Those of you who have been following my parenting journey for a while know that I've spent a lot of time advocating for my kids in their school environments. We've had varying levels of success over the past few years in terms of gaining appropriate supports for the kids within the mainstream schooling environment.
We've worked with some amazing teachers who have given their all to help the kids. We've also met some teachers who just don't "get it" and don't seem to want to. For the most part though, school was working well enough for the kids.
Until this year.
So we made a decision.
Without going into too much detail, we decided that both MasterL and MissGs social and communication support needs were not being met, and that MasterL in particular was so overwhelmed that his stress was having an affect on his ability to learn in the school environment. MissG was still learning well, and enjoying school, but she was exhausted, and told us she did not want to go to school anymore.
It's not an easy decision to make, on the one hand, because deciding to homeschool your children requires a substantial commitment of time and resources.... and to be honest, was not what I had anticipated we would be doing right now. But, on the other hand, it was an easy decision because we do not ever want to see our kids so overwhelmed that they cannot cope. I realise some people are not as lucky as us to be in the position to bring the kids home, but for us right now, it works.
MasterL is enrolled in a Department of Education Distance Education school. MissG is currently away from school on an approved exemption, and is in the process of "unschooling". We will shortly be registering with our state homeschooling authority.
The changes in both children since leaving the environments that were so stressful for them are easily observed. They are both calmer, happier and more relaxed. Meltdowns, shut downs and periods of overwhelm are occurring significantly less often. They have the opportunity to retreat and self regulate as they need to. They can take time to be creative instead of constantly needing to be on alert. MissG particularly is enjoying setting her own pace and seeking out learning that engages her and is relevant to her interests.
So over the coming months this blog will undergo another change of focus.... we will be talking about home education and how that works in our family, along with other things that catch my interest or set off my injustice alarm. This parenting gig sure is an interesting journey.