Unexpected Advantages of Homeschooling with New Children in the Home
Sometimes advantages of homeschooling come through unexpected circumstances...
We were entering our 12th year of homeschooling last summer, thinking ourselves in the "homestretch" with both of our children in high school.
They are delightful, precious human beings who love the Lord, and I'm so honored to be their mother.
We homeschooled from the beginning in obedience to what we believed the Lord was telling us to do, despite struggles and irregardless of familial disapprobation. Little did we know... there was a whole new meaning to home-stretch!!!
Enter into our homeschooling adventure my three young cousins, taken from a state foster home. We went to court to get permission to homeschool the oldest (the other two are below compulsory education age) since Texas' Children's Protective Services' policy does not allow foster or kinship placement children to be homeschooled.
The judge considered the way-above-grade-level Stanford Achievement Test scores of our two teens and told CPS that I could homeschool. That was apparently precedent setting.
We knew homeschooling was the best option -- period, as well as the best for the new little boys coming into our home. The boys came with a variety of emotional, behavioral, and developmental issues.
We knew that sending the older two out of the house for first grade and Head Start services would be physically easier on us but worse, much worse for the boys, who needed (and still need) stability and attachment and a place to feel they belong and are safe.
Keeping them all here meant that they would heal faster, bond faster. There have been incredibly difficult days in the past 10-1/2 months, days only another family walking the same place with Jesus could understand. I won't elaborate.
Now, we have a sophomore, a freshman, a first grader, a Pre-K/three year old, and a 16 month old. Can you hear my brains rattling in my head??
We're at the end of this school year (mostly), and our first-grade son has made mostly A's, though he came saying he was dumb and couldn't read (he spent his post-kindergarten summer in summer school trying to improve his reading skills).
Our now-4-year-old son, who came unable to accomplish a four-piece puzzle, can now work a 60+-piece puzzle by himself, has learned his numbers to 15, his colors, his shapes, and knows most of the alphabet.
Our "baby", who came at 6-months-old only able to lay on his back and fling his arms around, is now on track for his age, and above-level for language expression. He builds with blocks, brings us books to read to him, knows many animals and replicates their sounds. He prefers running to walking, and any time outside is his favorite time. It's been a hard year filled to the brim with hard work.
Ah... the great benefits and advantages of homeschooling are so very visible, again and again.
Our teens haven't finished their textbooks yet (good thing we're accustomed to schooling through the hot Texas summers!), but they've learned so much more than what is waiting for them in the rest of their Algebra 2 and Biology and Literature books.
They've learned to care for other beings who act less than human at times. They've practiced governing themselves and setting their own learning goals when Mom and Dad were busy with diapers, emotional meltdowns, and a huge variety of appointments in our search for the right kind of help for the little guys.
They've learned the next level of patience and love and peace by practicing it in the midst of chaos and screaming temper tantrums. It's not in the typical textbooks, but these are lessons worth their weight in gold.
Stretching at home is now the norm: we've stretched our budget, our rooms, our patience, and our love.
Funny how the Lord gives you opportunity to walk with Him daily, challenging you to love those whose behavior is unlovable.
Children who have been hurt bring to your home that pain, and it has to get dumped and dealt with so the healing can begin. We hope to produce now FIVE well-rounded, home-educated human beings who love the Lord -- and who can walk with Him even when the going gets tough... and tougher... without giving up.
Homeschooling-adventure veteran from Texas
**************************************************Deborah, your story is both touching and powerful. Your family is not only a testimony of God's unfailing love but of how homeschooling can transform a child's future.
I applaud your efforts. Thanks for sharing!