Monday, March 31, 2008

How we got to where we're going.

Click here for more on home education week.

I came in late so I am actually going to backtrack here & do what everyone else did on Sunday. Seeing as my time zoning means I never know which day anyone is on anyway I figure it is probably still Sunday somewhere ~ & if it's not yet then it will be soon.

I used to have another blog before this one. I crashed it it in rather spectacular fashion but therein I posted about how we ended up homeschooling. I have no idea what I waffled about there so I will assume no~one knows anything about me & start from there. Oh, well, I guess you figured I'm a, shall we say... eccentric?

I have 5 children. My oldest is 25 & we homschooled him for his last 2 years of school. Long story; strange child. He used to be a twin. Well, I guess he's still a twin but we lost his sibling in utero & he has always seemed as if he's only half there. Like I said.

Then there's the actual twins who declared to their flabbergasted teachers they only came to school to play sport & socialize. Their teachers complained to me but, hey, they had them in school, not me.

Liddy is my Queen Bee. After 3 boys she was spoilt abominably by everyone but having a sweet & biddable disposition she survived quite well. She begged to come home & did so in grade 9.

Then there's Ditz, the surprise baby. By the time Ditz came along I'd had it with the school system. I never liked it but couldn't talk Dearest into considering Homeschool. My boys all have dyslexia, some are just worse than others. The twins were tactile, kinesthetic learners. They did just great in school! Yeah right. They were also ADHD ~ but not behavioural problems. Liddy is also kinesthetic/auditory & Jossie was gifted. School was a circus. School stressed me out. I spent half my life up at the school sorting teachers out with my kids. The kids were hardly ever in school anyway. The middle 3 excelled at sport & were always away at carnivals & trials & long distance cross country runs.

Ditz was due to start primary school the year her big sister moved to high school. She seemed at least as bright as her oldest brother but what would I know? I think all my kids are gifted. Anyway, this was the baby I was never allowed to discipline. If she cried 5 other people rushed to rescue her. Cries of, 'Mum! You've made her cry! How could you?' were not uncommon. She began talking at just 5 months. That's right, 5 months. He first words were, 'Ryuke, where are you?' Yep, she spoke in sentences right from the beginning. A month later her siblings were bribing her to walk by holding strawberries just out of her reach. She was one motivated baby I can tell you.

Now I'd watched my older kiddies struggle with reading & as a BA in language & literature, who has a bigger children's library than our actual library, I was less than impressed with this state of affairs. I decided Ditz didn't need pre~school half as much as she needed plenty of pre~reading skills so I kept her home, made up a set of lower case letters, bought a super large bag of choc chips & proceeded to teach my four year old to read. There's nothing like chocolate for that feel good feeling! I don't know why I was surprised the child actually learnt to read but she did & I was.

I then had a huge dilemma. What was she supposed to do for the first 6 months of grade one while the rest of her class caught up? And we all know what happens to a bored child in a regular classroom. Been there, done that. Hat in humble hand I approached Dearest & told him my sad & sorry tale. By this stage he was fed up with the teachers complaining about our kids too & the amount of stress I was under so he agreed a year of homeschool would be best & she could start school a year late in grade two. Any reprieve was a bonus in my book so I took what was offered gratefully & proceeded as we'd begun. You all know how this goes, don't you? A year later Ditz was even further ahead so we got another year's reprieve...& another until Dearest just accepted we were homeschooling & he connived to bring Liddy home. Now he loves homeschooling & Ditz thinks she's been done like a dog's dinner.

Given Ditz has the attention span of a gnat, the social instincts of a party girl, & the academic interest of said gnat, what was my bright, musical, artistically gifted Ditz to do in a school situation that offered one 1/2 hour of music a week & no art? It doesn't even bear thinking about. Oh, she'd have survived...but at what cost? Instead we battle the academics together & she has time & then some for her art & music & no put downs either for being good at both. I hope one day she will rise up & call me blessed...but if she doesn't I'm pretty sure God's good with the road we chose for her.


Anonymous said...

Ooh, I'd love to have been homeschooled. Don't wanna take me on, do you? :-)


Ganeida said...

Siano, my love, you are far too clever for me & the whole point of homeschooling is to create self motivated learners who learn for life. If you aint there yet (& I know you are;P)I fear it's far too late to rectify a change! But, hey, I should have liked to be homeschooled too. Can you see my mother letting my math slip into such disarray if she's had the teaching of me?