Before we get into my plans for homeschooling Tias, I need to explain about his homeschooling career so far. He is an amazing person, and nothing at all like I expected to have to deal with when I decided to homeschool. When he was younger, he was my lesson in the Tao – accepting what is, being in the moment, waiting for the ripe moment. He was like parenting a force of nature: not a wild horse that I had to decide wether I was going to patiently tame or break in a short period. He was more of a whirlwind of energy, unpredicabilty, passion, and passionate refusal.
I did what I could without breaking our relationship. I did what I could while respecting his emotional and intellectual state. I tried to surround him with a world of ideas, art, debate, words, stories, and images while waiting for the other things. I tried to steep him in an atmosphere of possibilities while we waited for potential to unfurl. I gave him time. I let him spend hours swordfighting our trees and play hours of video games.
One of the most difficult things I have had to face as a homeschooling parent is a recurrent fear that I am failing him. What is the difference between a true recognition that he wasn’t in a state of readiness and just taking the easy way out by homeschooling Sandra, my more compliant child? Was I taking a course of wisdom? Or neglect?
There isn’t really a way to know. No rewind button so I can try another set of choices and see where we end up that time. I just know that I like him. He’s 15, funny, moral, perceptive, great to talk to, and interesting to be around. I also know that with time has come readiness. He can look at a math page without turning intimidation into anger at me. He can face a day’s To Do list without instantly negotiating for an easier day. He is teachable now. He has an openness and the beginnings of confidence.
I’ve been hesitant to write this, uncertain how to talk about this in a way that gives you important information yet respects that he’s a person that can read this. I’m really proud of our homeschooling plans for this year – I think I’ve put together a very clever set of resources to build his confidence and skills while speeding him along to grade level in the areas where he needs that. I want to tell you about them and you need context to understand why they’re a good set of ideas and how they might apply to you. I blog because I want honest information about homeschooling out there. Not just the best moments. I want you to know that you’re not the only one with doubts and insecurities. Yet I also know that I need to find ways of talking about this that are kind to my son. It’s too easy to toss off a laughing description of this, but this is a rather permanent place, not the intangible atmosphere of a support group conversation.
He is having a very productive year so far, and I am excited to tell you what we’re doing.