Homeschool…yikes! Now there’s a word that used to make me shudder. The very idea of being chained to a desk beside The Boy all day seemed a guaranteed path to misery. Anticipating the inevitable hours of arguing, outbursts, and power struggles, had me fantasizing about grabbing the nearest bottle of anything 40 proof to guzzle in the safety of my bathroom, while belting out some good ol’ Gloria Gaynor…
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love The Boy to pieces and think he’s an amazing kid. He’s brilliant, funny, loving, and kind, but he’s also a stubborn and moody know-it-all-soon-to-be-teenager. Maybe it’s because he’s an emotional and sensitive Pisces, which by all astrological accounts means he’s prone to extremes. I translated that to mean he’s got an equal shot at ending up as the next Steve Jobs or Charles Ponzi—both famous Pisces, for very different reasons.
Let’s root for the former.
No matter what he ends up being when he grows up, right now trying to teach him anything is like banging my head against a brick wall, and I cringe thinking about the months and years ahead. What is it with teenagers, anyway? It’s like they’re born with the ability to say “I know!” with the perfect intonation of snark, condescension, and arrogance. They sound like Kanye—except, coherent and smart.
So, it probably won’t be a surprise to learn that The Boy has ADHD of the impulsive, hyperactive type—with ODD tendencies thrown in for good measure. It’s a lovely combination that’s like looking into my Karma mirror—one with a dark reflection that’s obscured with the floaty, foreboding ghosts of bad behaviours past. Oh yes, I was every parent’s nightmare, and I can hear my mom and dad cackling with glee over this glorious turn of payback (don’t begrudge them, they earned this prize).
Needless to say, school didn’t work for me, and after six years of trying, it’s clearly not working for The Boy either. It started with a phone call from the Principal the first week of Kindergarten, and it’s been a roller coaster of meltdowns, disruptive behaviour, and phone calls home, ever since. Yes, there’s been some amazing highs and positive achievements, but there’s also been a whole lot of bumps and anxiety. At some point, I’ll probably write a separate post about how The Boy was diagnosed and the journey we’ve been on since then, but for now, suffice to say that it’s not been a smooth ride. However, I wouldn’t change a minute of it for the world—I’ve learned more than I could have possibly imagined, and I’m a better mother because of it.
All that said, I want to clarify that both of The Boy’s schools (in Quebec and BC), have been nothing short of fantastic, and I think the staff can probably walk on water—they have all been amazing. We’re beyond grateful that we’ve been able to interact with so many awesome people in the education system, and we’re beyond lucky that we happen to live in a province that has an equally fantastic homeschool program. I’ll write more about that once I’ve had time to learn what I like/don’t like about it. I hope to God it works out and The Boy thrives, because he deserves to have every opportunity for success.
In Part II, I’ll add some specifics about how the homeschooling works here in BC and how we were able to switch mid-year. Until then, please wish me luck! I think I’m gonna need it…