Yep…I have some news…not quite sure how I feel about all of it though. I think I am still processing. My son started out this school year at home after a horrible year at public school last year. He was very excited to do homeschooling, as was I. And I think we have done great together too….he is reading books now and that is a new development. Being home helped to restore some of his confidence too. I still think there is no better teacher than mom. I know exactly how to phrase things and get through to him… something teachers rarely catch onto because they have so many students all with different needs.
BUT at the end of the last school year we got some new neighbors and my son plays with them almost daily. He started to relay comments made by their parents about how he wasn’t in a “real” school and it started to make him feel bad about himself once again. In short, one of the kids next door is real jerk…and so are his parents (and I hope they are reading this). But despite how I feel about them and their attitudes my son likes to spend time with them. Having to wait until they (and his other neighborhood friends) get home from school to be able to play started to get rough on him. I took him to homeschool kids events and socials but he just didn’t click with any of the other kids.
The arrival of winter was another kick in the gut as he went from spending 5+ hours a day playing and exploring outside to staying in all day. If it was just cold outside with no snow…he didn’t want to be out there. And unfortunately we have had many cold days since early October (8-20 degrees) and only a few snow days.
My son indoors and bored is like having a caged tiger in the house. All his little quirks and tics (autism spectrum) came out full blast…including one that got REALLY bad. He will be sitting eating or playing and all the sudden emit a loud scream that could wake the dead. He doesn’t even know he did it and if you mention it he can’t explain why he screamed. Imagine that happening 2-3 times an hour. So the past couple months have been tough on us with frazzled nerves to go around.
I was not surprised then when he came to me and asked if he could go back to regular school. He missed being with other kids and having a busy schedule…especially when he sees his sister going to school and having all kinds of fun…pajama parties, a Thanksgiving feast, a Christmas play, and birthday invites from all her new friends. He was tired of his neighborhood friends teasing him about homeschool and acting as if they were somehow superior. And when he enlisted Dad’s help to convince me I knew he meant business. :(
Soooo…..I gave him 3 options for different schools he could go to. Ironically he was dead set against going to the same school as last year even though his friends are there. He ended up choosing a city school that is not so close by but has a kick butt art program. He told me it was between that school and a fourth choice I hadn’t offered…a nearby Catholic school. I am happy he chose the one he did because we are … not Catholic, LOL. We enrolled him, went shopping for new clothes, and he started yesterday. It is still really early but he is VERY happy so far and yesterday he came home with homework that he already knew forwards and backwards. It was awesome to see the boost it gave him to realize he was actually ahead. And since he is back in school we re-instated a bed time (something we usually don’t have) and he is so jazzed about school he has been going without complaint.
I am kinda sad our homeschool adventure has ended but how sad can I be when I see how happy he is? I have to remember that I didn’t start this because I thought homeschool was the best way to school your kids and that public schools all suck. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. I started this to do what was best for my son and right now he tells me that what he needs is at a brick and mortar school. I owe it to him to do my part to make it work.