Saturday, February 26

You Are My Son Shine

Mom, you’re making me funny! He says as he laughs at the joke I read off the kid’s site we’re looking at.
I smile & pat him on the shoulder, “Jojo I’m making you laugh?”
He looks at me but the whole moment is spoiled. “I was saying that!” he says now frustrated with me.
As I’ve mentioned before, I have 2 sons. One of them is vision impaired & the other has an auditory processing disorder accompanied by a language delay. My 8 year old speaks the way a 3-year-old should. There are so many different ways he says the same thing, yet he can quote a movie word for word seeing it only once. He can recall things from years ago but can’t remember what I asked him to do 5 minutes ago. He has taught me so much about life, learning, & above all patience.
I always knew Jojo was a little different, even though he was always getting in to things, always curious, but I didn’t begin to understand until he had turned 3 & wasn’t speaking but a few words. I talked, read, sang, & played with him everyday. But his brother excelled & was (still is) advanced for his age. Jojo on the other hand couldn’t grasp audio concepts, like picking out sounds from a set, hearing his name when the TV was on, or even following directions in a series. He still can’t do most of these things. I’ve tried many techniques & found some that work for us, and, some that don’t. But isn’t that what parenting is, trial & error until you find something that works for your family?
It took me a long time to even begin to understand what Jojo & I were dealing with. I’ve had no medical, therapeutic, or other intervention other than a school district evaluation when he was 4 that was a complete waste of our time & theirs since all they cared about was that he had a set of words he used as aposed to pointing & grunting, & that he could pick out colors when prompted; & another screening when he was about 5 years old that lead us to a SLP (speech & Language Pathologist) who had nothing on her mind other than insurance money. So needless to say those got us nowhere. So, I put him in school as planned & found out fairly quickly that _that was not going to work.
All through his kindergarten year & half way through his 1st grade he struggled with simple reading & mathematic concepts, behavior, & just about everything else. I was called in to the school office & parent teacher meetings several times through out the year. His teacher was an unfriendly “lady” who would call to yell at me over the phone on several occasions, & she saw it fit to make him eat his lunch in the nurse’s office, “as a precautionary measure to prevent him from getting in trouble”. I spoke to many a supervisor, including a YMCA supervisor to deal with a director of the afterschool program who didn’t particularly care for my son, & was determined to kick him out of “her” program. This particular director was so mean to him that he would wake in the middle of the night with nightmares crying:
“I don’t have any puzzle pieces! I don’t have them see? Look my hands are empty!”
My heart ached for him & since I was working at the time & I saw no way to fix this problem. I went to prayer & asked God to guide me through this. Soon after that, I started hearing, reading, & just about tripping over information on home schooling. It seemed that everywhere I went someone or something was talking about home schooling. Even at work. Shortly after my plea for help, I was booking a reservation for a lady who was telling me that she homeschooled her daughters, & that because they had annual passes to the local amusement park they would go every Monday to learn from the drawing academy there.

So I looked up, & said aloud, “Ok Lord, I can take a hint.”
The following week, I spent gathering information, planning, & then I quit my Job. I walked in the request for my children’s school records & handed it to the principal myself. I wasn’t about to let anyone mistreat my baby anymore. Once I started working with him at home, I realized that in the year and a half that the school had to teach him, they taught him nothing. He had the same knolege he started with & that’s where our home school journey began.
I tripped & fell; I slipped & slid, but Thankfully the meltdowns have stopped, & Almost 3 years later we’re finding our way to _our education. I may know how to read & right, but I’m finding that I still have much to learn, & Thanks to my babies, I will continue to learn for them, but most importantly with them.

I’m now developmentally dealing with a 9/12-year-old, an 8/4-year-old & a typical 5-year-old. They are the 3 cherubs God sent me & I’m determined to raise them right. It’s not easy, I pray a lot & I try to learn all I can from them, but I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned & have even taught some people is that not all learning is done behind a desk, in a book, or in a group setting. I know someday my kids will have to go out in to the real world, so why not start there. I love that we can take our education out of the box & run with it. This is our light & we’re going to let it shine for all to see.
That’s the part of our story we know so far. I’ll add more to it as we grow & change & as God sends us where we need to go. If you have any suggestions, resources, or just ideas that might work, please share them & your stories with me. The reason I’m sharing is to let other’s know I am here & maybe just maybe make a difference in someone’s life.
Take care, God Bless, & make it a Great day!

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