School starts up again tomorrow, so my blog will go back to being neglected for the next few months. But I just had to say...
I AM SO GLAD I HOME SCHOOLED!
Nothing is perfect, and certainly there were many problems with our family life and marriage as my kids were growing up. Before I accepted the probability of my daughter being "on the spectrum", I often doubted if maybe her slow social development was possibly related to not being forced to interact with crowds on a daily basis. Now I know with 100% certainty that home schooling had nothing to do with it at all. In fact, who knows where she would be if she were forced to deal with crowds on a daily basis? It would not have helped her mature any faster, or changed her neurology. So, yeah, I am glad she did not have to deal with public school.
Instead, her earliest years were spent in a calm, creative environment. Our home was resplendent with educational paraphernalia: books, DVDs, CD-ROMs, paints, colored pencils, markers, whiteboard and markers, scissors, glue, construction paper, magnets, puppets, toys, craft kits, music, posters- you imagine it, we probably had it. She had all the time in the world to explore and most of the day was free to get busy. I can't think of a better environment in which she could have grown up.
The middle school years were tough, and things were not good at home. Mom had been imbibing Poison for my Marriage for years, and the damage was growing daily. When I listen to P!nk's song "Family" I think of how tough that must have been for her. But even then, I am grateful that on top of that she didn't have to face the expectations of a school full of NT adults and children each day. Rejection and misunderstanding from her parents, her church and social groups was bad enough without crowds of people to overwhelm her and add their disapproval to the mix. As much as I misunderstand and didn't notice being home with her every day, how much more would *I* (not working moms in general, but me specifically) have missed if my attention was further divided to include the workplace AND the potential problems she was facing expanded to include the public school environment? For us, home schooling was the right choice.
Home schooling has turned out to be a boon for my son as well, at least as far as the interests he has and the man he is. He would like to be more popular (who wouldn't at that age?) and he certainly would have had a greater crop of potential friends to choose from had he attended public high school. But this coming semester, going to the urban community college instead of the rural community college he attended last year, I think he'll solve that dilemma. Also, the wisdom that comes with maturity (not everyone at public school is popular either) will give him a greater sense of satisfaction with his life.
So, if I had to do it over again, would I still home school? Yes. If I had the budget to afford an exclusive preparatory school, I would have encouraged my daughter to try that for high school. Ditto for my son. Christian school would remain out of the question, because school should be about learning and education, not indoctrination. But we never had that kind of money, so home school- for my two- really was the best option.
Peace and good will to all who read here. SS