializing with everyone; but I will not bring them out if they are ill, because we firmly believe in keeping our germs to ourselves. I suppose we will just have to see what tomorrow brings, and take it One Day At A Time.

 

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

 

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Serenity Spectrum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Socialization

It has only been six weeks since we made the decision to homeschool; however, I am already tired of the questions about Socialization. Truth be told, we are more social now, that we are not attending public school, because we have the flexibility to attend events that were never an option due to school hours.

Last night, Beth attended a “pajama story time” with Henry, which would not have been an option if she had to get up at 6:30am for school. This morning we went to a dance party, and will be starting a regular story time next week that will meet until Thanksgiving. These are just the activities at the library; we also have our classes (dance, swim and young athletes) with the Special Needs Recreation Association starting soon. Not to mention the Home-school Co-op we are joining.

All of the above activities are meant for the girls to interact with children in their age range; however, that is just a small part of socialization. We also go shopping, visit the library staff, walk to the post office, and are starting to take trips to places where we can spend time with older people.

One thing I see lacking in many children today is respect for their elders, which makes me sad. Each generation that came before us, has a unique perspective on life, that should be cherished.  I was an only child, who spent a lot of time with my elders. I used to think I missed out on childhood, but I realize now that I learned invaluable lessons about life and all its intricacies, from the older people I was blessed to hang out with.

Today, while shopping with my mother-in-law, we were complimented on how polite the girls were. Although they are young, they can carry on a conversation with employees at stores, restaurants, etc… They are also getting quite good at saying “excuse me” and “thank you” when they pass someone in the store. When we pay our bill, they say “thank you” and usually remember to say “have a nice day” without being reminded.

Perhaps, I will just print out cards that say:

Please do not worry about our socialization.  We teach them to be kind, compassionate, respectful members of society; simply by taking them out in public and acting the way we would like to be treated. We lead by example, and are proud of our children’s social skills with people of all ages.

 

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

 

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Serenity Spectrum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.