When I met my husband I didn’t think I could have children. I had been in a car accident when I was in high school and I also had endometriosis. I was under the impression that I wouldn’t be able to have children and if I could I wouldn’t be able to carry them to term.
Well the doctors were wrong. I was blessed with 3 children by birth. I was a very happy momma! I loved my children so deeply. After my first born (ds1) the thought of putting him in daycare and letting someone else hold him and take care of him all day was a scary thought. I was worried about germs and didn’t want him to get sick. I fell in love with being a mom and didn’t want to spend all day away from my baby boy. I remember thinking…”I will go back to work when he is two years old”. I thought then he wouldn’t be so little and daycare would be a safer place by then. I mean by two he wouldn’t get as sick and would love playing with the other children.
I had my sweet little girl (dd2) when my first was a month shy of being 2. Again thinking after she was 2 I would be able to go to work. Then I had baby number 3 (ds3) about 18 months later.
After ds3 my husband got orders to Japan. I thought this would be good. By the time we got back into America my all my children would be old enough to go to daycare and I could go back to work.
I didn’t know what was coming ahead. After being in Japan a bit, my youngest son at the time (ds3) was sick a lot. The doctors finally decided to put tubes in his ears to help with the ear infections. The tubes did wonders and my little guy was finally ear infection free for what seemed like the first time in forever. My husband and I were relieved. Soon after we started noticing that ds3 had stopped coming when we called his name. In fact he stopped even looking up at us. Then he stopped playing and would only have limited (if any) eye contact. We took him back to the doctors and they told us something was very wrong. After many test (I will tell you His story another day) they told us that they thought our son was Autistic. That he had PDDNOS. We had no idea what they were talking about and they didn’t offer any literature on it. They just told us to look it up. We ended up leaving Japan to go back to the States to find a doctor that would help us.
Back in the States I found I didn’t have time to get a job. I was juggling trying to get ds1 to school while taking ds3 to doctors (he was in a special education school at the time for children under 5 so I had to go and pick him up also) with dd2 (she didn’t go to school since they didn’t have a k4 program) in tow. I felt like I was going every which a way. I remembered a lady that had told me she homeschooled when I was pregnant. I remembered thinking that was cool, but, I was going to work so I wouldn’t have time for that. So now with everything going on I met another lady a couple of houses over who was homeschooling. After hearing her talk about it I decided that I would take ds1 out of school and homeschool him. I would take ds3 out of his school (it didn’t seem to help him anyways) and this would help me. It would be less to worry about when he had doctor appointments. I wouldn’t have to rush to get my oldest from school and then go and pick up ds3 from his school. I would just have all the children with me. Then I could focus on getting ds3 his therapies and schooling my oldest while helping my 4 year old little girl learn also.
Two years after being back in the States my husband got orders again. This time we were going to a base that had a school close to home for all 3 of the children and they even had a special education department that did the therapies right in the school. After moving and getting settled in (all children now in school) I thought about getting a job again. I mean I had family members who were not very excited about me homeschooling anyways and many other friends who told me my kids were going to never learn social skills. I figured I would give time for the children to settle my husband’s schedule to settle and then I would find a job.
Again…things didn’t work out as planned. You see I really think God was trying to tell me that homeschooling was what I need to be doing and that I needed to let him plan my life. I was just too stubborn to listen. I had my plan. I already had deviated from it. DS3 was doing better now, he had his school and therapies, my daughter dd2 was able to go to school and my oldest ds1 was back in school. I didn’t see anything to stop me.
Before I knew it I was getting phone calls from the school. My son ds1 was needing to be on medication. Had I ever considered putting him on Ritalin? I didn’t even know what to say. I thought to myself “I have homeschooled him for a bit and he seemed fine. Sure he was a busy guy but nothing more than what I saw from other children. Why were they asking me this?” His teacher said he wouldn’t be still and his reading was behind. (He had used Abeka and was reading quite well) He talked too much and he was getting red dots. Red dots! You know you get green when you behave, yellow when you are on a warning, and well red means….hmmmm… I guess you just were too much of a handful. I talked to my son’s teacher and she said she would put him in a reading class to catch up his reading. (No phonics in this reading class!) She then said she would let me know more about how he was doing weekly. Three times she called me and asked me about putting him on Ritalin. Three time I told her no way! We then decided to go to daily reports on his behavior. The very first week he came home daily with green dots. I was very proud of him and excited that we found a solution. Then Friday came and he had his weekly report. It was a red dot. I was as confused as he seemed to be. How could you get green dots every day and on the last day get a red dot?
I went back to see the teacher and have another talk with her. She said that although he had green dots daily his behavior added up all week still got him a red dot. This totally did not make since to me. We finally got to the end of the year. My son is all caught up on his reading (hmmm) and ready to go to the next grade. I thought great maybe next year will be better.
The next school year starts and again my oldest seemed to be having trouble. I again was confused. I worked with him all summer and didn’t have any problems at all. Why did he seem to need to be on Ritalin every school season that he wasn’t homeschooled? I was even called into the principal’s office because my son wanted to do a report on the Birth of Christ. It was Christmas time and they had to do a book report. They could choose the book. Ds1 wanted to do his on Jesus’s birth. We had the book at home. The principal told me my son could not do a report on Jesus’s birth. But he could do one on a book about Harry Potter! Hmmm…
Not much past the beginning of the second year my daughter who was starting 1st grade was getting sick. She was falling behind and had dark circles under her eyes. She would tell her teacher she wasn’t feeling well and would get fussed at because they thought she just wanted to go home. She ended up so sick they doctors had her on several medications and steroids to help her. They thought maybe allergies. They even test her blood levels for cancer. We were so worried. She just kept getting sicker and sicker. I came to her school one day to check on her and she was just getting up to leave the lunch room. I notice she had not eaten anything. I told her she needed to eat and she said she couldn’t. I saw they had a substitute teacher that day and asked her why my daughter hadn’t eaten. She informed me that none of the children had time that day because they had gotten behind schedule and it was time for anther class to use the lunch tables. Again.. I didn’t even know what to say. I told her my daughter was on medication and needed to at least have her milk. She told me she was sorry but my daughter could not have her milk in class and it was time to leave the lunch room, and then asked me what medicine my daughter needed that required milk. I told her about the meds and how they would upset her stomach if she took them without eating. This substitute did not seem thrilled but finally let my daughter have her milk. But that was all she could have.
So now I have Ds1 who was still struggling, my daughter who was sick and my youngest son Ds3 who was regressing from being in a class where he was the highest functioning child and teachers who finally told me they didn’t have experience with Autism. (and who by the way forgot him at the park that was next to a lake) They had locked him out of his class and had a party for another child. Ds3 was around 4 years old at this time. He also didn’t qualify for services like speech or occupational therapy anymore because he was the highest functioning. They had children that needed the services more. Yes they knew he needed the services still but… sorry mom…they just didn’t have enough help.
I was still not working!
I had met a wonderful lady at my daughters dance class that I became friends with very quickly. It just seemed like God had placed her in my life at the perfect time. My husband deployed quite a bit and I was overwhelmed. My dear friend was also a homeschooling mom. She would talk to me about homeschooling and I told her how overwhelmed I already was. I didn’t think I would be able to homeschool at that time. If every again! I now know the Lord was hitting me over the head trying to tell me to listen to her.
I remember it was the day before the air show on base. My husband was home and I had a long talk with him. I told him what my sweet friend was sharing with me about her homeschooling and how she went to a church that had a Bible study every Tuesday that I could go to. The children would be able to go and they had activities for homeschooled children. Our children could still be ((socialized)). My husband was totally on board.
The next morning when my children got up. I got them dressed and told them we were going somewhere fun. We met my husband at the airshow and that was our first day back to homeschooling. Homeschooling were we belonged.
Within weeks my daughter was off all her allergy meds and feeling fine. We did later find out that the school was doing construction and the dust from that was what had made her so sick.
With the help from my wonderful Friend and God’s nudging we were back home were we belonged! I can tell you now. That while I came into homeschooling not so sure about it. It felt wonderful being back home with my children.
So now an update on my 3 oldest. They are all doing wonderful.
Ds1 is working full time, going to college through College Plus and now even has his own website. (www.thechristianguyslife.com)
Dd2 wanted a year to explore what she wanted to do and is taking the extra time to concentrate on Art. She loves making things, crafts, drawling and helping others. We are very excited to see where she goes with her talent.
Ds3 is doing great. He is on his last year of high school and has been able to use regular curriculum all the way through. He never ceases to amaze me at how quickly he learns and how well he remembers and retains everything.
They all 3 have a love for the Lord that shines through them. I am so glad that I finally listen to what God had planned and stopped being stubborn and trying to live my plans instead. The most important part of homeschooling was that I was able to teach my children about God at any time I saw fit. I didn’t have to wait 8 plus hours for them to get home from school.
Deuteronomy 6:7 “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
Thank you for reading my journey to homeschooling. Because of the length I knew this would be and because my oldest 3 were the ones I started the homeschooling journey with they are the ones focused on. I plan to share more about our homeschooling family as my younger children start their homeschool years. I already have a k4 this year. Let the fun begin again! I am so looking forward to the years ahead! I hope you all join in with us!