It took me a long time to make up my mind when I was deciding to homeschool my son. I suffered many nights tossing and turning, and when I couldn't sleep I got out of bed and walked around the house hoping I'd come to my decision so I could go back to bed and sleep. I talked to neighbours, teachers, strangers I met in the street and family. All said, "Why would you want to homeschool? You won't have any time to yourself. It's the only time I get away from my kids. It's going to take up too much of your time. You'll be with him twenty-four-seven. What about his socialisation, you can't cut him off from other children, especially when he's an only child. He'll end up a loser." These comments and more made me feel I was "the loser".
That last comment was the one that burned me the most and really got my ire rising faster than a tsunami. It was the turning point. Loser eh? The quote on the slate in this post says exactly what was going through my mind. My son wasn't coping with school life. He was bullied, the classroom was so noisy with rude children he'd become overwhelmed with the noise and have to leave the classroom. Teachers often found him out of the schoolgrounds. He just had to get away. I knew I had to do something because my son wasn't learning. When I checked his school books, nothing had been written in there for two terms. He was attending a private school. A week later, he was home with me and I was determined he wasn't going to set foot back in a school unless he wanted to.
Our first year was our hardest as Dan and I adjusted to being home together. Dan was in year seven. My husband ran a business from home, but he was out on jobs most of the time. I ran a business from home, too, so my time was divided between it and the homeschooling and running the house. What I learned about myself and my son during this time was more than I could have imagined.
Lesson number one, we were both individuals. Somehow, because he was my son, I thought he would work the same way I did: head done and just get the job done, also that when I'm focussed the rest of the world doesn't matter. Dan was different, he was easily distracted by noises, ringing telephones, and people coming and going, so that he just couldn't settle to the work. We solved this problem by encouraging him to listen to music while he worked. An outstanding result. At the same time, as he was completing his school work, he was able to do two or three things at one time which astounded me. He had two computer screens running several programs while he was listening to music and working.
My mind boggled. I stepped back and thought a moment. How could he be retaining all that he learned while he had all those distractions? The few times I insisted he focus on one thing, I was met with indignant stares and he refused my request. After much coercion from me where I said he would be more prolific and his school work would be finished faster, I got a shock to find his work stalled, and he was lost as though he'd been put in the middle of the jungle and didn't know which way to turn. My insistence in trying to organise his time failed miserably, so we returned to his way and hey presto, work was completed well before time with top marks. Well, if that was his way of learning, then who am I to change that?
I'm glad I learned this lesson. It made me aware that some of my employees may have had unusual working habits to be efficient. I learned how to get the best out of the people working for me to keep them happy and fulfilled in their work and develop a special relationship with them I may not have done otherwise. During the next few weeks I want to share other lessons I learned from home schooling.
Have you had a similar experience? Please leave a comment for me below.