Friday, May 25, 2012

Preparing for the Challenge

I know this decision to homeschool is not going to be a walk in the park. I am beyond excited to spend this time with my kids and really see them learn, not to mention have FUN! I also know that this will be a daily test of my own patience. It is definitely easier for me to find the patience with other children, but maybe my expectations of my own brood causes me to be more on edge. So, I will daily have to keep my own expectations in check. This will also be a challenge for me to be flexible and allow for "mess". Now don't think that our house is spotless and completely organized. Far from it! But I am constantly in "clean up" mode, so to add things that would increase the mess and chaos is not something I truly care to do.

So, with all of these challenges, WHY homeschool? Well, I have always wanted to be able to do this with my kids. I by no means feel totally adequate to take on this task and that is where I will be looking to God for the tools I need and the Divine Direction he will give. Even with my desire, though, I wasn't exactly "ready" to fully commit. Yet, God has placed a challenge in our family that has made the decision a bit easier. I took a week to pray about it and went through a Homeschool Enrichment program provided by Confessions of a Homeschooler. It definitely helped in the decision process. The challenge we face as a family really sealed the deal. My oldest son, affectionately known as Rookie, has a speech delay. More technically for those that want to know: Final Consonant Deletion, Syllable Reduction and in some contexts Medial consonant deletion. So, just imagine your first born child, the one that you longed to hear say "mama", didn't say this simple word until after he was two. At almost 5, his speaking is choppy and we can only understand about 60% of his words. It truly feels like living in a foreign country and barely knowing the language. You strain to hear words you recognize to be able to understand the idea of what he is saying. Then add in a younger brother at age 3 who can speak better and more clearly. At that point you truly realize how much you are missing from your oldest...his thoughts. At the same time you also realize that if you have difficulty understanding him and you are with him the majority of the time, how misunderstood is he with his peers and teachers. How difficult is it to communicate to his friends and to express himself. My heart hurts for his challenge. On the other hand, his receptive and expressive language are within what they consider functional limits along with his voice and fluency. So, everything goes in and he understands, but going out is where we have the breakdown. Since November of 2011, Rookie has been seeing a speech therapist once a week for 30 minutes and we have been doing our best to drill the concepts at home in hopes of accelerating the progress. Even with this additional help, my husband and I do not feel that Public Kindergarten is in his future this Fall. When we finally received the go ahead to delay him, that is what we did. I am hoping to really push his education at home while we take this year to concentrate on his speech and behavior. Speaking of, Rookie is also very physically active...ALL THE TIME! I could not and truly did not want to put him in an environment that would "break" his energy, teach him bad habits, or get picked on for the challenges he already faces. We saw a glimpse of this in his MDO program and are actually glad that he has been removed from that environment. Again, being in a home education setting will allow for movement and active freedom while learning.

So, here we are in final preparations for our school year to begin. Our challenge before us and God leading our home.


SchneiderPeeps said...

Kimberly, I'm praying for Rookie. My Gabriel had a very sever speech delay and had many of the same delays your son has, plus the inability to actually make a lot of the sounds and didn't understand prepositional use and a few other things. And you're right all of that leads to an underlining level of frustration that the child has to live with. Gabriel is now 14 and speaks very well (some say he has a bit of an accent but everyone can understand him) and has learned patience and how to work really hard.

So I'm praying for you guys. I know God will use this in his life and in yours to grow you.

Kimberly said...

So good to hear! Sometimes the journey seems lonely and difficult, but I know that your prayers and the prayers of others will be a HUGE blessing to him and our family. I try to keep a positive outlook on it, though I fail often. Yet, if we stand back and look at the BIG picture it can be exciting to see what divine thing this challenge is preparing him for.