Proudly Supporting all Military Families with a Special Needs Dependent
MSNN is happy to introduce our friend, Jessica Eastman. Jessica is a homeschooling mom to three rambunctious boys, one of whom has autism. She lives with her husband, the lazy dog, and her sons in Washington state.
Managing to get some quiet time by myself at the bookstore, I picked up an “I Can Read!” book for my autistic son. We homeschool him, and he is technically in “first” grade, so we are working with him on reading skills this year. This was a “Little Bear” book and I think I was probably more excited about it than my son would be. The nice lady at the register exclaimed, “Oh! Little Bear! I love Little Bear!” I was relieved to know I wasn’t the only one still wishing I was six years old and reading Little Bear books in the closet with my bag of Fruit Loops and princess flashlight.
Yeah, and then, I opened my big mouth. “Me too! And we homeschool, so this is perfect!” Well, it had been done. Now we wait and see what venomous reaction came spewing forth from the lady with the control over how much my card got charged. See, cashiers seem to be particularly opinionated about homeschooling and homeschoolers and also what my kids are wearing and how dirty their faces are. You would think I would have learned the first twenty times of incurring their wrath not to invite criticism. But alas, here we were.
However, the unexpected happened. She breathed out a sigh and said, “I am really considering it….but….I’m not a good teacher.” She then proceeded to list all 42 of her reasons for daring to consider homeschooling. This is something almost everyone goes through when contemplating homeschooling. We have this compulsive need to convince ourselves, and the rest of the world, why it would be the right decision. It never really gets us anywhere, because we end up trying to argue with a cashier about why our kids aren’t going to suffer because they haven’t been taught to sit for circle time. So I cut her off. I said, “Hey, I’m not a good teacher either. The wonderful thing about homeschooling is that you aren’t teaching a classroom full of kids, you are teaching YOUR kid. It’s completely different. There are a lot of resources out there, and people willing to share their experiences with you.” She didn’t look convinced, but hopefully she doesn’t give up on the idea simply because she thinks she isn’t “teacher” material.
Here’s my disclaimer: I have been homeschooling my child since February of this year. That’s a whopping 8 months if you count the summer where we mostly took “field trips” with visiting family and I spent the afternoons panicking about picking a curriculum. I’m not an expert on homeschooling AT ALL. I’m not an expert on homeschooling a child with special needs, either. I’m a newbie. But here’s what I HAVE learned, in spite of my questionable learning curve.
What about you, dear readers? Do you homeschool? Do you public school? Have you considered homeschooling?
We’d love to hear your experiences with homeschooling. Any tips or techniques that you wish you knew when you were a “noob?” Put them down below and we’ll make sure they get shared.
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