I didn’t struggle in school. In fact, learning has always been easy for me. I wasn’t an honor student by any means, but A/B honor roll wasn’t super hard. Except geometry. Even in college; learning isn’t hard for me. Except statistics. Statistics sucks, just sayin’.
Sir M has significant learning obstacles. I don’t need a clinical diagnosis to know, though I am seeking that in the near future. I know he has severe dyslexia: auditory and visual. I know he has processing issues. One day he is rolling along and the next day nothing he did yesterday stuck with him. He has had speech therapy since he was four. Occupational therapy for over a year every week for fine motor skills and other help is just part of our lives. I growl under my breathe when teachers/leaders try to force him to read or retain information he can not do.
Please note: he has, not is. A learning obstacle, disability, whatever you want to label it, it does not define my child and nor should it define your child. My son isn’t dyslexic, he has dyslexia. See the difference? If I treat him as he is something, he will believe he has limitations and is nothing more than what holds him back. He has an obstacle (or two…or three..) that he will need face head on and conquer. I will have to face head on and aid him in his quest.
Challenge accepted. Let’s roll. Roll up your sleeves, Sir M. It’s about to get real.
I wasn’t prepared and I will not lie to you: I wanted to give up and re-enroll him in public school more times in the past 3 years than I care to admit. We fought. We cried. We screamed. He laid in the floor in tears hating me and I rocked uncontrollable in my rocking chair on the front porch hating me for the day. We gave up. We regrouped and we are moving forward. One of the blessing of homeschooling: if it doesn’t work, do something different and keep changing till you find something that works.
I love YouTube. I have spent hours watching YouTube videos about different programs for math, science, etc. I binged watched until the wee hours of the morning almost every night. For months. Well, actually, for the past 3 years. In my YouTube travels, I fell in love with Jane Manka with the Salty Tribe Co. Her minimalist style intrigued my interest, her unschooling laid back schooling I envied, and honestly living on an island in North Carolina sucked me in.
Then one night as I was lying in bed ready to binge watch her YouTube videos, when I came across her video about dyslexia and I sat straight up in the bed. I didn’t move, in fact, the only thing that moved was my tears as I watched and listening. I finally found someone with a dyslexia program and it was my favorite blogger to boot. I cried with relief and joy. Someone had a guideline that I could use to help Sir M to read. I immediately jumped into action.
I will do more about our journey as we move along, but I can’t explain the relief I have with Jane’s dyslexia guideline in her Lamp + Light curriculum and encouragement she shares with us that are part of her tribe. And isn’t just a blessing for Sir M, Lady A is excelling with this lifestyle as well. Schooling isn’t as difficult and they are learning. Check that: they are learning at their pace.
Is teaching Sir M easy? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I would be lying if I said it was. Many days, when we are done I am completely exhausted. Like, I need an Advil and a nap exhausted. I think I work just as hard as he does some days. But to hear him try to pronounce words and to watch him grab his reader and roll through a story, melts me to the core. I am teary just writing this. The child who scored a 1.2 in the DRA (which translated is: October/November standards of a child’s kindergarten year) at the end of the first grade is now able to read at first grade level with little assistance. It may take him longer than what people may find acceptable, but I don’t care. He is doing it. He may be classified fourth grade, but us homeschoolers, we know that doesn’t mean anything to us. Grade level is obsolete in the world of learning and is just a label.
I think I need to get serious about my blog. I am praying for the energy and devotion. I have a few friends that will be homeschooling for the first time this up coming school year and I need to be an encouragement.
This is just the beginning. I am excited. He is learning. Ya know what? I am learning too.
Thank you, Jane. Love ya! You are a true inspiration and keep up the good work. It is working. Never doubt it.
See you on the next post.