Today I publicly proclaim my commitment to come to grips with my reality.
For two years, I've struggled against this beast I'll call "Reality". Oh, at first, I blamed it on me. I thought I just needed to make changes. Perhaps I was too depressed, my house too dark, my situation too unbearable. I just needed to fix these things.
In time, I've come to the cold, hard realization that "Reality" is what it is. It's not going to be changed by my efforts, demands or stubborn refusal to comply.
The reality is I'm losing this fightI found out my girls had bipolar disorder a few years ago. I found out Alexis was dyslexic not longer afterwards. I accepted these things but didn't fully understand everything about them.
I didn't understand that their sleep problems weren't a symptom but a cause of the bipolar disorder. I didn't understand the complete lack of control over their own sleep habits or that it would be a battle they fight daily for the rest of their lives.
I still wanted to fit their homeschooling into my Aspie schedule. I wanted family studies to begin at 9 a.m. and independent studies to begin after lunch. After all, children learn best right after a refreshing sleep. So they should sleep and then wake to studies, right?
Earlier this year, I decided that I'd adapt. I'd work with what we've got. You know what? I didn't adapt. It's almost as difficult for me to let go of a routine as it is for them to force themselves to sleep like the rest of the world. Almost.
The truth is, it's easier for me to change my neurologically induced habits than is it for them to change a broken circadian rhythm. Must they strive to sleep at night? Yes. It's best. What happens, however, if they lose the fight? Do we just throw homeschool to the wind? No. I'm actually quite tired of that happening when they go on their "off" schedule. I'm also tired of staying up all night in an effort to get all things done.
I cannot continue this way.
Doing what works for our homeschool familyFor 4 years, I've enjoyed the concepts behind our Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling. The principles, the habit forming, teaching multiple ages through family studies and sticking to a predictable routine have all been a huge part of what I love about this method.
I cannot continue to wait on everything work. It's simply never going to work in a way that is permanent and consistent. I must let go of the family studies. I must let go of the idea that we'll all be up happily enjoying family studies at 9 a.m. after a nice breakfast together.
My reality is that my daughters have these issues and I must work around it. Alexis has dyslexia and I must work with that, too.
Changes I'm Making..
I'm laying out books and lessons at night. Separate lessons. No family studies. I'm not leaving Charlotte Mason behind. I'm not even tossing out the principles and teachings. I'm simply teaching them separately and tossing the idea of a predictable routine.
My days of teaching multiple children are ending. That saddens me. Teaching them the same subjects at the same time saves time. It's easier to plan and conduct lessons when there is only one set of lessons. It also allows us to learn together.
Still, I am happy with my new resolve.
- I'm happy that Alexis will be more independent in her studies.
- I'm thrilled at the idea of not casting homeschool days to the wayside.
- I'm excited to try some materials that may actually be more dyslexia friendly for Alexis.
Lorelai busy during night school
What are some changes you've had to make in your homeschool over the years? Share in the comments.
Disclaimer: I respect my children's privacy and level of comfort. Posts such as this one have been discussed with and approved by them.
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