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Archive for February, 2010

“Never re-evaluate in February. You’ll end up doing one of two things: buying a bunch of stuff that you’ll never use because it will ‘fix’ the doldrums you are in or you’ll send them to school. Just keep plugging away until the sun comes out again in late March.”

Sometimes, people give you advice and you think, “Yeah, I appreciate that, but I don’t think it’ll work for me.” Then again, sometimes the advice strikes such a resounding gong inside your head, you wonder that you still have teeth left. This advice, given to me several years ago by a seasoned home educating mama, was like the latter. I was sure I would need a filling or two replaced.

This is one of those school years where this particular piece of advice is singing strongly to me. We are operating in stress mode this year. Mr. Nutt is still out of work and we are living still on the re-re-re-extended unemployment. We had another baby (I know, I wasn’t blogging when all that came about, so you all missed it. I’m sorry). F8 is a sweetheart, but, as all babies do who come during the school year, he threw us off schedule. We started attending a co-op that is 20 miles away (30 minutes) and while we are enjoying a lot of it, the stress of getting all of us there by 8:30 am is a bit much. To top it all off, I’ve put F2 on an ADHD drug in an attempt to help him out. I fought it for a long time, but I finally decided to try it. I’m not sure yet what the net results will be, because we just started them a month or so ago, but I’m praying for a little improvement.

On that last note, I’ll get back to the re-evaluation idea. As F2’s doctor and I were discussing the options that I have available to me, the idea of public school was brought up. Now, don’t jump the gun on me here and assume that the pediatrician is anti-homeschooling. He’s not and has admitted to me that no one can say that homeschooling doesn’t work…most of the time. However, some of the time, it doesn’t and we need to have our options open. Dr. is of the opinion that perhaps I’m too close to the situation and that by becoming “homework helper”, as opposed to “teacher”, I might be able to get a different perspective on F2’s abilities. He also thinks that F2’s difficulties are exacerbated in our family environment and that getting him into the school would allow him to find others that he fits in with.

That’s what the doc thinks and of all months to throw the public school option at me, he picks February. Sigh. As I left the office, after promising I would think about his advice, I repeated to myself – no eval, no eval, no eval. Because I’m tempted. It is February, after all. The idea that someone else could take on the hand-holding, the agonizing, the teeth-pulling work that is educating my son who is too normal to be special needs but not quite with-it enough to be normal is tempting.

But only for a moment. Okay. A couple of moments. The fact of the matter is, no one on this earth cares more about my son than I do. No one knows him as well. The teachers in the public school, bless their hearts, though they try their best, simply do not have the time to give to F2. God put F2 in this family and, in spite of our struggles, we are a loving, open, and gentle family. So much would be missed by sending any one of the Fruit to school, but especially F2. He adds much to our day: joy, friendship, and love, for sure, but also some things that we need to learn. The old joke says to never pray for patience, because God will send you trials to grow it. That is something that F2 brings to us, not trials, but patience fertilizers. The other Fruit learn to control their tempers and give unconditionally. They learn not to judge a person by their appearance. Most of all, we all learn every day to operate as a family, just like God made us to be.

Based on those facts, I’ve thought up some changes we need to make, both in the physical and in the emotional realms. I’m praying through all of that right now, but I am sure of one thing – F2 will not be attending public school any time soon. We have been called to homeschool all of our children and that is what we will do. Any other re-evaluations can wait until the sun comes out.

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