Compromising Power for a Happier Homeschool Experience

It has been 10 days since my last post.

I am exhausted.

BUT! I am also excited because today Blaze and I had a breakthrough.

We have been battling on a daily basis. Yesterday was the absolute worst day yet. He refused to do any work. He refused to listen. He refused to do anything at all. After trying to work with him and coax him into studying all day long he finally had a meltdown which left us both in tears.

He hates home school. He hates being home. He just wants to go back to school. He just wants to be with his friends and teachers. He just wants a normal recess. He just wants things to be normal again. As he poured his heart out, absolutely distraught, I couldn't help but fall apart--because I cannot make it better. I can't give him what his heart so desperately desires. I can do little to ease his anguish. And it is not fair.

It is not fair to expect someone so young and small to truly understand what is happening right now. It is not fair to expect a child to handle trauma with the same maturity as an adult. It is not fair to assume that my kids would be just fine abruptly giving up a life they loved so much. None of this is fair. As I watched my sunshine kid--my always smiling, hopeful, and happy son--fall to pieces, something inside me shattered. I put myself in his position at his age. I would have broken long before he did. I would not have handled any of this as well as my sons have.

I realized, it is not the curriculum that is the issue, or even my teaching style. It was the utter lack of control my son had over his own life. It was absence of freedom. It was the lack of social interaction that defines him as an individual. Understanding this made me realize that even though I couldn't make everything better in the world, I could help my son by doing one simple thing; give him power over his day.

Once we had calmed down and cuddled for some time I offered to allow Blaze to create his own schedule every day. He would still have to study the classes we had on the schedule, but he could pick and choose when we would work on them.

Today was our first day trying it out and already I see a great improvement in his performance. It might be too soon to tell if this was really a success, but I am hopeful. Being able to lead the day has proven to be something Blaze really needed. Now I just need to learn how to give up that control a bit better.