Since I work full-time teaching and chose to homeschool my son, I need help with balance. I’m a single mom and my son is twelve. Ideally, I’ve asked him to read through his assignments (while I’m at work) and when I get home we go over areas where he needs help and more explanation. So in a sense, I’ve “flipped” the teaching method here.
Whatever he can do without me should be done while I’m at work. But that isn’t always workable since he’s a pre-teen. I don’t mind that he wakes up late, after all he’s a growing boy and needs his sleep. I do mind that his first choice is online gaming rather than hitting the books.
Another aspect is that the curriculum I’ve chosen is online as well so I can’t configure the computer to eliminate the gamin since he needs it to do his lessons. I’ve played around with different user accounts and playing around with parental guidance features, but the bottom line is instilling in him a work ethic where he will take responsibility for his learning.
It is slowing working as he’s gone weeks at a time without his computer for gaming, but it can get frustrating when he doesn’t go along with what I have scheduled.
As with learning differences and learning styles with my own students, I’d like to take my own son’s strengths and areas of needing improvement into consideration to have the best optimal working environment for his learning. Some people have accused me of it all being too much work.
Absolutely, when it comes to my son, it is worth it and very necessary.
I had an interesting conversation with a colleague of mine at a teacher workshop we were both attending. She asked about my son and where he’s going to school, so I shared about the public charter blended online school he’s attending. Basically, I’m schooling him at home.
She opened up and shared the same frustrations about her younger son who was tested for dyslexia too. He’s in the public school system, and so it was reassuring to me that I wasn’t alone in my feelings about somehow feeling inadequate as an educator when our own child is dealing with a reading disability. We know so much on how to help children learn, but feel helpless, when we see our own child struggle.
Because my son is the same age as my current crop of seventh graders, my coworkers ask me why I never enrolled him at our school. It’d be awkward. But honestly, I like having total control over the environment in which my son can learn. There are a lot of good programs in my school, but I choose to keep him out of the influences of certain environments because I can.
As his parent, I can create a safe learning environment at home. I can also control the curriculum and apply his strengths as needed while not harping on the weaknesses. I want to create a place where he feels safe to make mistakes while learning. At the same time, I need to leave the woes of my issues with his public charter school behind.
I’m glad to be homeschooling. It’s still the best decision I’ve made. I wish I didn’t have to be a single mom and could be at home with my son, teaching him the way he needs, with the love, care and guidance. I don’t want to get angry nor envious of others or start whining about what my life isn’t.
I count my blessings. . .and as special as my circumstances may be, I can always count on God to guide me.