That David Bowie song is playing in my head – “Ch-ch-ch-changes . . . Turn and face the strange changes . . .”

Nigel and I have some big changes ahead of us. It’s been a year since I began homeschooling him, and just when I started to feel like I was doing okay with it, Nigel announced that he wants to go back to regular school. I’m not too surprised, actually. He is a social, extroverted person, autism notwithstanding, and even though he’s been involved in Scouts and has other social outlets, he’s reaching his limit of being home with Mom. And it’s showing in his lack of compliance with doing his schoolwork. It’s been increasingly difficult to get him to focus, to gauge if he’s learning anything,¬†and if he is, whether it’s going to stay with him. His thoughts are always elsewhere.

I never expected to homeschool him for very long. Hell, I never expected to homeschool him at all until it became necessary! I had never even entertained the thought. I never thought I was the homeschooling “type,” whatever I thought that meant. I guess I thought it meant people who really wanted to homeschool their children for religious reasons – or any reason, for that matter. But once I realized that he needed it, a) because things were so bad at school that he asked me to, and b) because bussing him to a contained classroom in a different city was not acceptable to me, then I wanted to do it. Then I began to wrap my mind around it and come up with ways to make it happen. It was probably one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as a single parent – making drastic work changes, schedule changes, and financial changes. I put so much mental energy into just getting used to the idea of homeschooling. Then I had to research what I was supposed to teach him, how to do it, and plan. It required a lot of focus to convince myself that I could do it.

It’s not over yet, of course, not for a while. The first step will be to see his doctor again, since we have decided to try some new medication to help with his behavior and need to get started with that. Then we need to attend his IEP (Nigel has requested, for the first time, to attend his IEP meeting, which is huge) to discuss what his options are. Most likely he will attend two classes in the morning and then come home, so he will be half-homeschooled. We’ll do this for spring term, and if all goes well, in the fall when he starts high school (gulp), he may be able to attend full-time with some support.

So, we’re making adjustments. It reminds me of when he was younger and he attended three different elementary schools before we found the right fit – we constantly made adjustments. We are no strangers to change. Part of me is feeling defeated – I had to work myself up to doing this in the first place (homeschooling), and now it is winding down. But it’s not like I’m throwing in the towel. We’re just making adjustments. Trying to find the right fit again. I have to believe that we will.

8 thoughts on “Changes

  1. Fearless Females

    You must feel–both–excited and scared…? But this is just so huge for Nigel, that he is making the decision–and that comes for great parenting!! I think starting out slow is a great idea and necessary. Thanks for sharing this with us and can’t wait to hear more on his progress.

  2. M

    the half-day thing sounds so great…that’s really a perfect set-up. i didn’t realize that was possible. he can get in there, see how it goes…it’s a big step, but one he can ease into. that’s great.

    however…even though his school day is cut in half, my guess is that your stress-level will not be cut in half. i can’t imagine how tense those days will be for you, wondering how it’s all going.

    you will be receiving many mental hugs from us.

    i might have missed it in the post, what is IEP? Is that the social skills class?

  3. Maddy

    I’ve always admired people who can homeschool. It wasn’t an option for me because I don’t have the patience and I would never have had the slightest clue about what to teach.

    I would probably be in a better position to attempt it now as I have a better handle on the situation, but not back then.

    Always changes…….probably just as well.
    Best wishes

  4. Pweshes Mama

    Hi thanks for the lovely award! Really made my day :-D. And good luck with trying to get Nigel back in school.. I think it’s so great that he asked for it himself and even though I can imagine the find will be hard, I’m confident with your strength and perseverance, Nigel will find the right school that will help him flourish even more! Looking forward to hearing more of his progress!

  5. jess

    i’m with mara – defeated? hell no – this was the goal!!

    and M – IEP stands for ‘individualized education plan’ – it’s essentially the way that we establish, along with the school system, how our children will access the curriculum. it sets goals for them and determines what accommodations can be made in order to achieve them

    (or something like that)

  6. Tanya Savko Post author

    Thanks, everyone. I feel like I did a good job with homeschooling, it’s just ending before I anticipated – I guess before I was ready for it. I think that’s what’s causing the feelings of ‘defeat.’ But I think it will be fine, and I appreciate your encouragement!

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