Post number 2:
Good morning, blog!
I have only ever had Jordan in public school and have always homeschooled the rest and currently Jordan too. There are lots of reasons why… homeschooling is really a fabulous and flexible way to get and give an education. I’ve been able to maintain closer relationships with my kids, develop personalized education plans, give them opportunities for more play and more time outdoors, and overall felt we were successful and making the best choice possible.
But about nine years ago, I realized I had developed depression. And I’ve always had struggles with chronic fatigue and brain fog. I was managing the depression and fatigue well enough, with both better and worse months as life goes, for years. My pain levels have been increasing, my chronic fatigue and brain fog became more intense, and the depression really smacked me hard several years ago. The work of becoming more myself… more whole, inside and out, has become a focus of my attention and, I think, is helping me become more resilient and healthy.
That said, something had to give. Homeschooling is a lot of work. It lacks the stress of interacting with and performing for half a dozen teachers, aides, nurses, and bus drivers… and it allows for a lot of stress-relieving autonomy instead. But the all-day nature of being a family in the same space together does grind. Not to mention specific individual difficulties with kids that I am going to keep off of the internets. I needed a break. Pretty desperately. Brian and I have lived a life in deficit mode for years and we both are weary and showing the wear.
To send kids to school, i had to be free from the fear of the state. If you’re not aware, barely two months after Daniel was adopted, while we were still in the thick of learning feeding tubes and settling Daniel into our family, we began a school assessment for him and they called CPS on us, because Daniel tried to plug a cord into an outlet. Tiny children with disabilities plugging things into outlets is obviously startling and we had spent lots of money and energy into baby-proofing our home, but Daniel was almost five years old and dismantling all the baby proofing we could put up, so we were switching gears to teaching him how to use outlets safely instead. Anyways… CPS. We got a phone call and two home visits from a woman with the power of taking our children away from us. We were in a place with even the potential for having our children traumatized.
And it traumatized us as parents.
A month later, the case was finally closed (she said she’d close it the moment she met us, but she didn’t actually do the paperwork for a month – over Christmas).
And for years, I carried fear. I still do, but it’s not the same as it was before. I’ve recovered, at last, my sense of self confidence, even in the face of professionals who may press me to defend my choices.
And I’ve also successfully latched hold, for now, on the potential of, “What if it works out.” What if it works out!? What if it works out?
And so – I have a high schooler, a middle schooler, and two grade schoolers in our local public schools. They’re riding busses, learning from teachers, interacting with the community kids, and… after a long 18 months of covid… seeing other humans besides their household. The mornings are a bit hard and we don’t know how to manage our time when the kids are home yet, but I have margin. Potential.
And that’s why I’m blogging today.