I’ve got Bowie rattling around in my head this morning…oh heck, all the past week. It’s an odd new year of change for me/us round here.
One of the big huge changes for me/us in the coffeehouse: I brought my baby Gabey (who is NO baby…ahem) home to learn yesterday. By which I mean, to homeschool. It was a tough decision, we all LOVE his teacher! But, I’ve been stewing over this one a lot, haven’t been able to let the idea of it go. Up til now, January, he’s LOVED every bit of school. He’s asked “Is it a school day?” with eagerness and anticipation in his voice. When he got his little kindergarden worksheet packet on Monday’s, he’d insist on drilling through the entire thing in one setting (to my amazement and glee, for a change, a kid who likes homework!). He wasn’t jealous of his big bro being home for school with me, it was all “See ya later, let’s go!” I’m not sure what changed. I think, developmentally, we are in one of the downswings of that attachment cycle: you know, stable/secure/confident then swinging down to insecure/shame/clingy-fussy-angry. Well, no learning can take place while a kid is fearful or angry. Combine that with the reports from his teacher, corroborating what I saw here and worried about, that he is shutting down in class. Skills that he zipped through before the break, are now being woven together and he’s hit his readiness limit. Seeing that it’s not clicking, he shuts down; an unhappy boy, waiting for them to move on. He comes home angry and begs, clinging, to stay with me. When he does stay here, he’s his loud lively cheery self, but with added hugs and snuggles for me.
So, the decision which seemed so tough for a month or so…is not so tough after all. And it’s done. He’s home for now. Where he can work through this uptick of those deep worries on security and his value and place in his family. He can do this deep work on his own time, in his own way and through play. He’s home where he can move at his own natural pace to be ready to really read and have the time and space to sing loudly all day (his current mode) and to think whatever thoughts he wants or need to think. Big brother is pretty happy about this new shift, mostly, there will be some spikes of jealousy here and there, and also more chances for them to work out the skills of taking turns and negotiating and patience.
Little Man is back to himself in the most literal way. He is off any and all adhd meds and that has brought his sweetness back. Annnd, it has brought his hyper energy and impulses back like a Tasmanian Devil…whirling and leaping all through the house, most all the time. He has the attention span of a squirrel, fascinated by any and all things that flit through his peripheral vision or notice. But he is a happy wild, rather than an angry wild. So, it’s a huge wonderful shift for us, even as I have to totally rethink my approach to him and his learning.
As for me, it all is part of this tide of change. I’m adjusting to my “new ears.” I’m liking them a lot! Heck, just to cut down the number of hours a day I hear that infernal ringing/tinnitis…these things are a godsend! I am switching to contacts, and might have found some that work with the new mulitfocal technology (science can be so cool!); because the space behind my ears for glasses AND aids is just too dang small. Wearing both at the same time hurts. Contacts are kind of wonderful, liberating. And I feel like myself from years ago in a way, even though I keep trying to push my glasses up on my nose when they aren’t there.
This year is beginning with a bang. For me to know that I need, and in a way, want, to bring my little boys home to learn? Whoa, that’s a sea change. And, truthfully, not without me dragging my heels. My selfishness knows no bounds and I am sort of wincing at the extra work and doing and lack of privacy/my time and such. It’s why Gabe didn’t get pulled out a few weeks ago. Why yes, I AM that selfish, indeed. Took me a bit to kowtow to the need of it. Shocked? Well, see, I had considered myself to be done, Done, DONE with homeschool. But, never say never, even when you’re old, eh? I’ve got some other big changes that I’m pondering for the blog too…but that’s another post, closer to Lent, I think….
So, for now, here we are. My little boys are home. I have to approach this a whole new way because they are totally different kinds of kids than the big kids, when I home-schooled them. I’m hoping for a more relaxed approach, a trust in their ability and desire to learn. They certainly have that whole CURIOUS, investigative, always into something, part down. So, I think we will be alright. The trick is for me to roll with it: the changes, the new mode, the mess, the noise, the mess, the ACTIVE-ity. But I’ve got new eyes to see and new ears to hear. Literally. Ha! So, I”m all in. Me and my boys…..
I am also homeschooling our little boy with some attachment issues- reading your posts on the topic has been so helpful and inspirational. He was just five in August and things were really tough at the time, after having recently added another little sister to our family. As all his friends started kindergarten I wondered whether it may make things better to give us some space from each other by sending him to school…but I couldn’t imagine him liking school or being able to learn with the way that things were. I also read Dr. Purvis’ book around the time we started doing school. We have seen such a tremendous change in him since then, our relationship has improved, and he’s learning a ton. So thank you for everything you’ve written about your little guys and homeschooling!
You are an inspiring, honest person! I love this post!!!