I’ve spent a lot of time since we began this journey with Chi and the public school system thinking about pulling him out and homeschooling. I spend a lot of time everyday making sure Chi is ready for school, prepared for whatever the day may bring, armed with whatever tools I can give him to cope, and then repairing any damage being at school each day causes.
We have days that are what I imagine days for parents of neuro-typical kids are like. That means, to me anyway, that there aren’t the usual struggles associated with regular daily occurrences like brushing teeth, or walking out the front door, or maybe riding in the car to school. Maybe, when Chi comes home, his pupils aren’t dilated until there is almost no blue visible. Maybe he has a snack and heads outside to blow off some of that pent up energy (which takes a surprisingly short amount of time since a small part of his issue is his stamina level, or lack thereof, even though I make sure he gets lots of outside time away from his beloved video games) without me having to get mean about it. Maybe sitting down to do homework or simply being told to tie his shoes won’t result in limp-noodle Chi.
Mostly, though, I have to go through the motions to make him do the things he would rather skip and get right on with the game playing. Is body-brushing necessary? Does he need some time spent under his weighted blanket? Do we have enough strong flavored gum or sour-something-or-other to get him through homework? Is the trampoline cleaned off so he can jump to wake himself up or get the need to move constantly out of his system? Do I need to enforce the silence-in-the-house rule to eliminate one of his biggest triggers for overstimulation and meltdown?
All of these things are tiring. And I’m exhausted. I can barely keep my eyes open some days and my temper under control others. It can be so hard to see these issues as part of a larger problem that we are constantly working on, and not just Chi being difficult.
**note** I realize that Asperger’s is not a problem to be dealt with, nor is his SPD and the trial that encompasses. Still, when dealing with a lot of these things, they feel like problems. They make life more complicated. Harder. As if childhood is not filled to the freaking BRIM of pitfalls and potholes without extra obstacles to dodge. Or scale. As the case may be.**
They can be emotionally and somehow physically wearing, but they’ve become second nature by now. (Except, you know, when I fail to explain to Chi that the Zoo in Ashboro isn’t like the Zoo in Louisville before I send him off with friends and he proceeds to completely shutdown and require carrying through the Zoo. At 60 lbs? That’s not a comfortable proposition. Sorry, Taz’s Mom and Dad!) So I feel like (now especially, that we aren’t having a period of regression) I’ve fought the hardest fights at school (so far) and we’ve gotten the principal on our side which helps get the right sorts of teacher (Thank God for Ms. Eff. **gotta think of something GREAT to get her for a thank you gift at the end of the year**) for Chi and the help and environment he needs for certain special circumstances; that I’ve laid the paving stones to make passage through the future less treacherous.So with all of that, and even with the nightmare that was Second Grade (I imagine a deep booming voice saying that like “Pigs in Space” on the Muppet Show for some reason), I had not truly considered homeschooling again.
Now there’s my sweet Pynni. She loves the kids and even loves the various substitutes, but she cries (CRIES!!!!) over her homework. She cries over having to write a story. CRIES!!!! When she writes stories on her own without it being homework, but for whatever reason, the mere fact of it being for school pushes her over the edge. She is in Kindergarten FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! And already she wilts when it’s time for homework. She doesn’t throw fits or shutdown or anything even in the near vicinity of her older brother, but two months ago, three months ago, she lit up about homework. She would ask for MORE homework.
I cannot have her doubting herself. We are working, and working hard, to bring her self-esteem back up. We are working extra hard on the things the school says she is struggling with (which I STILL don’t see evidence of). We work all evening outside of dinnertime on homework.
It’s funny, really, that with all the setbacks, and struggles with Chi; it’s Pynni that has me researching homeschooling.
I am still not saying that I am doing it for sure because Hubs isn’t entirely sold on the idea, yet. I, on the other hand, have picked the curricula I’m going to use and I’ve started planning the order in which to start and how we are going to move forward. I’m a lot excited and a little nervous, but I see the way we work together doing homework. I know that we could have a blast and they could know how smart they really are.