So now, the plan is out.
I have shared the news with my first graders, my students’ parents, and my colleagues that I am reducing my hours in order to focus on my own son’s needs. It feels as though a giant sloth has been pulled from my broken, tired back! The journey to this move was long and emotional; many of you have seen the reasons in my postings over the last couple of weeks.
BTW…my views per day have never been higher and I think it is because many of you are experiencing the same frustration or you are worried that when your child is old enough, you might need to borrow some of my very words! It felt really great saying “Dicktator” on my site and during that phone with school administration.
The interesting thing to me is the fiery response that this news, and articles that I posted leading up to this decision, has brought.
So far, it hasn’t come from family or friends. It hasn’t been the school community that I have been a part of for more than two decades.
It has been strangers.
I get it. When I open myself up to the blogosphere, I am inviting criticism. I welcome debates and if you knew me in real life, you would know that being part of my family requires good debating skills. What surprises me was the anger, the name calling, the jumping to huge conclusions about my family, my son and me.
My regular readers and virtual tribe, have been amazingly supportive and encouraging. They have shared resources and generously given of themselves to share where things went right or wrong in their own experiences. They understand that homeschooling wasn’t our first choice, but due to unforeseen circumstances, it has become the only choice for right now. As an elementary teacher myself, I appreciate and value public education…when done well.
I’m excited about having a bigger influence over how my son feels about himself and his day-to-day life.
I’m excited to have the opportunity to focus on the strengths and the interests instead of the struggles.
I’m excited that the tears and begging and feelings of dread have already started to subside; honestly, who wouldn’t be?!
Here is what I know for sure. The personal decisions that parents make about their children seem to strike a nerve with others. Maybe it is because we are all working so hard to do what we think is the right thing for our family, that we begin to question the choices that are different from ours? Maybe it is human nature to categorize things into “good” or “bad” piles. Maybe there is a part of the anger or name calling that is really inwardly directed because you wished you had done it differently. You regret not moving fast enough. Maybe?
No regrets here!
Wow! People have gotten angry and called you names? That’s just….wow…. When our kids struggle because they don’t fit into the system that they are supposed to fit into, there are lots of things we can do. And I know from having followed your blog that you did many, many things to try to help TBP make this work for him. A school and a family have to be willing to work together if changes are to be made, and when one party doesn’t even respond (as you experienced), then it’s time to take things into your own hand and do what you believe it best. It takes guts, which you clearly have, and it will take time to learn what works best for you and yours. In our case, even with a supportive and responsive school, we all agreed that what was best for my child was beyond what they could do. They supported the change we made with that child. But, there are parents who still don’t seem to “get” why we did what we did. No matter. It works for us. What have you taught your child? What have I taught mine? I’ve taught mine that not every situation is right for everybody. Some situations are unchangeable and there is nothing we can do but learn to live with them as best as we can. With other situations, we have more options (as we did with school). In those cases, we can seek out a situation that is better for all concerned. I don’t believe in sticking everything out no matter what. I believe in accepting what we cannot change and recognizing the situations where we can make change. And that is a great life skill to have. (Sorry for the novel, but I feel connected to your cause and have a lot of feelings about this). Best, Angie
No apologies necessary!! I appreciate the time it takes to leave such a thoughtful comment!
You have no idea how I needed your virtual hug at that moment!
You have my admiration and respect for having the guts to step out of the mold and do what you know to be best for your child. I know it’s not easy to do. Looking back over our childen’s school careers, there are times I wish we had acted with such boldness – times when we kept our mouths shut out of ear of being labelled “one of those parents” – as a fellow teacher, I know you know what I mean. It’s such a fine line to walk, and I think we made the wrong decision in keeping quiet more than once. I can’t wait to hear about the awesome things you’ll be doing with your son in this new phase of life and learning. -Amy
Thank you! I know exactly what you mean and I didn’t want that label either, really I didn’t!
There came a point where I feared for my child and his ability to know that we were on his side. Once it got serious, I couldn’t care about the label ;)Seriously, thank you!
Waving my pom-poms for you on the sidelines!!! Woohoo!!!
I am smiling and loving the Pom Pom action 🙂
That’s great that you have been getting the support you need.
Also, I am happy that you are able to adjust your schedule and that it has relieved a burden.
Anyway, I may have missed a post but are you leaving your son in school for part of the day? That’s what your post seems to imply.
Yes. Because I am only taking a reduced day, he will be there for part of the day. The reduced hours have helped with avoiding some of the biggest stresses.
That’s great. I am glad the adjustment is working.
Thank you-I hope it continues to help 🙂
Congratulations on making this decision, you are doing what’s best for your son and isn’t that what all of us want for our children. Can’t imagine anyone debating that goal
Thank you 🙂
If you don’t know me, or our ridiculously long journey with his school, you might think it was a hasty decision. It isn’t.
It wasn’t an easy decision, but I do think it was the right decision 🙂
Angry comments? Bah! Walk a mile in your shoes and then comment! Do they think we take the decision to homeschool lightly? We don’t. Usually it’s a last resort. Most times it turns out the be the BEST decision ever, but that’s just a bonus. I don’t know you, but I give you my BIG virtual support, hugs, and best wishes. You know what right for your son and you – and for right now, it’s the best decision you could have made 🙂
Thank you 🙂
That means a lot!
Good for you! As you son’s mother, you know what’s best for him and your family. You have shown a great amount of patience and open-mindedness towards towards the school system and I can’t help but admire you for that. I likely would have lost patience much more quickly. Though I am sad and angry that your son wasn’t able to find his place in the school system, I am very happy to hear that he will have a chance to develop to the best of his abilities with someone who understands him in a homeschooling setting. You go mama!
Thank you so much!
As a teacher mama myself, I fully expected that the very institution that I have loved would work for my own son. it doesn’t at least for now. I truly appreciate your support 🙂
This is our second year homeschooling. We started because we were told, by the teachers, that the school did not have the resources to properly challenge or accommodate our daughter, who was old enough to start Kindergarten. She’s now in first grade, working well above her grade level in all subjects. Our second started this year, too, and is also doing really well. Despite how they’re thriving, I bite my lip in dread, whenever homeschooling comes up. After seeing how well my girls are doing, we still have family and friends make rude and presumptuous comments. Strangers are even worse. It’s hard, but this works for our family, just like public school is what they feel works for theirs. Keep doing what you’re doing. There are days that are hard, but it is so very worth all of the struggles, as long as you stay committed and it continues to be in the best interest of your family… Something only you and your family can evaluate and know for sure.
Thank you! Thank you! It feels so good to get these messages of support when I am 99% sure but w/twinges of worry. I so appreciate it 🙂
Sending cyber hugs to you and your family. I so feel the trepidation that comes with this decision. I pulled my 9 yo from 4th grade and my 6 yo from 2nd grade and began homeschooling about 5 1/2 years ago. My oldest just started college last fall and my youngest is a senior in high school and will begin college next year. My point is that I struggled with the schools, too, for so long and when I finally just decided to let my kids learn at their pace, they both blossomed and grew in so many ways, not just academically. I, too, received the negative comments from friends, family, and strangers alike. Some positive, but mostly negative. However, the decision was right for our family and that’s what counts.
Plus, you will find that there are so many misconceptions about homeschooling. Because my kids had been in public schools, private schools and then finally, homeschooled, it seems that I was always having to defend my decision. I didn’t feel like it was a position as much as it was a lifestyle. Just don’t get drawn into this kind of a discussion. Because in the minds of the naysayers, you can’t win this argument. It was/is very disheartening.
Good luck. And post on your experience. We would love to hear how it has worked out.
Thank you! I appreciate the time it took for you to comment and the supportive words 🙂
I have just found your site, and I love it already! Your words are wise, and it is clear that you are doing a great job! We are homeschooling our 2e son (he’s almost 7), and it has been amazing that people think they are allowed to have an opinion on the choices you make so that your child can have the best life and learning experiences possible. I salute you and wish you nothing but the best! You just keep on keepin’ on!
Thank you so much! I am glad that you found me and like what I’m saying 🙂 I appreciate your comments and hope you visit again!