My sons are polar opposites. Monkey starting reading, on his own accord, rather early. If I present a new topic to him once, he masters it. Moose, on the other hand, needs tremendous amount of time, energy, and attention to learn new topics. Repetition, movement, and music seem to be the modalities he responds to best. With a little under three months since Moose joined our homeschool unit, we still have a lot of adjusting to do!
What is happening in my lil’ homeschool happened in my classrooms as well. Students enter your classroom door with an incredible variety of levels across all areas. Differentiation is the buzzword in education these days, and teachers can differentiate until their energy levels tank out, and the simple fact remains: it’s humanly impossible to customize each student’s education.
Sure, in the classroom, there’s guided reading and math groups, and workshops: but consider the 1:1 attention a child receives a day in schools. It’s virtually non-existent unless that child is pulled out with IEP services, OT, ST, PT, etc.
Small groups still don’t have the same customization of 1:1 attention. That’s why homeschool works better, and even then, with two little ones in my care, it’s still damn hard.
I come to the homeschool table with a variety of grade levels and school environments under my belt. After leaving the classroom, I ran a small tutoring business for five years, and worked 1:1 with special needs kids. I also have a PhD in the University of Autism.
I’m still the first to raise my hand and admit, I don’t know it all. Not even close. But I know where to look and what questions to ask. I know when to ask for help and when to fire said help.
So, a few months in, I’m reassembling Team Moose. My mom is helping. My best friend, Zia, is helping. We recently found a new speech and OT that is beyond a dream come true…I can WATCH the sessions. There’s a symbiotic relationship already!
It takes a village, they say. No, it doesn’t. It takes an Olympic team of heavy-weight champions.
What better people to help us, than the ones most invested. Those who really LOVE Moose.
It’s the principle that guides Son-Rise and RDI: it’s love.
Love is what makes a homeschool different than a public school. It’s the missing subject really. Sure, I loved my students when I was in the classroom. I was the teacher who went to birthday parties and did home visits, especially at my first school.
Nothing in this world matters to me more than my children. So, it was high time to take matters into my own hands. Running a homeschool and a small business and a home, for that matter, is exhausting work. I’ve never worked harder in my life, frankly, than I have the past year.
But fueled by love and grace, we will get there.