No one ever said homeschooling would be easy. I accepted that challenge when I took Logan out of public school. Homeschooling is unpredictable on a good day. I embraced that thought so I thought I was ready for anything. Yet, frustration came along and it was an unwelcome guest. Frustration leads to anger and anger leads to defeat. What is the real reason we get so frustrated homeschooling our child with autism?
Some days tears wash the dining room table and some days the dining room floor feels the pounding of victory laps. Homeschooling a child with autism is a marathon not a sprint. There are times I feel like I cannot run one more step in these shoes. On tearful days, I scold myself for being impatient and becoming frustrated. That feeling is normally followed by guilt because I know Logan is doubly frustrated. The feeling of defeat is not far behind to tell me I cannot take on this task of homeschooling my child with autism.
Do you beat yourself up and think you are not fit because you don’t have the patience required to homeschool?
Why do we see another struggling child and feel we would have the patience of a saint?
What are we doing wrong?
First, let’s take a deep breath. We didn’t endeavor to homeschool because we are cowards. We decided to forge ahead because it was the best road for our family. When we packed for this adventure, we didn’t leave out self-doubt or the trap of comparison. The pressure of having your child’s education on your shoulders serves to amplify those feelings. We have a vested interest in seeing our children thrive and that interest is often led with the heart. We want the best for them and self-doubt whispers words that heighten our insecurity. Add in autism…wow…we will do nothing but second guess ourselves…at least for awhile. Homeschooling brings pressure from within as well as from the outside.
Our Journey with Autism
When I began homeschooling Logan, I worked so hard to find the right curriculum. We worked really hard to see even the smallest victory. Yet, the world tends to miss small victories. They see slow progress. The look of victory fades into insecurity. Was I at fault for this “slow progress”? With self-doubt in my eyes, I saw judgment from all sides. Were they all thinking my child was failing because I was failing by child? Could it be true that I pushed my child to success to legitimize my own ability to homeschool him? You see, my frustration was linked to fear and pride. The fear that I was incapable and the pride of not wanting it to be revealed as such caused me to feel judged and to get frustrated with my child. I forgot that even slow progress is still progress.
I remember reading how a child with autism feared going to school daily due to judgment and the pressure from friends and teachers to keep up academically as well as read social cues. My heart broke for that child and was immediately thankful that Logan was homeschooled and didn’t have to face the same thing. I was right about one thing. My child didn’t have to face the same thing. But was he really? Was I creating the very environment that I was trying to avoid? Was I cultivating a ground where blooms would never grow because of tension and stress? The real reason for the frustration was my own insecurity. I had a few things to face. My child’s struggles are not a reflection of an inability to homeschool. Logan’s successes belong to Logan, not to my pride. Logan does the work and deserves the accolades.
How are you struggling with homeschooling your child with autism?
Dig deep. Are you struggling with fear? Are you struggling with pride? We homeschool to create an atmosphere of learning for our individual child. We cannot allow fear or pride to invade our homeschool. Our homeschool should be a safe haven where all are valued and not defined by their struggles and shortcomings.
Yes, I know it can feel defeating and frustrating to teach the sound of “a” for days and days. Yet, I promise you that you are not ill-equipped because you feel ill-equipped. I promise you don’t have to listen to anyone who says otherwise. I promise it is not defeat to find the best solution from an outside source like a tutor or online program. Push aside fear and self-doubt and homeschool with your heart without losing your head. Always remember that it’s your job to make your child be the best version of themselves they can be no matter what that looks like.It’s Back to (Home) School time!! I’ve never been more thankful for the freedom to homeschool my kids as I am this year. I can’t imagine the uncertainty, stress, and overwhelm that many families are feeling right now with not knowing what the upcoming school year will look like. As homeschoolers, our plans for the upcoming school year have likely not been disrupted or derailed, schooling will take place in our homes this fall (or year-round if you are in that camp). Plans may have changed some as jobs and financial situations may have changed; so many families, homeschoolers or not, are feeling the strain of the economy’s decline. Maybe you don’t have the funds to get your favorite or usual curriculum this year, or maybe you don’t have the budget to buy any at all. Maybe you are brand new to homeschooling; you’ve decided to take your child’s education into your own hands, to have more control in what and how they’ll learn, and you had to cut back your work hours or quit altogether to do just that. Well, I’ve teamed up with a great group of homeschool bloggers that would like to help and bless a few homeschool families this year. We wish we could bless more, but we will be able to give THREE families $200 to spend at Rainbow Resource Center to buy curriculum, resources, and supplies for their homeschools. To enter for your chance to win, simply use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Now I know this is quite a few entries, but each of these bloggers has generously chipped in their own money to make this giveaway possible, so I hope you will take the time to do all of the entries. And hey, the more entries you do, the better your odds are of winning! Giveaway ends July 31, 2020 at 11:59pm ET. Must be at least 18 years of age. Must be a resident of U.S. or Canada to enter. Selected winners will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prizes or another winner will be drawn. By entering this giveaway, you agree to be added to the email lists of the participating bloggers (see the Terms & Conditions on the Rafflecopter form for the complete list). a Rafflecopter giveaway