Sometimes things seem to be working out just fine, until one morning you wake up and nothing seems to be working anymore.
Your routine, your appliances, your lesson plans, your to-do lists, your efforts with anything… There is something amiss with all of it.
As I expressed in my last post, my husband and I have a deep and sincere desire to forge a new life for ourselves and start a homestead. We have realized for years that we simply don’t fit into the current social standards and ways of living and a great change seems to be needed.
But sometimes, only small changes are needed – and these small changes can have a large impact.
Recently I began noticing that my son was having a hard time with his fifth grade curriculum. I don’t think there is anything wrong with the curriculum itself, nor is there anything wrong with my son…it just isn’t a good fit at the moment.
It just wasn’t working.
Being only 9 1/2 years old, a fifth grade curriculum is a year (or two) ahead of what other children his age are working on. We jumped ahead a year when we pulled him out of public school, only a couple of months into his kindergarten year, because he was already ahead academically and we thought he could handle a first grade curriculum. And it turned out he most certainly could.
Though we had many battles of will (which we still do), he was more than capable of handling curriculum that was more advanced than what his peers probably had. Until now.
Up until about forth or fifth grade, a lot of a child’s learning is rote memorization. While working on our forth grade curriculum last year, there was a great deal more critical thinking and reading comprehension involved, which J.J. has a lot of difficulty with (I think mostly due to his being on the spectrum), but we forged ahead anyway. I thought if I just kept challenging him and pushing him forward it would eventually “click”. This is how a lot of things work with him. We will struggle through things together until one day he just gets it.
But… It still hasn’t clicked yet.
So, as I was going through my mountains of school materials, workbooks, and math manipulatives (thanks to my retired school teacher father-in-law!) this past weekend…I decided make better use of all of the materials my father-in-law has most graciously given to me. We have workbooks on Logical Thinking, Critical Thinking, Reading Comprehension, oodles of Math Workbooks at various levels, and much, much, more.
I made the tough decision to set aside the fifth grade curriculum for now, in hopes that we will strengthen some of the skills J.J. has the most difficulty with before we eventually return to the curriculum.
I say “tough decision” because I have to admit to myself, my husband, and to my son that things aren’t going well right now. I have to set aside my pride and admit that things just aren’t working out — even with what I consider a near-perfect curriculum. I have to admit that we need to slow down. I have to admit that there are things my son has great difficulty with. He is a very bright child and thrives with tasks and subjects that require memorization, but has troubles when deeper and more critical thinking is involved.
I have to admit… That it’s ok.
I am so very fortunate that I do homeschool and it is a great privilege to be able to give my son what he needs — a few years ago we needed to jump ahead, and now we need to slow down.
Perhaps things will click and things will speed up again. Perhaps we will slow down to the point where he is on the same grade level with his peers again.
The point is to give him what he really needs. Not to give him what I think he should need…but what he truly needs.
I am so very grateful I have the freedom and opportunity to give that to him.