We made the decision to homeschool before we knew about either of my boys’ learning differences.
Well, I guess that’s not entirely true.
We knew they learned differently, but we didn’t know why.
School was not kind to my oldest, off the charts, acing every standardized test seven year old. The noise, the smells, the bullies, the boredom – every single day was a battle.
My youngest was completely the opposite. He was super social. He loved the loud, boisterous classrooms, and getting dirty on the playground. But he was falling behind. He was not able to process directions swiftly given by teachers who, although they had the best intentions, assumed he was not paying attention or worse, being disobedient.
We didn’t have their diagnoses until a year into homeschooling.
And when we learned that autism, dyslexia, anxiety, and processing delays were part of the puzzle, so many people assumed I would be putting the boys back into school, where the ‘experts’ would better teach them.
I have very distinct, crystal clear memories of the feelings – the fear, the stress, the anxiety, the hope, the loneliness, the intense love, and the unshakable sense that homeschooling was exactly the right choice for us.
I could find plenty of information about homeschooling itself.
I found a few resources that gave practical ideas and solutions for homeschooling children with learning differences.
But finding a resource for being a parent, trying to figure this out? That was much harder to come by.
I wanted a resource for a momma navigating the reading curriculum and math, while scheduling occupational therapy appointments, dealing with three hours of sleep, and trying to avoid another meltdown.
I wanted someone to tell me how they were able to deal with it all.
I wanted someone to show me how different their days looked and why.
I wanted someone to share that they cried in the bathroom every day, because it all felt so daunting, so overwhelming.
I wanted someone to encourage me that it was OK to just breathe, focus on my boys, and that eventually, we would start to figure things out.
I wanted another momma to pour me a cup of coffee, and tell me there was hope.
I am honored to introduce you to my second book.
Special Education at Home is exactly the book I wish I could have read in those first years. It is the book I was searching for, but never found.
This book is about the heart behind homeschooling children with special needs.
I wrote this book to help those who need someone to encourage them, to tell them they are not alone, to celebrate their victories however small they may seem, to acknowledge the grief, and to assure them that there is so much joy, so much love, and so much hope ahead.
This book is a labor of love for the mom just like me. It includes some practical recommendations and examples, but mostly, it is an inside look at what it is like to live this life.
It is an invitation to accept and begin to enjoy, the learners we have been given.