Well as previously mentioned there have been some problems with my youngest at school and it has all come to a head. I can honestly say it has been some of the toughest weeks of my life and I have been in grave distress to see the frustration , anger and unhappiness of my dear one. I have felt a tumult of emotion ranging from depression, anger and despair as I have tried to work out what needs to be done to get him back on track. As a quick overview there have been issues with bullying combined with the struggle with Dyslexia and he has become more and more frustrated and embarrassed with his lack of progress to the point where he was out of control at school and the behaviour was now boiling over at home too. What to do?
After much talking, praying and thinking we have decided for the next couple of weeks and possibly next term to work with him at home to relieve some of the stress on everyone (in particular him)and try and build his confidence and literacy levels to the point that he can enter back into the school system on a firmer base. His current school is working closely with us to provide approved curriculum and support but in the end it may very well mean we are changing schools. This is quite difficult as I have strong emotional ties to the school and I am not as confident in the public school that is closest to us. Due to school zoning it may be tricky to have the option of choosing the school that I feel would support him the best.
So here I am homeschooling! I never thought I would. Nothing against it but I really didn’t think I would have what it took to do it and always thought that my kids would be better off with ‘real’ teachers, but here I am.
Today was the first day and on the whole I found it quite rewarding. Lachlan was keen, compliant and we probably got more done in half a day than he has done in the past two weeks. The benefit of having one on one help I’m sure is supportive and something else my husband and I have noticed is that Lachlan needs breaks every 15 to 20 minutes to clear his head, something that’s not always possible in a school environment. At the moment we work with him in these short stretches and then have a break where we go for a walk around the block or go have a drink of water etc and he is a lot calmer and able to concentrate better.
I am reminded of my Steiner days when we would incorporate rhythm into the day and expressed it in terms of ‘breathing in’ and ‘breathing out’. Activities that were internalising and required concentration were the in breath and activities that were outward focused and active were the out breath. We are also creating this rhythm in a larger way in the day by doing the more intensive thought work (literacy/maths) in the morning and the more practical work in the afternoon such as building a chicken house and veggie patch, cooking, arts/craft and library work or excursions.
I still have my work commitments so I am doing the academic work with him in the morning and then go to work from 12 to 4. During this time he works on the practical stuff with his dad.
I still feel a little nervous as it is a big challenge but I am quietly hopeful that this will be as educational and positive for me as well as Lachlan. We will have to wait and see I guess but here’s to a calmer happier child and a peaceful family.