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Lessons from my Homeschooler

Monday, July 27, 2020


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 :-)

36 comments:

  1. What perfect timing that you guys were already homeschooling before COVID hit. You were already ahead of the game!

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    1. Yes I can honestly say...things happen for a reason and you just gotta trust God, the Higher Power. Thanks 😊

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  2. Aww what an awesome read! Sounds like your son is kicking butt!

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    1. Yes, he surprises me in so many ways. And he’s been disproving people for a long time now 🙏

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  3. That was a great read. What ultimately is most important is what style of learning works best. Like you said with current times and everyone online learning it kind of puts you ahead of the game.

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    1. Thank you Douglas. Just cuz we’re used to a certain doesn’t mean it’s the only way. I love that they have plenty of learning options for our kids now.

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  4. So awesome, the thing we learn from our children, while they are finding ways to learn themselves! Great post!

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    1. Thank you Holly, kids are amazing life teachers 🙏

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  5. Marcus is absolutely darling! I'm so glad you have had a good transition homeschooling, and what perfect timing is right! I homeschooled all my three kids for some time. My oldest had allergies and asthma, and she would not have been challenged appropriately in a school setting. I kept her home and ending up homeschooling her younger siblings as well. Those were some of the best years of my life! I wish you the best on your homeschooling journey. Your lessons are spot on. I learned so much about my kids (and life) through homeschooling.

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    1. Oh my yes, and that was the time I decided to really get involved with this what he’s learning, and not just relying blindly on homework they would get sent home and due weekly. I saw the big picture this time. And I can honestly say I feel good being a part of his learning, not someone in the background. Also it feels good knowing his curriculum. Thanks for stopping by..

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  6. I homeschool my 4 children, and one of the reasons I do is because each of my children have unique learning styles and I love having the option to cater to their learning style and let them learn in ways that they enjoy.

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    1. This is so true. Not everyone is made for traditional school. This is something we should nurture, instead of keeping them in a “box”

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  7. My kids did best with real life lesson when we home schooled. Tipping was great for learning percentages, etc. The versatility of homeschooling is the best part about it.

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    1. At the end of the day, that’s the best kind of learning :-)

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  8. This is all so so true. Especially with distance learning now. Trying to figure out when and how to learn, set up the work area, still socialize with friends, is challenging. But getting our kids' feedback can guide us in the right direction.

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    1. Definitely. The socialization part is a challenge. I find that attending meet ups not k my help your kids socialize, but also get you support from other parents.

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  9. Very true! All 4 of my children had very different learning styles and needs. On of my daughters tested 18 months behind, didn't learn to walk or get any teeth until she was almost 2. She was behind for years, and then suddenly did three years of school in 6 months. Now she works in the airline industry and is doing very, very well. I am glad that I did not give up, or listen to the tests, but let her work at her own pace, and in her own style.

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    1. Congratulations! It just goes to say that grades isn’t everything. How kids perform in school have nothing to do with how they perform in life. It is a factor, but not everything 😀

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  10. Your son is so adorable! I'm saddened that your school did not give your son the support that he needed, but it seems as though he is getting a better education on his own terms. Congrats!

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    1. Yes thank you but like I believe that things happen for a reason and I’m glad that I trusted.

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  11. Excellent. I'm glad you are able to homeschool and that it is working for you and your son. I homeschooled my three, too. It's a great choice for normal active kids like your son!

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    1. Yes! And contrary to what other people think, they don’t come out weird or different. They are just as “normal” so to speak- just chose a different way of learning.

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  12. Very true. Each kid is unique and has their own way of learning.

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    1. Thank you Lisa. They truly are unique in their own ways.

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  13. Lessons well learned, Wella! There is no cookie cutter, one size fits all when it comes to learning styles. Congrats on recognizing that!!

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    1. Thank you! I believe things worked out for the best, and the fact that he left traditional school at the time meant he was exactly at the right time and place.

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  14. I have homeschooled all my children and have loved every minute of it. My children are doing well. One has graduated and started his own business.

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    1. Congratulations on your successful kids! Homeschooling requires a lot of discipline.

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  15. Awesome read! Your son's doing great!

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  16. What a great read! We can learn so much from our kids. Sounds like he is doing great.

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  17. thank you, i appreciate your comment

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  18. The flexibility of homeschooling is a major plus! I plan on homeschooling our children when they're old enough.

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  19. What a great post. I've had to remind my daughter to put some blinders up and stop comparing her son to the other kids in his toddler classroom. He is developing perfectly fine on the timeline that is right for him.

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