Monday, February 24, 2014

Big Decisions

From the very beginning, I embraced and defended the whole gamut of breastfeeding, baby-carrying, co-sleeping and child fed weaning.  So of course, homeschooling was just the natural progression.  A beautiful, idyllic life.  Some of the time!

 Although when my husband switched to working full time for an institution instead of being self-employed from home, things felt a little heavier.  The challenges of homeschooling intensified, trying to juggle a lively two year old with teaching grade 2 and grade 5 simultaneously. 
Some of my older son's quirky traits began to add up and a few months ago, we made the difficult decision to have him tested for ADD.  Assessment revealed  probable ADHD, Aspergers, Sensory Processing Disorder and Dyscalculia.  Can you say "overwhelmed mommy"?

Ry is working now with a talented Occupational Therapist who specializes in sensory processing.  We are just four sessions into the program, but using their strategies and tools, we're already seeing progress with his ability to get calm again after being overstimulated.  Hopefully his social skills and neurodevelopment will start to catch up!
Of course, with all the doctors appointments and therapies in the past few months, schoolwork got pushed aside more often than not.  On our way to yet another appointment a few weeks ago, seven year old Kia burst into tears that "Ry gets all the attention, and all the appointments are for him!"  It felt like action time for a long-brewing decision.  

After a discussion with Kia, DH and the principal, we decided to enroll Kia in the closest public school even though it was already the beginning of March. The first week went well for all of us, even though it was a little emotional letting my little girl spread her wings!  She has some catching up to do with her printing skills, but she is smart and sociable, and has adapted admirably.   

To my horror, I completely forgot about early dismissal Thursdays and was an hour late picking her up the other day.  Thankfully, the school is small and she was well cared for by her teacher until I showed my scarlet face!

We haven't yet finalized our decision about whether or not to continue homeschooling Ry come September.  He is adamant about wanting to stay at home, but I am beginning to see certain advantages in sharing the educational load!  So we will decide when the time comes.  At this moment, my philosophy on my kids' education is to let someone else take care of the academic stuff for awhile so we have the energy to concentrate on life skills and loving them and guiding them in the "big stuff"!

At least for now, this feels more balanced. For them, for me.