Maurice and I recently made the decision to home school Kobe. It was tough and nerve-racking thinking about taking on the responsibility of educating our child on our own.  We went through tons of curriculum, spoke with other home school families and decided it was just the best choice for him.  Kobe was diagnosed with inattentive ADD a year ago.  It is a commonly overlooked diagnoses because it does not have the hyper side of ADHD.  Kobe would be sitting nice and quiet in group time, appearing to be paying attention, later when it was time to answer questions his teacher realized he was not.  We could not understand how a kid who started at above reading level upon entering the first grade was on that same level by the end of the year.  How could a child who began reading at 4 have so much trouble with the writing process?  He could verbally tell us everything he had read but when it came time to writing it down he would become frustrated.  His teachers would comment on how unorganized he was and how often he would have to have questions repeated.  We discovered after many interventions and finally testing with a child psychologist that he had attention deficit disorder.  By the time we knew what was wrong he had already started developing negative feelings toward learning and school.  He would come home and tell me how he felt his teacher liked the other students more than him and he was frustrated with people telling him to pay attention.  Let me say here that he had great teachers but they had lots of students who needed their time and attention as well.  I know I could have pushed for the interventions to be put in place for him in the public school setting but they would not have been enough. Behind a desk mostly listening to lectures and then filling out corresponding worksheets would not work best for him. We needed a bigger picture.  After Kobe started begging to stay home from school and even asked to switch schools we knew we couldn’t wait any longer.  Having a love of learning instilled in my children is extremely important to me and I knew we had to do something before his frustration turned into behavioral problems. We also did not want his self-esteem to be any more affected than we knew it had already been.  (He had recently started using quick responses to frustration by saying, “I don’t know” or “I can’t do it” to anything he thought might be hard) We also knew that Kobe learns the best through hands on teaching that allows movement and real life connections.   Our first days at home affirmed to me that we had made the right choice.  We were talking about weather and he got so excited. “Hold on mom!”  He ran outside and came back minutes later.  “There are cumulus clouds in the sky today!”. I know it seems small but having him excited and connecting what I was teaching to real life made my heart swell. His classes have a great balance of on-line, worksheet, research and hands on.  We use many tools from the internet like you tube, discovery channel etc. to hit home and bring to life harder concepts. We take the iPad outside and connect and learn on it when we get tired of being in the house.  We also now have time for piano lessons which he absolutely loves.  Most beneficial to me as we take this home school journey was discovering a wonderful homeschooled co-op where he is takes a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) class as well as Lego Simple Machines.  He also participates in field trips and park days.  Co ops are a great way to socialize and form friendships with other home school families.  It is also the best place to learn about curriculum and home school resources. Here’s to a new journey.

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