Back when I was teaching, I thought homeschoolers were strange denim-jumper wearing aliens who hid their kids in attics and basements. I kid. I knew one homeschooler: my cousin Tara, who incidentally, finished high school at home and quickly went on to pursue her dream as an interior designer. Now, in her early 30s, she’s living the dream she set out for at 15. Don’t worry-she’s totally socialized. I kid, the “socialization” issue is another homeschool topic I with attack with gusto in the coming months.
So, the word “homeschool” was in my vocabulary, but never in a million years did I ever even consider “homeschool” as an option for us. Until, well, until it was.
I fought at first. Kicking and screaming. I cried. I panicked. Then, I did it anyway.
Now, entering year two of this strange path…it feels right.
I value the kids’ input in this decision, of course. I asked Monkey, “Do you want to homeschool or go to the regular school down the street?”
Without skipping a beat, “Homeschool, no regular school.”
“Regular school is too loud, it makes me all dizzy. Too many kids. Homeschool is fun. Regular school is too crazy.”
I asked Moose, “Do you want to go back to regular school or stay with homeschool?”
“No school. No, OKAY!” Then, he burst into tears. Okay, kid, point taken!
So, we enter year 2, of homeschool, with three students. A freshly minted 6 year old reading at a third grade level, a near 8 year old with a long road ahead, and the toughest student of all: a 35 year old with a hell of a lot to learn and unlearn about learning. We enter with eyes wide open, ready to dive into new experiences, new groups, and new paths.
I’d never thought I’d be a homeschooler, but the world of autism and special needs has a way of throwing you curve balls.
And sometimes, you realize that all your life and work experience has prepared you for this moment.
Year two, bring it on.