The day my second son was born we were overwhelmed with joy. I had never had a child be healthy, so we almost didn’t know how to be normal parents. I watched his every move and wanted to snuggle him day and night and ride off into the sunset together.
But he had other plans.
Instead, he cried morning, noon, and night.
I repeatedly took him to the doctor and they assured me that he was alright. He was just a fussy guy. My mother’s instinct told me otherwise.
My son is a really a handsome boy and absolutely brilliant. He loved the Solar System and was teaching us things about it, that we never knew. However, I noticed he wasn’t interested in interacting with children and rarely played as I thought most kids did.
After several visits with the doctor assuring me all was well, I requested to see a specialist. I had wondered if he was on the Spectrum and knew early intervention was key.
We met with the doctor and they had confirmed my suspicions, he was diagnosed with PDD-NOS. Now it would be the general term of being on the Spectrum.
From there I begged our local school system to let in the ECSE program. And at the tiny age of three, he was loaded on the bus and off he went while I cried. I prayed it was the right thing to do, and it was.
While it was hard to let him go, it ended up being a great experience. He went for the social aspect of things along with sensory therapy. He continued on for the next two years and then he was moved to mainstreamed Kindergarten and was thriving.
I am still not sure what happened but once he hit first grade, everything went south.
Part of the reason that we had picked where we lived was for the school system. It would be within walking distance and I could walk with them every day and go back to work.
Unfortunately, through first and second grade we saw a major change in his behavior. He was having meltdowns and seemed riddled with anxiety and anger. My husband and I were clueless as to what changed.
After setting up with private home therapy and meetings with the school’s social worker, speech therapist, teacher, and principal we realized we weren’t getting anywhere.
We met with a doctor and they had suggested putting him on medication but felt it was treating the symptoms, but not the root of the problem.
As I sat there with my head in my hands, I cried out to G-d to show us what to do.
It seemed like in a short period of time, I had met several other women who were homeschooling.
I spoke with a friend who explained that she too was a lot like me. She found that G-d had been refining her in the area of patience and it forced her to work on her areas of weakness, to be stronger for her kids. As I sat there doing research I felt that I needed to pull my kids from school and step into uncharted territory. G-d was calling me to step out in faith to do what I thought was impossible.
It hasn’t been an easy road, but our kids are thriving. My son is doing exceptionally well and craves the structure of our curriculum with the flexibility of the homeschool environment. Like me, we found that he does much better in quiet environments without heavy distractions.
We had to pull my younger daughter as well. This broke my heart as she loved being with kids her own age. What we didn’t know was how smart she is. She was perfectly happy doing just enough to get by. We have found with our homeschooling curriculum, that the hands-on learning has actually helped her academically and with her confidence.
This post is not one to say that homeschooling is better than traditional, rather it’s about doing what G-d calls us to do, especially when it seems impossible. When we hand things over to Him, He makes a way we would never have thought possible.
This experience has brought our family closer together and helped our kids excel in academics. It has also brought out great qualities in all of us, that we never knew existed. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but G-d in His grace has walked with us and is refining our hearts each day.
I don’t know if we will do this every year. I am learning to do less of my planning, and do more listening to where He wants us to go.
We are all running our own race, and everyone’s journey looks different.
So if you are facing an impossible situation or have reached a point of frustration in your life and you don’t know what to do, let me encourage you to pray and ask for His wisdom. You may find that those uncharted territories take you to a place of growth and opportunities you never dreamed you could achieve.
Proverbs 16:9 (NLT) says it the best:
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.