So I am a co-op drop out.
Yep, I'm a cool homeschool mom like that.
I keep thinking of that song about being a beauty school drop out.
And yes that probably makes me a dork. I'm learning to be okay with that.
The truth is that this has been a long time coming.
And by long time I mean about a month.
Here we go with my lengthy explanation.
We started a homeschooling co-op in the fall. It was a group of other families with the moms teaching and assisting in the classrooms with class periods set up. The kids went to different classes throughout the day and we had a lunch period in the middle. The co-op set the school year into trimesters.
The first trimester seemed to go fairly well. We had some issues but nothing serious in the classroom. The big part I was having a bit of an issue with was when the second trimester came along, the only heavy weight class the kids were in was Chemistry and the kids were falling drastically behind the class with their homework. It wasn't for lack of trying but they were just not grasping what was being covered. So I was having to struggle with how to get them to learn it while having them behind and not knowing whether to speed them up to be with the class while not understanding what they were doing or to stay behind to understand but go to class every week with unfinished homework and assignments.
The other classes were nice but they were extra curriculars. Legos, crochet, etc. And so by going to co-op I felt that we were kind of missing an entire day that could be used for instruction on fun stuff. Don't get me wrong, I know they were learning things and having a great time with friends. But I also knew that behind the scenes we were falling drastically behind in math, grammar, and latin. Yoinkerdoodles.
I also somehow forget that Calvin has autism. The summer and autumn we were in a really great cycle. I don't look at my son and see "autism" plastered over his forehead, he's just him. But over Christmas break he started being able to not communicate again. And started stimming again. And a whole other myriad of things including not having control over the tone of his voice. So when he's answering you in a good mood he sounds like he sounds irritated and mad at you. It's difficult on us. It's super difficult on him.
And I just knew then and there. There was no way I was going to be able to send him back to co-op like this. I can't ask mothers to handle this when they have a classroom of other children to help. I can't ask other children to act like nothing's going on when he's yelling at them for no reason.
And so we dropped out. I felt really bad. I cried. A lot. I've asked that they allow us to return if we want but haven't heard what the final "verdict" from the leadership board is.
But in the end of it, I am holding my head high.
I did what was best for our family. While it was difficult for me because it might not be the best thing for Emma to leave but it is for Calvin, what that meant was if it's not good for one of us it can't be good for any of us. It might seem unfair sometimes but we're learning we're a team and we have to stick together.
As a homeschooling mom I am constantly worried about what people think of me. I don't want others to think I'm a "weirdo" because I homeschool. I want the other homeschool moms to think I have it all together. Ugh. it's just a weird place to be sometimes when you carry this title. But in this instance I felt that I had finally grown mature enough to be able to recognize that this was not working and it wasn't the best fit for our family.
Through this homeschooling journey I swear I am learning as much if not more than the children are. I'm learning to laugh in the rain, to give myself grace when things get rough, and to see things as trial and error rather than failures when they simply don't work out.
As I write this we should be at co-op right now.
Instead we dropped out. Before I would have felt like a total failure because of that.
Instead we made it half way through a math lesson today before Calvin went into his quiet corner in the homeschool room and was on his own with his cat for 20 minutes. Then he went and played piano. He learned 15 spelling words and successfully wrote legibly two sheets of words for me in handwriting. All of those are things we wouldn't have gotten done even last week. I'm considering this a win.
And as a homeschooling mom and an autism mom, I'll take as many wins as I can get.
Happy weekend sweet friends! Hope you learn to look for wins and to give yourself grace. Love you!
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