For a couple of years, we were happy.
Then the teacher who taught the class
for autistic children moved away. There
was no other teacher trained to take her
place, so Hannah was put in a regular
classroom with her own assistant. The assistant tried her hardest to keep Hannah
busy and help her learn and do well in
the mainstreamed classroom. After several months, though, I knew it just wasn’t
Hannah was coming home in the afternoons upset and sad. She was frustrated
and had behavior issues that she had
never had before. She was simply no longer happy at school. Because Hannah was
nonverbal, her new teacher didn’t believe
in her ability to read or even to understand what was being spoken to her. For
that reason, she was having the assistant
do very basic work with Hannah (such
as identifying colors, numbers, and letters), and Hannah was simply bored!
After doing everything I knew to do
(talking to the principal and the teacher, having meetings with them, sending
notes and information with Hannah to
school, offering to let the teacher come to
my house to observe a “school” session,
and even sending work with her to do at
school), I finally decided to bring Hannah home for good. She would no longer
attend school part-time and do her work
at home part-time. From then on, Hannah would homeschool.
Looking back, I see what I didn’t see
clearly at the time. The fact was that I was
the “expert” on my own child and knew
best how to educate her at that point in
her life. I was providing direction and
even much of the material to be taught
because I knew my child and the teacher
did not. In addition, it would probably
have been unreasonable for me to expect
the teacher to know her as I did. One
teacher simply cannot be an “expert” on
an entire room full of children.
It didn’t take long to realize that Hannah loved being at home full-time with
her brother and me! She was happy
again! She was doing her work nicely. She
was making progress both with motor
skills and social skills. She was using the
academic information she possessed to
make more academic progress. She was
becoming herself again! It was wonderful to see.
Not long after that, when her brother
began officially homeschooling for kindergarten, a new baby was added to the
family. It was definitely difficult home-
schooling two children and caring for a
newborn, but we survived that challenge
just like we had survived other challenges
until that time.
Having a special needs
child should not keep
you from pursuing the
homeschool option. It
might just be the answer
you’ve been looking for!
to use different teaching techniques with
her, she is capable of doing some tenth-grade work. (Since her brother is in tenth
grade, I use some of his curricula with
Hannah as well.) In the subjects that are
more difficult for her, I use materials that
are at a lower grade level.
Since all three of my children are
homeschooled, we attend local home-
school group outings such as field trips,
holiday parties, and classes together.
Our family attends church together, goes
on vacation together, visits friends and
neighbors and relatives together, and in
general has a wonderful time learning
and growing together!
Wendy lives in the South with her wonderful hubby and three great kiddos! She
is a Christian, homeschooling, work-from-home mom. She and Scott were high school
sweethearts and have been married for
more than twenty years. Her oldest child,
Hannah, has autism, and Wendy began
homeschooling Hannah at age 2. Wendy’s
son, a typical boy, would rather do anything than school! Her youngest child is
a little social butterfly and people lover.
Wendy loves reading and quilting and will
hopefully return to scrapbooking some
time soon. You can find Wendy on her personal blog at wendy-homeschoolingbless
ings.blogspot.com or at www.HipHome
schoolMoms.com, where she is co-owner
and social media director.