My brother called me on the phone after checking on my blog and said, “so does this mean you’re homeschooling Charlie now?’
Not right now.
I have every intention of sending him to school in August.
What I’m talking about is figuring out the best thing for my child–and I think every parent should be doing the same thing. If your child were ridiculously gifted in music or art, would you send them off to a lesson and then never ask them about it? Would you never encourage them to practice? Of course not, that’s silly. You’d be involved.
Well, parenting a special needs child is no different. In some cases, you might end up taking them out of the traditional classroom–just as you would if your child were a skilled actress who worked six nights a week on Broadway. In some cases, some school might work–I have a genius friend who spent her afternoons at a local college while still enrolled in high school. There are similar programs for kids who are dance, theater, or music. Maybe your child will attend regular school all day like I did. It’s not the how that matters–it’s whether or not it works.
I’ve never seen a successful student that didn’t have an involved parent. Parents are a child’s first teacher. They are the reinforcer. They are the ones who put the spark and love of learning in their kids eyes. Thinking that job belongs to someone else is a cop-out.
You gotta figure out how to make it work–for you and your child. That’s not about one answer–that’s about a lot of different answers for a lot of different circumstances. That’s what I’m trying to do here–empower parents when the answers aren’t obvious and easy. Show them that they are still the guiding force in their child’s education.
I’m not so deluded that I think everyone wants to hear this–hell, I don’t want to hear it. After I started a Facebook page about teaching my special needs kid I felt the weight of that action–Lord was that heavy. Me. In charge of my child’s education.
Guess what? Doesn’t matter if it feels huge or not because it’s my responsibility. And I don’t have to do it alone–thirty-seven other people have agreed to do this with me or at least cheer me on as I try it. Yes, it’s scary, but there’s strength in numbers, and one way or another it’s gotta get done.

Charlie “dancing”

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  1. pixiemama says:

    I'm sorry – what were you saying? I was too busy thinking about nibbling on Charlie's toes! What a cute little man!

  2. You are right Katy! It is our responsibility to foster learning in our babes. I have a family member who has two kids and the oldest is almost 4 and isn't potty trained. I see the mom say "Are you pooping in your diaper?" Kid shakes head "No" but them they give him a spanking if he does. He's three…you have to take your kid to the potty for him to learn. He can't figure it out on his own! She gets so mad at him but sits on her fanny even if he is doing the pee pee dance! For cryin' out loud get up and take him. Repetition, please, anyone? Then she looks at me and says "you have the easy kid, you are the lucky one!" Parents, these days! OK, I have finished my rant! As long as you/we keep that in the front of our minds….our kids will succeed!

  3. Witkowski Family says:

    As a teacher, I appreciate that you are taking the time and effort to educate Charlie; one of our jobs as parents is to be our childs' first teacher! So many times I've found that children come to school so utterly unprepared by their parents that they start at a disadvantage, which only causes problems for that child. Right on for doing it right with Charlie…and my goodness, what a cutie!

  4. Miss Burb says:

    Hi Katy. My son begins preschool in August. I've actually been thinking (and worrying) a lot about it. Worried he won't get enough attention/therapy/etcetc…
    He'll be in a 50/50 class of typical peers and others with special needs.
    Anyway, I'm excited to see what you come up with and how I can implement that with my son. I'll be joining you FB page too!