I recently had someone who was helping our family suggest that I send my son to school. She was well meaning and this year has been really hard. He has Asperger’s Syndrome with ADHD, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Sensory Integration Disorder and Dyslexia. He had a lot of outbursts this year that included yelling, name calling, throwing things, lashing out physically and destroying everything in his path to his room. There were a lot of days when just getting him calm was the focus of a our day. I cried a lot. Felt like I was failing him and my other four kids. So I can understand why those around me suggested that I send him to school. The intent was that the structure would help him, I could use the break, and I could focus on my other kids.
I was questioning myself. Why didn’t I just send him to school? Why again do I homeschool? After weeks of praying and turmoil, God gave me wisdom. First, He reminded me that He has called me to this. Second, I am not homeschooling only for academics, it’s a lifestyle for my family. But what does that mean? I want to be the primary influence in my children’s life. I want to spend more time than any other adult in their life. I want to shape who they become. I want to choose what they learn and when they learn it. I want to revel in their accomplishments as they happen. Through homeschooling my children, they have become each other’s best friends. They spend most of their time with each other, not other children or their friends. They experience the same thing all day and can “play” what they’ve experienced. This is essential to my oldest son with Aspergers. It’s not easy for him to relate to other children. If he goes to school and has one experience and all of us have another experience how will he jump right in to the play. Right now we all read the same books and watch the same shows. He knows what the others are talking about and can easily join in. I think he would feel left out if he went to school. He’d have trouble fitting in when he got home.
There is an academic component to why I homeschool as well though. My oldest two children struggle academically. I can tailor their education to meet their needs. Going as slow as they need until they finally absorb it. We can play games, watch videos and live the lessons of life. No teacher is ever going to invest that much in getting my gymnast to read or skip count.
After wrestling with this for months I have peace that God has called me, will equip me and He has the strength for this even though I don’t.