Understanding Strengths…. why I don’t homeschool

The last two weeks, I have spent a significant amount of time communicating with Daniel’s school. There have been emails and phone conversations about low grades, missing assignments, mis-communication and lack of agreed upon communication. I have spent several hours of accumulated time sifting through Daniel’s backpack, binder and desk to make sure he isn’t forgetting or loosing work. I have enlisted his brother to stop by Daniel’s locker and check it for incomplete work as well as lunchboxes and hoodies.

When I describe weeks like these past two weeks to friends, they often ask the same questions, “Why don’t you just homeschool him?”

I am not unfamiliar with homeschool. I was homeschooled. It was the mid 80’s and homeschool was viewed as something for weird, hippy families. However, it was a good education for me. My mother had trained to be a teacher. She found an excellent classically based curriculum through a respected day school in Maryland, Calvert Academy. Fellow participants in the homeschool program included children of National Geographic Correspondents on assignment. As a strong reader, I flourished, always tested in the top percentile on standardized tests and was in advanced classes when I finally entered public school in eighth grade. I have a lot of respect for mothers and fathers that do homeschool effectively. I can see that time could be saved if I was personally involved in Daniel’s daily school work.

I also understand my own strengths and limitations. I cannot homeschool my son.

It isn’t a lack of williness to do what is best for Daniel, it is a very clear understanding of my capabilities. While I am able to advocate effectively for him at school, I cannot teach him.

I do not have any teaching training. I do not have a natural bent toward teaching. I do not possess the kind of patience, calmness and ability to be objective that working through a school day with Daniel would require. We would spend a large part of the day arguing and aggravating each other. I am too emotional regarding Daniel. Most importantly, I have no experience working with the severe dyslexia and process issues that Daniel struggles with daily.

I think it is very important as a parent to understand my own strengths and limitations. There is not enough energy available to waste it trying to be capable in every arena. Instead, I choose to focus my energy on my strengths – organization, advocating, tracking and life skills.

I still struggle with feelings of condemnation and failure. I often have moments of doubt. Maybe I am not a good mother because I choose not attempt this avenue. However, I work every day to teach Daniel to honor himself by effectively using his strengths to achieve his goals. As I teach Daniel, I too am learning to honor myself in the same way.

There is enough condemnation from the outside world when parenting a child on the spectrum. With ourselves and each other, there has to be a measure of grace.

Advertisements

About aspergersmom

I am a 35 year old woman. I am the wife of an amazing man, who keeps me sane. As a recent California/Florida transplant to the midwest and the mother to a combined family of 6 children; 3 boys, 3 girls, my life is an adventure. I blog and raise our family with my best friend.
This entry was posted in A beautiful mind, Ah-ha moments, Awareness, Challenges, Parenting on the Spectrum. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Understanding Strengths…. why I don’t homeschool

  1. Judi says:

    Although I have been trained to teach and hold two certificates, I have chosen not to home school myself. This is an area I have to leave to others for my daughter. I wear all other hats when it comes to her, and simply can’t keep up with her intellectually. We all have doubts about our choices. This never means we are bad parents. We know where we need to hand things off to others. Good Job Mom!!

    • aspergersmom says:

      Thank you Judi!

      • Judi says:

        No problem. I am fairly new to all this, but the signs and symptoms have been there all along. I just started my own facebook page. (no blog yet) It’s called New Aspie Mom. Since girls are a little different, I thought another perspective would be good.

      • aspergersmom says:

        I have seen you on Facebook! Let me know if you start a new blog. I find it helpful to hear how the experience is when it is a girl instead of a boy. Thank you!

  2. Pingback: THE SATURDAY EVENING BLOG POST: vol. 4, issue 5 « Raising a Child with Asperger's Syndrome

  3. Steph says:

    I love this “I think it is very important as a parent to understand my own strengths and limitations. There is not enough energy available to waste it trying to be capable in every arena. Instead, I choose to focus my energy on my strengths – organization, advocating, tracking and life skills.” I totally agree!!

  4. Pingback: To Medicate or Not To Medicate? That is the Question….. | Raising a Child with Asperger's Syndrome

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s