- Have we accomplished what we planned?
- Have we finished our books that we need too?
- Is there anything we've missed/
- What areas are we weak in?
- What things need some work over the summer so we don't lose ground?
- And...what are we going to do next year?
This last one is a big question for me because we have been mulling over the idea of letting the boys attend the public school. I say letting because this is something they think they want to do. I visited the school and talked to them about what school would look like for our youngest. Being considered "low-functioning" he would spend the majority of the day in the special ed room so they showed me the room. I have to say that was probably the most depressing thing I've seen all year. It was small and crowded and I was quite surprised considering the school is only two years old. The kids I saw were all considerably lower functioning than our son, most of them nonverbal. As a taxpayer I have to admit I was stunned. I think our kids deserve a better learning environment than this. Just because a child scores low on the cognitive scale does not mean they want to be cooped up in tiny, dark rooms. Give them some space to play and learn. Give them some windows for pete's sake!
The thought of Alex spending the majority of his day in that room for the next three years really depressed me and I can't imagine how he would feel. We have worked very hard with him to help him develop and feel as normal as possible. I feel that if he spent much time there it would set him back miles. You see, my son is like the perpetual first grader. This is about where his skill level is. This is where he is developmentally. He could probably go to first grade every year and be very happy because these kids think more like him and he gets along with them when it's time to play. But apparently schools don't find it appropriate to have 11 years olds in first grade, so they have to be with their age level even if they can't perform the work and they can't relate socially to 11 year old kids. I miss the days of one room schools where teachers had more flexibility in working with these kids.
We have the same issue in Sunday School. If he could go to class with the 1st and 2nd graders he would be very happy, because those kids are his friends. But instead he is expected to be in class with the kids his age, the kids who are mean to him and make him feel stupid. A place where all of the kids can read and he struggles. A place where all the kids are given parts in plays and he isn't so once again he knows that he is different, He doesn't fit in. And it breaks my heart when he comes home from church angry or crying because someone said something cruel to him.
So, unless something drastically changes we will continue on our homeschool journey. I have to admit this is not without a lot of kicking and screaming on my part. This is not what I want to be doing. But I am reminded that honor and duty are not something the military invented. It's something that God ordained for parents, for children, for Christians.
With that in mind, we will all soldier on.