“I’m ready to pull her out tomorrow,” you scribbled. “She needs to be some place she’s loved.”
I stared across the table at the panel of experts. They had combed through our family history; put our daughter through endless rounds of testing; and interviewed her teachers, her therapists, and finally, us.
The school psychologist slid a stack of papers across the table.
“She’s unable to function in a mainstream classroom. If you sign here, we can start the IEP process. We’ll do our best to support her at every level, and we’ll be sure to place her in the least restrictive environment.”
“What will you do about her skill level? She’s at least three grade levels above.”
“We don’t start those services until grade three, Mr. Kochis. And for the record, we don’t advance children whose social-emotional development is so behind.”
My face burned.You squeezed my hand. I held my breath and waited. You stood up, and turned toward the door.
“Thank you for your time and your opinions,” you told them. “We disagree. We’ve decided to bring her home.”
“You’re going to homeschool a child on the Autism Spectrum? Do you really think that’s wise?”
“It’s the wisest decision I’ve made in my history as her father. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have a child to save.”
Thank You for Believing in Me and in Us
I don’t think I’ve told you the relief I felt in that moment. We’d been talking about homeschooling for months. But it was hard to pull the trigger when I’d become adept at circling the topic. I’d been evaluating our options from every possible side. My background was in education. I’d never thought of homeschooling before. I had questions, hope, and a good bit of hesitation.
We had a highly gifted child with Sensory Processing Disorder. Could I challenge her? Would it be worth even giving it a try?
You thought so, even if I didn’t. Your belief in me and your love for our daughter set us on a path to transform her broken heart. Rather than delay, discuss, or consider one more moment, you seized that opportunity to take the leap all three of us needed. You couldn’t know the final outcome, but you could see the flexibility and healing homeschooling would afford.
Five years later, you are my biggest supporter, and it’s not just because we’ve seen our daughter thrive. It’s an extension of the support you’ve shown me from the beginning.
You Are My Greatest Homeschool Supporter
Homeschooling is a venture I could never have done without you, and I figure it’s time I tell you why:
- When I want to give up, you encourage.
- When I’m questioned, you defend.
- When I want to talk curriculum, you listen.
- When I’m sick or exhausted, you pitch in.
You have always shared my joys and my triumph, but with homeschooling it’s an extra win. This is something we’ve built and created together. Our children are happy and thriving; our home is a refuge of peace. I love that we’re building cathedrals instead of patching up war wounds.
Thank you for supporting me.
About the Author
Ginny Kochis is a former high school English teacher and adjunct professor of English turned homeschooling mom and business owner. She writes about faith, motherhood, homeschooling and family literacy at Not So Formulaic.