Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I might have never known

I wrote about our Journey with Dyslexia last week.  I think as mothers with intuition we have a feeling about our children but sometimes we just don't know what to do about it.  If you live in America you know this machine that we have here - get up go to school, go home, do homework, keep doing that until you are around 18 then do it again for another four years or so until you get a degree to get a job where you get up go to work come home, maybe do some work at home and get up and do that again.

I'm not much for the machine, never have been but I did not know how much I wasn't for it until our foray into dyslexia.  I went to school.  I studied hard (sometimes).  I was decently smart.  If I would have tried a little harder I could have done better.  But I've always been a dreamer.  I am still a dreamer.  I am not always a follow-througher, but I still dream.

I was skeptical of homeschooling before I did it.  I don't know if we would be doing it had dyslexia not come into our lives.  We learned quickly that our round peg would not fit into a square hole.  I describe our school experience as sucking the soul out of my child.  If you have never dealt with a child with learning issues then this will seem very foreign to you.  When  you put your child in school and beat your head against the wall doing simple homework that they just don't get - you get frustrated and nervous because if this is what kindergarten is like - then how will I make it to senior year?????

I honestly did not know or believe that school could be enjoyable.  It was a box that just needed to be checked off.  It was a place you must go to be involved in the system.  You know the system - go to school, go to college, get a job, make money.

I went through the system and did fine.  But my son will not fit in this system.  Not right now - maybe someday but I don't know.  I will tell you that the change in him since we started straight homeschooling is unbelievable.

My son hated books.  He would get so upset if we made him read.  It was so painful for all of us.  And I could not figure out what he was interested in because of all the schooling we "had" to do, I had no time left to explore what might really interest him until now.  I have finally discovered his love for science and animals.  People - the boy leaves a book in the van so he can read it to us while we are driving.  Do you understand how incredible this is?  It is a book he is interested in - dare I say - passionate about.  It is all about extreme animals.

Everyday he asks me to do research with him.  He likes to have "face offs" between different animals.  Today was about the harpy eagle and the peregrine falcon.  Say what???? Then he tells me all of the facts he has memorized from different books and from national geographic websites we have looked up and then we compare their skills and abilities and decide on who would win in a fight between them.

Do we do reading and spelling and math - you bet we do!   But we spend the bulk of the time learning the things he is interested in.  Even my Dad and stepmom  couldn't believe all of the things he new about all of the animals he has studied - on his own accord people.  He is 7.  To me it is incredible.  I don't push books down his throat because some list somewhere says he has to read them.

You know why, because when I graduated from high school I had spent so much time studying for tests and doing exactly what the curriculum required that I honestly had no idea what I loved and what I was passionate about.  I had no idea what to major in at college.  That is why this video struck a huge cord with me.  It is so true.

I would have never known what my son could do had it not been for this dyslexic journey.  To see your kids passionate about learning - makes you want to do whatever you can to keep that enthusiasm going.

Here is the text if you would prefer to read it.

" For those of you out there that must continue to sit in desks and yield to the authoritarian ideologies of instructors, do not be disheartened. You still have the opportunity to stand up, ask questions, be critical, and create your own perspective. Demand a setting that will provide you with intellectual capabilities that allow you to expand your mind instead of directing it. Demand that you be interested in class. Demand that the excuse, “You have to learn this for the test” is not good enough for you. Education is an excellent tool, if used properly, but focus more on learning rather than getting good grades."

It is so good.  P.S.  I am not against whatever school you send your child to.  We are probably sending our daughter to public kindergarten but I am aware of the pitfalls and will keep a close eye on how things go.

I am just so thankful that my eyes were forced open through our journey and I can say that children can learn in a variety of different ways and it doesn't have to be with a paper and a pencil and a test and a grade.



  1. That's one of my favorite parts of homeschooling, that we can allow the children to pursue their interests.

    I had no idea about your son, you are doing a great job.

  2. @Ma
    Thanks! I think you do a pretty amazing job yourself.


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