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Lessons from my Homeschooler

Monday, July 27, 2020

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Last week my son Marcus celebrated his 7th birthday. 7th. It all happened in a blink of an eye I think. One Thursday morning I was surprised to find out Id be having him since he wasn't due for another month. The next thing I know here he is, a super lively boy with lots of things to say.


He did have an interesting first-grade, including the fact that he had to be homeschooled because I didn't feel that he was being supported at all in traditional school and of course, the first thing the staff wanted to do when one of their students are having problems was to blame the parents. 


Blame us for the long drive we put him through daily to go to school without understanding the whole family situation and why we opted to send him to school close to where we work- not close to where we live.


But lemme just get one thing straight. Marcus is an awesome and smart kid. Yes he is. All his life he had to fight all these silly diagnoses: e.g. at age 2 he was diagnosed with Severe Cognitive Delay because he didn't know 200 words and he didn't respond to the speech therapist when she called his name. First off lady, he didn't know you and you put these toys in front of him. Who do you think will he pay attention to? Who or what would be more interesting to him: a bunch of nice, brightly colored toys or a boring old lady attempting a conversation?

 

So they offered speech therapy (why not, it's free and covered by insurance) and he did  just for the hell of it (even though I know as a mom, that there’s nothing wrong with my son)and guess what? After 5 months he met his milestones and HAS NOT STOPPED TALKING SINCE. 


Another example: school staff assumed he had ADD because he'd rather play than sit on his chair and stay put, but they won't spend the money on getting him tested or the resources that he needed and instead, wanted me to take him to get tested myself. These are presumed experts we're talking about (school psychologists, teachers, the principal, and staff of whom I have to fight with) who already treated him differently and somehow just gave me the feeling that they wanted him out because he refused to act and behave the way they wanted him to or expected him to. 


Ok honestly, I'm proud of him for that, as we've always been taught to stay in our line and in this imaginary box called “category”.


Marcus started homeschooling  last year after a couple of months in traditional public school since he wasn't getting what he needed at the time from traditional public school. It just wasn't his thing. He was not interested and nothing they do or say can make him. 


What a blessing in disguise especially when Covid 19 hit. While others struggle to make peace with their new routine and online classes, he was already ahead in his program and kept going with his curriculum. He kept working and studying on his own. His homeschool teacher even told me he knows more than the other first grader who had just started homeschooling because of Covid. But I'm not one to compare. Only thing I can say is, results speak for itself.


Marcus recently completed first grade and his 360 assessments. His math level: that of a third grader after 6 months of school. His reading level: that of a second grader after 4 months of school.


Lesson learned 1: Believe in your child. Allow them to decide how they wanna learn.


Am I sending him back to public school? Damn right I am. Because he is looking forward to going back to school and he does love it there as evidenced by his favorite subject: recess. And he did get accepted to another elementary school but we will see how this fall semester goes. 


If I was to decide (and I thought about it deeply), I would enroll him in a charter school where they go to class in small groups, and do some days online, some days in-person. But then  he talked about how he's looking forward to going back to school again and meeting new friends. He wanted to go back to traditional school. So I decided why not give him a chance since this is what he wanted and he's giving himself another chance. Maybe this time things will be different especially since we know better. Of course, things are in a limbo right now. 


Lesson learned 2: Let your child show you how he wants to learn.


Marcus loves computers. He thrives in it. I think that's why he thrived in online learning. Not to mention the fact that he loves to play games in his tablet. So I downloaded Homer and Elephant Learning App for his reading and math and it helped him tremendously. Our rule is that: if you want to play games, you gotta do your learning first. 


Lesson learned 3: There are more than one options on how to "school" your child. Embrace it.

This is a huge lesson for myself. Since I grew up in traditional school, I thought that that's the only way to go. But then I realized that just because I learned a certain way and grew up doing certain things doesn't mean my child will do the same. 


There is no right or wrong when choosing how you want your child to be educated- it all depends on what works for your child and your family lifestyle. Be open to options and again, let your child show you how he wants to learn.


Lesson learned 4: Last but not least: your child is unique. 


He won't be like everybody else. And it's a good thing. Accept it, so that in turn he learns acceptance- of both himself and others.


And here is the little man of the hour:


XOXO,


Wella :-)


P.S. From now until July 31st Friday, my friends at Ultimate Bundles are having a sale. It's called the Ultimate Homeschooling Bundle-a collection of 50+ resources plus bonuses (from K-12) to help your child learn- no matter where you and your child decide to go to school. Learning resources are always good. It's what helped me become a "better-awared" parent. And being involved in your child's learning whether they're homeschooled or not, is always a good thing. 


P.P.S. I am an affiliate of the Ultimate Bundles, which means at no cost I get paid a small commission when you use my link Thank you in advance. Check out the Ultimate Bundles here :-)

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