I feel honored to say that I get to work with my niece/daughter almost everyday. I have the privilege of being able to homeschool her. We spend more time together now than I could ever have been able to when I was working full-time. I mean, I ended up changing my schedule so that we would drop her and her brother off at the before school childcare program that was on Fort Knox. This enabled me to be able to be home when they got home from school. But I wanted so badly to be able to be a stay-at-home mom again for these two kids, but it wasn’t in the cards that first year for me to be able to do that. God had other plans for me during that time.
Then the following March I began to have hip pain issues that no one could explain. Over the next 6 months I had just about every test you could think of and no one could really figure it out. All I knew is it felt like a pinched nerve in my left hip but no one could find out where.
In the end, I ended up not being able to go to work and right after finding out that my husband had received orders to go to Alaska, we made a decision for me to not only go ahead and give notice to my job, but that I would get to homeschool my niece that next year. From the moment she came to us she’d asked me to homeschool her but it hadn’t been possible. Now it was and she was just as excited as I was for her to be able to be. The quality time alone was going to be worth it. She’d get one-on-one time with a teacher (me 🙂 ) and I’d get to decide what curriculum she would learn from. It was actually quite fun looking up all the different things I could use to teach her and then buy.
So, I have the privilege every day during school week to work with my little girl. I get to serve her in a way that some don’t get the chance to. I feel honored to be able to do it. She is one special girl.
You might be asking where is my nephew in all of this. Well, due to some personal circumstances, he was sent back home to live with his biological mom. He is in a good place. We miss him.
Angelo T. Spencer says
We often hear of the father’s not supporting home schooling, so I applaud your courage in discussing when Dad is on board, but Mom, the primary teacher, is not feeling it. I have been homeschooling 12 years, and I have three kids with various special needs. My youngest has severe behavioral issues due to mental illness. The cause doesn’t change the fact that teaching her is exasperating, frustrating, and makes it harder on the other kids as well. Honestly, I have trouble seeing a light at the end of the tunnel that it will actually get better.
However, whenever I have a thought about throwing her into the big yellow school bus, I remind myself of a few things:
1. Would it be any less frustrating to be called by the school on a regular basis because of her outbursts?
2. OR would she hold it together at school, only to give her family the worst of her behavior, and we would never get to experience the good?
3. Just how much worse would her behavior be when shaped by her peers instead of her family?
4. The reasons I chose to home school the older two, also apply to her.
5. God called me, he will equip me, and every time I fall short of patience and wisdom daily, it opportunity to have God mold me even more.
To be gut level honest, the first three reasons tend to motivate me more. I KNOW homeschooling works, I believe in it, and when things aren’t working, I have to go back to the drawing board and try it a new way. Over and over again. When the new way stops working, I try yet another new method. I am not talking about changing curriculum, but how I present it, how I interact with her, what I expect of her, and most importantly, what motivates her. We aren’t all sitting around in a happy little circle with our faces lighting up when we learn something new. It is hard work, and when you have a child with behavioral problems, it is REALLY hard work. I have to trust God that in the end, it will be worth it.
Mommy's Angel In Heaven says
Angelo, first I want to thank you for sharing your story. I can so relate. I love what you said about trying new things because you need to do that in order to do the best you can for you child. I’ve found I have to do the same thing in order to keep my daughter’s attention. I learned a lot last year as I homeschooled her for the first time. Things change quite often. Fortunately, this hasn’t had to happen as much which I’m so thankful for. Sometimes its a struggle but I know in the end it will be 100% worth it. And just like you, I trust that God knows what He is doing and having me do.