Once upon a time when I was in high school, I was of the mindset that homeschoolers were weird. They're just not like normal kids, I thought. I told myself that I would never homeschool--ever--no matter what.
Flash forward about 10 years:
My oldest daughter has entered public school kindergarten, and can't sit still. She's doing summersaults during circle time. Although they can tell that she is very smart, she isn't doing what they want her to.
Flash forward 3 years:
Now in third grade, her workload has increased, as has the size and busyness of the classroom. After several increases in her medication something still just isn't going right. For example, she can study and know all of her spelling words at home, but when she takes the test at school she gets a 30%. As the other kids have matured in their social skills, she has begun to stand out more and more as being very different.
One day she is gathering ants in a paper cup on the floor of the classroom when the teacher (unwittingly) demands that she put the cup on her desk and begin doing her work. So Megan complies. That day I get a note home complaining about her being bad because she put bugs on the teachers desk. Um, really...you told her to. I can't help but think this is funny, but it is not the only time I get notes home about behaviors the teacher sees as being intentionally bad. I am not sure what to do.
In looking at what help is available through the school I see that she should qualify for an aide to be added to her classroom. Cutting the student to teacher ratio in half seems like an awesome idea. Unfortunately when I approach the school leadership to request an aide they tell me that she just isn't bad enough, and they do not want to comply.
My husband and I considered our options. Knowing I have state law on my side I know I could force the issue, but then there would be "bad blood" between us and the school, and that would make her environment strained. We didn't have nearly the income necessary to send her to private school (especially since by this time she had 3 younger siblings). So that left us with homeschooling.
In looking around for helpful suggestions on the internet I come across a new term: Asperger's Syndrome. I look at the diagnostic criteria and realize that it fits perfectly. Realizing that she has probably been diagnosed incorrectly for years, I take her in to be assessed and am found to be right. This diagnosis qualifies her for many therapies that weren't available before. The public school tries to get us to come back with promises of all the wonderful things they will do to help her, but that bridge has been somewhat burned, and we respectfully decline
So in the end I found myself doing the thing I said I would never do...and I love it. Sure there are days when I wish I weren't. But there are rarely weeks when I feel that way, and I have never had a year where I thought that.
Flash forward 8 years:
Megan has graduated from all of her therapies, and has been able to go off all of her medications. She is finishing her sophomore year and thinking about college and the future. She took College level Meteorology in her freshman year and is taking a Honors World History as a sophomore. Next year she is planning on taking some dual enrollment classes at a nearby college. Kids meeting her today tend to think of her as a really smart kid who is confident and has a very distinct personality.
And in the end:
Homeschooling has been one of the best choices our family has ever made.