Homeschooling Me! – Part 4, Learning to be Flexible
When our third son was just learning to walk, I looked up from the couch one day, and saw him doing that toddler teeter move at the top of the stairs. Knowing that he was going to tumble down those stairs at any moment, I leaped up from the couch, jumped over the toys all over the floor and was at the top of the stairs before you could say lickety-split. I didn’t stop to think about the book I had to lay aside, the toys that served as obstacles in my path, or the number of stairs I had to climb to get to him in time. My focus on what I wanted to do, to accomplish, was so crystal clear that I didn’t notice the obstacles in my path.
As John and I tried to move towards our goals, we encountered some molehill sized obstacles and we encountered some mountain sized obstacles. I can guarantee you are going to experience obstacles in your path toward your goals as well. Our journey, our obstacles may not be the same as the ones you will experience but over the past 19 years we have certainly had a variety. I hope that by sharing some of them with you, you will be encouraged to stay focused on your goal.
Early on in our homeschool journey, we were aware that we had some learning differences in our children. Over the years, we have had three struggle with dyslexia, one struggle with audio integration, another struggle with small motor skills, another be diagnosed with ADD, another be given the label of “gifted” and more. Yes, this definitely threw us for a time. Did we want to have our children tested? Did we want to use medication? Did we need to learn various therapies and coping strategies? It was all very overwhelming. Coming out on the other side of those questions, I can tell you what we learned along the way both in the area of .
- Study your child! Find out what his strengths and his weaknesses. Find out what makes him excited, what grabs his interest. Find out what he fears. Find out what gives him confidence.
- Read about the areas of which you are concerned. If you suspect dyslexia, ADD, and other challenges, read up on them. However, be careful what you read and who you read. A Biblical approach to these challenges is very important. God created your child as a unique individual for a unique and specific purpose. So as you read, as you seek counsel, remember to look for someone with a firm Biblical foundation, a Biblical view of children, and someone that will embrace the uniqueness of your child and not try and make them fit into a particular mold.
- If appropriate, seek out testing so that you can identify an issue and choose appropriate strategies to address that issue. However, remember that their recommendations regarding education need to line up with what you have studied, learned and decided are your God-given priorities and will lead you to your desired end result.
- Remember that God gave that child to YOU because He knew, that with His help, strength and grace, you could parent that child to be all that God had created them to be. Embrace it.