Farewell, Chicago Public Schools. Hello, Homeschool.

public school to homeschool

Our days of fighting the morning beast are over.

Starting two months ago, Moose full-on STOPPED sleeping.  Like falling asleep close to midnight, despite his 8:00 bedtime.  He would itch his skin until he bled.  Refused to eat breakfast.  Fought me kicking and screaming to avoid his school uniform.  The morning, on his developmentally inappropriate amount of sleep, was a parent’s worst nightmare.  Kids at Moose’s age generally need 10-11 hours of sleep.  He was getting 6.  Not good for a kid with autism.  He started biting and acting out.  The poor kid.

I looked and felt like a mother with a newborn who never slept.  So, we would roll up to his school, sometimes two hours late.  It was bad.  And it kept getting worse.  Some days, it was just too hard to even fight him.  One morning, he bit me five times.  We didn’t even bother showing up to school that day.

I prayed.  I prayed harder than I ever had in my life. The big, wet tears kind of praying that gets ugly.  I asked God, please give me a sign.

Then, the IEP meeting from hell happened.

That was the sign.

No, it was more than a sign.  It was a giant SLAP in the face with a sledgehammer.  No one was on the same page.  No one.  I left there deflated and defeated.  I knew what I had to do.

School just wasn’t working anymore.  Moose’s behavior dictated that.  The eczema, food strikes, insomnia, and the rage were the big signs.

Without words, Moose shouted the loudest in those final months of public school.

So, a few weeks back.  I did it.

The scariest thing I have ever done.

I brought him home.

public school to homeschool

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11 Comments

  1. Prayed for your this morning, Nicolette. That this provides Moose some much needed relief and sleep. That you have the patience and courage and stamina to make this the best decision yet. That despite the challenge, you will both benefit greatly from a huge change. You are a fighter, friend. You can do this!

  2. You’re going to be great at this Nic! Take a deep breath and remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time, don’t look to measure progress too quickly. Spend time in activities you all enjoy. Try “de-schooling” for a while to let the stress level come down. Play, have fun and see if you can slowly get back to a sleep routine. As friends have told me, homeschooling is more a lifestyle than an educational choice. Not sure if we’ll homeschool for the long haul or not. It depends so much on what opportunities become available. Same for you. This may work now and you can change your mind later if a new opportunity presents itself and looks good for Moose. No environment will be perfect, including home. You will lose it some times. That’s OK. Forgive yourself and come back each day ready to try again. Love & hugs to you my friend, Cary

  3. Dear Nicolette, I’ve followed you for a while now, adding my 2 cents occasionally. This is a heroic choice you have made and dear Moose has made his needs known! As Cary said above this is a marathon, not a sprint, and she is so right. Raising any child is a dedication to their best outcome which is years down the line. You will do fine. Love all the support you have. We are here rooting for you. All the best.

  4. It’s scary to do pull out of what’s familiar and you are brave to do it! Way to go for trusting yourself. We pulled out and homeschooled last year and are back in school this year, but I believe it was a very good thing and would do it again. It’s empowering. 🙂 All the best.

  5. Nic, you are truly amazing! I couldn’t be more proud to call you my best and oldest friend. I am here rooting for you as well and will gladly make myself available to help with anything you need. You are the most passionate and dedicated parent and teacher I know. Moose will be much happier learning at home with you. It’s going to be challenging but don’t forget you have a great support system surrounding you and rooting for you.
    We recently had a family movie night and there was a quote at the end of the movie I will never forget…
    “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

  6. Yay for homeschooling! I hope Moose is doing well at home. We’ve been homeschooling for a year and a half. It was the best decision possible for us, and our little guy is thriving! It’s not an easy task day in and day out, but it is soooo worth it for the flexibility and less stress for all of us. Not to mention….Yay, no more IEP meetings!!!!

  7. dear nicolette…you’re blog is beautiful, and raw and real. I saw your most recent post and was wondering if homeopathy is able to help your child through this phase of sleeplessness and behaviors…or has it plateaued. We’re seeing small gains in my child with homeopathy, but we see lots of aggravating behaviors and regressions too…and I’m wondering if at some point the gains just stop- or that one only sees regressions. Thanks for sharing how successful homeopathy was was for Moose.

    1. The gains never stop, Shelley. Homeopathy is a slow process, but worth sticking it out. I attribute much of my son’s progress to homeopathy. Behaviors and regressions are a brief pitstop. We are breezing thru our latest clear without much issue.

      My best,
      Nicolette

  8. dear nicolette…you’re blog is beautiful, and raw and real. I saw your most recent post and was wondering if homeopathy is able to help your child through this phase of sleeplessness and behaviors…or has it plateaued. We’re seeing small gains in my child with homeopathy, but we see lots of aggravating behaviors and regressions too…and I’m wondering if at some point the gains just stop- or that one only sees regressions. Thanks for sharing how successful homeopathy was was for Moose.

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