The school system had failed my son. He had all the opportunities to push him ahead. When he was young we read together book after book. Rainbow Fish was his favorite. “A long way out in the deep blue sea there lived a fish.” I remember that opening line as if I read the book yesterday.
To no avail life went in a different direction and reading became a struggle. The reading programs at school did not help. Early intervention did not work. Tutors added little to the goal, but was a cost that I could not afford.
Math also started out ahead of the pack, but soon wavered and was stuck for four years on learning addition and subtraction facts. Special Ed passed him off as unteachable, to be bullied by a teacher for two years.
The IEP process was a ruse and was more of a means of classification and funding. None of these steps had my son’s best interest in mind. He was just another student that they were forced to deal with. They were passing him from grade to grade withe no lucrative future in mind. In the end it was not their problem.
Little did I know that my son was the rainbow fish. “Not just an ordinary fish….”
All of this led me to the decision to do homeschooling. Like any parent, I cared about my son. I also knew that I could do a better job than the school. I knew that if I had been teaching him he would not be stuck on addition and subtraction in math. I had graduated from highschool with high grades, never missing the high honor roll. I went on to college to get a degree in English literature studies followed by a Master’s degree. I was a huge success in my career in Technology. I felt I was fully qualified to teach my son.
The decision was simple once I had looked at the whole picture. Homeschooling was the route we would go. The burden was not on my son’s shoulders alone. We would do it together. I knew their would be challenges but nothing that we could not overcome. I knew that together we could build a future for my son.
Homeschooling has been a real success for us. I can tailor the courses to my son’s needs and to his learning styles. The internet is a wealth of information and has been a great resource for our homeschooling. The good news is my son’s math is moving forward. We have addition and subtraction facts behind us. No more timed test which used to trigger bouts of tics. There is no doubt he knows his math facts. In fact, I discovered he knew his math facts so well that he is able to tell me how much change we should be getting back when we are buying something. We moved on to multiplication which has went really well. We are almost all the way through the multiplication tables and have started introducing division.
Taking my son out of public school was the best decision for us. He is moving forward in his education with no complicating factors such as hours and hours of debilitating tics. In our case, I was the driver of response to intervention. If I hadn’t done it, I am not sure what would happen to my son. Most likely he would have been deluged with frustration, resentment, and failure, which would have led him to a very troubled life in his adulthood.
I admit that homeschooling does come with its challenges and requires discipline to be successful. We have been able to do homeschooling even though I work full-time. Originally when I worked out of the home, we had a strict schedule that we stuck to. My son was assigned some work that he would do during the day, and then in the evenings we would review that work and do additional course assisgnments. We took advantage of using a computer and the internet. Google documents have been a real blessing for us. It organized our work and has kept my son on task. For us homeschooling has been very rewarding.