Last month our team worked hard encouraging others to be their own Valentine. That’s how I realized I needed to practice what I preached. But what practice would make my heart happiest? A year ago I was working just as hard, yet happier working towards my individual goals and family dreams… then about a half-year ago my husband lost his job. We lost our stability and went into survival mode. I started working long hours, 6-7 days a week. Luckily I have the education and experience behind me to not have to take a job I don’t want to do. All my jobs revolve around children, their parents and/or providers, but all these jobs take me away from my boys! Yes, I’m aware that is the lifestyle of many, but when we decided to pull our kids out of traditional school, we committed to giving them the attention we believed would help them thrive.
I’m not saying kids can’t get attention or thrive in school systems. Many do. However, homeschooling has proven to benefit many kids, including ours. They were students who didn’t need to be in a special-ed room, yet weren’t thriving in general-ed. Teachers and therapists said they would “survive,” but I knew they could “thrive,” and the past year has proved that. One went from not understanding the alphabet to loving reading! The other went from freaking out about any social activity to asking when their next homeschool coop or sport practice was! They are thriving to the point that some of their labels wouldn’t be appropriate labels anymore! Now that doesn’t mean we have solved the mystery of their struggles. It doesn’t mean homeschooling was a miracle that cured them. Homeschooling (and choosing appropriate social engagements) was an accommodation that benefited their needs, strengthened their confidence and helped them have happy hearts!
Because of employment changes we were planning on having to put them back into “real” school, so we started to discuss the options –immediately the boys anxiety issues returned full force. One “professional” said “they will have to learn to deal with it,” but another said “if they don’t have to deal with regression, why go through it?” So we questioned how we’d continue homeschooling, and a flood of ideas gave us the answer. Literally. A flood destroyed the Mi Families office. The office takes the entry floor to our home – that floor was ankle deep in water. We saved what toys and books and equipment we could, but much was lost. We watched as a restoration team came and took our carpet, walls and ceiling with them. We were left with a great big empty space and a great sense of loss – til we looked at it from a new angle. I looked at it as the way to “practice what I preached,” the way to be my own valentine. I considered what would make my heart happy. That answer is easy: go back to how Mi Families started. Go back to spending more time with my boys and inviting other kids to join in our adventures.
Since we have to re-build the Mi Families office anyway we may as well build a place for such adventures. So we are building Adventure Academy – a developmental area for infants and toddlers, a school readiness option for preschoolers, a young-fives program for kids who just aren’t quite ready for kindergarten, a tutoring service for homeschoolers. Wee ones in our discovery daycare will join elementary explorers in a one-room school house style environment. We’ll continue to offer parent / provider workshops and fulfill the Mi Families mission… My team, myself and my husband will work towards our goals… As a result our boys will learn to go after what makes their hearts happy. They’ll learn to never limit their dreams based on what some label said was possible.
If you want to know what “the professionals” said was possible and where they are now – SUBSCRIBE to get a link to our next article that will answer that question and more about Adventure Academy! Follow us on Pinterest and Youtube where you can get ideas for education, parenting and more. Like us on Facebook and Twitter… I’m on Linked-in … we’re growing on social media sites and everywhere else so make sure you are connected for the latest tips and tools AND for networking with other parents and providers who have questions you have and who share resources you need. Add a comment below to let us know what kind of questions and resources you are looking for –