This post is from contributor Sharla Kostelyk
The blessings of homeschooling are not always apparent in the moment.
When you are neck-deep in laundry, the kitchen floor is covered in bubbles from a science experiment gone awry, kids can be heard bickering in the other room, and all you want to do is just be able to take a shower in peace, homeschooling may seem like a lot of effort with little tangible benefit.
I was driving my second oldest son to a friend’s the other day and he and I were having a really pleasant conversation about everything and nothing. He began to open up to me about some of the difficulties he’s been experiencing lately in communicating with friends because of his dyslexia.
The communication problem is a fairly minor one and he wasn’t very upset by it, but as we began talking more about it, I brought up his reading. I was just casually commenting on how great it was that he loves to read and is such a good reader considering what a late start he got in reading.
He paused and looked at me wide-eyed. “What do you mean I was a late reader?”
I reminded him that he didn’t read until he was almost ten. He was surprised by this and it was his reaction that reminded me of another one of the blessings of homeschooling. He didn’t realize that he had been a late reader because it hadn’t been a big deal. He had been loved and supported, and accommodations were made naturally to his learning style because of his dyslexia.
They were so natural that he didn’t even notice them.
Had my confident, book-loving, bright son been in a classroom during those early years, he may have placed labels on himself or believed that something was wrong with him. He may have shied away from the classics or from reading altogether because he may have come to believe that his learning disability would impede him in some way.
Instead, he was able to learn without labels, without comparing himself to others his age. He was able to learn at his own pace, with what worked best for him, using the skills God gave him.
I can sit back now that he is almost sixteen and is a prolific reader and say that homeschooling worked for him. There were many days in my earlier homeschooling years that I wondered if I were failing him in some way. At the time when he was nine and not yet reading AT ALL, I was not as calm about it as I am now with one of my other sons who is about that age and just beginning to read.
Hindsight and perspective are such wonderful things!
Homeschooling is a gift that gave my son confidence and allowed him to be who God created him to be without all the insecurities and hangups that may have occurred otherwise.
Tomorrow, I may again doubt my ability to teach my kids, or I may wonder if this was the right road to choose; but today, I couldn’t be happier with my decision to homeschool!
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