*This post isn’t meant to be a gripe. But just a very personal and real look at one of our recent days here at JuniperHill Academy. I’m writing this not to be judged or to scare people away from homeschooling. But rather to show the beauty in the difficulty.
Today was hard.
It was tears welling up in my eyes hard. I want to curl up with a good book and forget my responsibilities hard. I could feel the frustration mounting in my chest. I pushed down the dread that threatened to overwhelm me.
My words became terse and demanding. Really, how hard could it be to remember what number 6 looks like and that it is called six? Three weeks into schooling, three weeks of reviewing the same number, and still she can’t remember number 6.
It was the same last year. It took us all year just to get to number 5. And we reviewed number 5 throughout the summer just so she wouldn’t forget.
These moments, they bring back the struggles from seven years ago. Moments of tears, frustration, eventually giving up, and then persevering. He couldn’t get the letters. It took us three years. Three years to memorize all the sounds. My child with significant dyslexia. It broke my heart. It frustrated me. I struggled to see the light at the end of a very long dark tunnel.
When my daughter was about 9 months old I began to wonder. She was like her brother in so many ways. In the back of my mind was a constant niggling. What if she had it too?
As I sat there thinking of any new ways to help her remember, to help that number 6 get etched into her mind, I was begging to just have a child that was easy to teach. I think I even muttered it under my breath. I began to question, why me? Why do I have to have the children that struggle to learn?
Later my selfishness tore at my heart. Why didn’t I just take a moment to look deep into those beautiful blue eyes? I would have seen a little girl with a tender heart trying her hardest to learn and please.
Why me? I know why.
God chose this for me. He chose these beautiful children for me. Gifts from God. Gifts that may struggle with conventional learning, but who shine with creativity and imagination. Gifts. Plain and simple.
Yet these children of mine aren’t plain or simple. They are complex. They require every ounce of ingenuity I have some days. Some days I just don’t have what it takes and that’s okay, too, if I remember to take a breath and acknowledge that. It’s okay if I don’t have all the answers. It’s okay if I need a break and they need a break and we just call it a day.
And it’s okay if it takes a 3 months to remember number six.
Because I know. We will conquer this. I’ve seen the proof in her brother.
Number 6, it’s just a puff on the radar screen. We can do this, together, hand in hand and heart in heart!