I haven't shied away from the fact that homeschooling has been incredibly challenging for me. I knew at the end of last year that going by the book for one of my kiddos wasn't going to work and I knew that the curriculum I was using was far to overwhelming for him. I don't know why I didn't remember this when we bought the curriculum for this year!
Fast forward to yesterday. I felt so defeated. He wasn't understanding the material. I kept plugging away. Trying to present the information in every way imaginable, maybe if I tried while doing a head stand? Most days we would both end up frustrated and on the brink of tears. I craved a conversation over a chilly fall morning with my fellow homeschooling momma and friend while our boys ran about. I needed back up. I needed encouragement. I needed to be told that I wasn't a failure. So, even though miles separate us...I sent off a quick frantic message of my failures.
Then I started listing all the positives about my kiddo. You see, he isn't 'traditional'. The kid would give you the clothes he is wearing, even if it was all he had, if you needed it. A friend of ours is taking care of children in another country as a missionary and she was looking for chicken to fill her coop. We sat down to dinner and I told them that we could name one and purchase it for the coop. My son, went to get his wallet and took out his birthday money and bought another chicken. Without a second thought. Without a question. That is his heart. His heart is tremendous. He is passionate. When he is in, he is all in. He is protective. If you mess with his family he will let you know.
It was all these qualities that I want to enhance in our homeschooling day. As of yesterday, I was squashing everything in him. I took a step back and looked at our day. I looked how I wanted to school him at home (the downfall of being a trained teacher, living with a trained teacher). I sought advise from the experts who have been at this homeschooling thing longer than I have and I was encouraged to stop pressuring him to fit the mold that I felt like he should fall in. When I would push, he would push back. There was no rising to the challenge, it was all just shutting down for him. The beauty of homeschooling is helping him individually. Not pounding with all I have to make him fit into a perfect little school student mold.
So we are backing off and trying a different routine to our day. I am not going to push him and make him finish everything that our extremely traditional curriculum says. I am going to focus on loving him and challenging him without discouraging him. He is one awesome kid, and I am going to soak up every moment I can with him before he grows into a young man and spreads his wings! :)