When I first began homeschooling the boy last year, I thought I was doing it because of autism...with the hopes of giving him a real, true solid education.
Similarly, when I began the same journey with L2 this fall, I thought the real reason I was doing it was to keep her sweet, free spirit safe from all the ugliness dished out by school children.
Little did I know, that the real one being educated here was going to be ME... Now, I mean more than just brushing up my rusty memories about Ancient Greece. What I have found brought to the forefront is a huge, growing pile of my own personal issues that needed to be tended to. I have tried my best to be a what I thought was a good Mom, but it seems that my patience has been growing thinner and not thicker over the years. I have been easily annoyed, and quick to anger...not good traits to have if you are spending 24/7 with small people.
And so.....it would seem that this whole deal, it's success or failure, really is going to depend on how well I can adapt myself. I have been praying ...ALOT...asking for help, but most of all for grace. I need to accept that these kids are not going to follow any book or set of rules...why I am I just now really seeing this? When it all is said and done the main thing I want for them is to love learning...and shoving workbooks down their throats is really not a good way to make that happen. So, I have been working on adjusting myself and my methods.
And the results of this change have been nothing short of amazing. We are now doing spelling, not at the dinning table, but as an oral spelling bee while they swing wildly on the playset. Reading happens in the back of the van while we drive home from Grammy's house, or huddled under a blanket roof in the top of the fort. But most importantly it is happening when they WANT it to happen, when they are HAPPY for it to happen.
Now I do have a few tricks up my sleeve. Obviously there are some things that simply would never get done if they stayed on their own timeline forever. But I have found that a few strategically placed books will do wonders for them wanting to read...this requires a little thinking ahead on my part at times, but is not hard overall. They do have an "assignment list" everyday, and for the most part they are in control of when each thing gets done. They take lots of long breaks to play together outside...I like to think of this "Building Imagination 101". And I hope that by putting them on their own schedule they are developing a sense of personal responsibility...so far so good.
The most surprising thing that has happened is the bond that is growing between them. They are now truly each other's best friend, thinking more of each other's feelings and needs each day. And if you know of L1's background that is AMAZING indeed! No social skills class at school has done for him what spending time playing with his own sister has been able to accomplish. There is a great deal of learning going on in this family these days and most of it has nothing to do with school studies.....