Monday, June 3, 2013

Homeschooling.....

I have homeschooled at least one of my 4 kids since 1991. Who knew when I kept that first little kindergarten boy home so that he could learn in freedom and nature and live a natural little boys life...that I would still be doing it 22 years later!

For the most part, I loved those years. I loved having my kids with me, I loved the naturalness of our days and their freedom to explore their world. I loved watching them be excited about the books they were reading with no book report looming over their head. We could just talk about it and discuss ideas. I loved sitting and breastfeeding a baby while one read aloud to me.

*Most* of the time it flowed....it was a lot of work too. We had to work out relationships daily, keep short accounts, I couldn't work and homeschool a passel of littles so I stayed home and we made due on one income for many years. There were days the messes of at that time, 3 littles and their buddies felt like too much. Sometimes the sibling fighting was a lot to navigate. But overall, those were some really good times.

Little one just finished up the 6th grade. She is enrolled in a wonderful charter school where she goes to school 2 days a week and is home with me 3 days a week. It has been the perfect blend for us. However she has now chosen to go to the charter school full time, 5 days a week, beginning in August, the 7th grade.....and I am happy about that! I am so tired. I am not as young as I was back in the day and my enthusiasm for thinking up ways to engage a middle schooler are completely depleted! lol I just want to be her mama now. I don't want to worry about if she is getting everything she needs academically. I just want to take she and her friends roller skating (their new passion...so funny, so 80's) and out for ice cream. I want to snuggle on the couch and watch movies. I want to go shopping with her for her new wardrobe because she just had a huge growth spurt and is now 5'4 and 107 lbs! My baby.

The fact is not lost on me that I am the homeschooling mom whose daughter grew up to be a heroin and methamphetamine addict. Little one is right at the age when we watched our girl transform into someone else. She went through the same exact huge growth spurt and then she plunged into a pit never to come out. Don't think I am not filled with sheer terror that it will happen again. I am watching and am praying and am gently loving her. We talk about depression in general terms....what it feels like, what you can do if you ever feel depressed. Who you can talk to.....all of us, because we all have struggled at one time or another with it! What help is available. Information is power. We are not helpless victims to what ails us...we can be proactive with our mental health and the health of our children.

Have a good one kids.....
Annette
PS: I'm still praying for all of us.

5 comments:

Cheryl said...

You are very cool - wish we were neighbors...

Signe said...

Your live reads like a novel. I keep wanting another page! Because of my experience with addiction, I now understand that you can do all of the right things--go to the games, bake cookies, sit and draw together, listen until it seems that you can't hear anymore--and still bad things can happen. You gave your children a firm foundation and safe, loving home. At some point (and I hope it's a long way away) you will hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Mary Christine said...

I wish more parents could decide to forego the money for a few years while they care for their children. I stayed home with mine until they went to school. I think if I were doing it now, I would home school. Never have been a big fan of schools.

I do the same thing with my oldest granddaughter. She is now 13, and I scrutinize her for any signs of "taking after her mother." It is my experience that alcoholism/addiction is pretty much evident from birth. I have seldom heard of a kid who had no problems just start using drugs or drinking out of control.

Annette said...

Mary, interesting that you bring up the idea that alcoholics/addicts are born....not necessarily created. When my girl was little she was wonderful in a million ways. She was quiet, thoughtful, insightful beyond her years, a champion soccer player and runner, a straight A student...not just by my grading standards either! lol She competed and attended lots of classes outside of home. However, she couldn't sleep. I of course thought it was all my fault because I nursed her to sleep as a baby. LOL I taught her bad sleep habits! When she was very young, before she would have known or read anything about obsessions to put the idea into her head...she told me in her own 8 year old vocabulary that she obsessed over things...if she was picking flowers she obsessed about the ones left behind, or picking an even number. I was so in denial that anything could be "wrong" with one of my little projects that I shushed her away! God have mercy on the both of us! I so thought she would outgrow this stuff. I certainly didn't understand that it was a sign, a precursor, of what was to come. Bad bad call on my part...although once we did begin to seek help, the help was so inefficient and ineffective. Finding good mental health help within your insurance coverage and even outside of it....is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Anonymous said...

Annette,
I agree. Finding good mental health help is like looking for a needle in a haystack. We are light years away from knowing how to effectively counsel people. Therapists' claims of successful treatment are inflated. :(