As a little girl I played school every waking moment. I had a real grade book, my fifth grade teacher would send me home with real worksheets and I had a red pen for grading!
I wanted to be a teacher.
I started my college career as an education major.
You’d think after loving school and wanting to be a teacher I’d be thrilled to sit down and teach Jackson.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve always worked on our ABC’s and 123’s. We’ve read books together since he was a newborn. I teach him; but these days teaching him has gone to the next level.
I’m talking curriculum, trying to make out lesson plans and trying to be disciplined enough to do some homeschooling.
Jackson’s enrolled in public school, but he’s only going part-time.
Kindergarten has been a huge adjustment for him. When a child has Dyspraxia, Apraxia of Speech, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder they often need more support than the traditional classroom allows. They tend to have a different learning style than their neurotypical peers.
Research shows that many children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech and Dyspraxia have trouble learning to read. Children with Dyspraxia also struggle to write. Throw in ADHD and school can be just plain tough!
Jackson loves school, but he was having a hard time. The days were just too long. He was overwhelmed and frustrated. We started to see behaviors we weren’t seeing at home. We knew we needed to make a change.
Our IEP team made the decision to shorten his day and gradually increase his time at school as he began to adjust to the long days and high demands. It’s the best decision we could have made.
Jackson was leaving school on a bad note each day. He and I were both feeling defeated. I didn’t want that to be our reality day in and day out. I didn’t want his self-esteem to take a major blow. Because the truth is I have a very smart, funny and hardworking kid!
Within a day or two of starting the new schedule, Jackson began leaving school happy and successful!
When we changed his schedule we knew we would need to do supplemental learning activities at home.
I eagerly ordered some curriculum and had the best intentions. But the box arrived and it sat unopened for weeks.
The truth is I have never had a desire to homeschool my kid!
Part of it is selfishness and pride. But I also doubt my ability to be the teacher that Jackson needs.
Can I teach him the way he needs me to? He will learn differently than I did at his age. Do I have the self discipline? What if he’s 10-years-old and can’t read? What if I screw it up?
I finally decided I had to get over my fear and pride and just go for it!
I had to realize that God would equip me each step of the way if I trusted Him with this journey.
It’s going to take a lot of prayer and a lot of patience, but I believe in my son and his ability to learn. I’m also starting to believe in my ability to meet Jackson exactly where he is and teach him in a way that best suits him.
This week we finally opened that box or curriculum and got started.
The first day Jackson blew me away with his ability to memorize and recognize a group of sight words after only a few activities. When John got home that evening I got out the flashcards and he proudly showed his dad what he had learned. The next morning he hopped up on a chair at the dining room table and told me he wanted to count turkey feathers.
I can already tell the time I’m spending with him is impacting more than just his educational needs. It’s filling his love tank, it’s strengthening our relationship and it’s one more opportunity for God to grow my character.