The Players:

Darling: The brave hero, love of my life
Crunchy: The crazy drama queen, hippie crunchy, fiber-freak
Formerly-known-as-Teenaged-Cave-Dweller: The now happily married wayward teen daughter, currently without a part but for an occasional guest appearance-again.
Australian beast-in-law: the transplant from Australia who swept the Cave Dweller off her feet
SNG(AKA Science Nerd Girl): the 19 year old sanity creator, Mom's all helper, now part time college geek
Pickle: The 17 old sensory seeking/avoiding mother hen
Tink: The 15 year old auto-immune compromised fairy nut
Cactus Jack: The 13 year old drama king
Don Juan: The 12 year old ladies man
Duck: The 9 year old cutie patootie
Doodlebop: The 7 old independent sass box
Sugar Man: The 5 year old sweetie flirt monster
Frodo: the 5 old chunky grandson
Sassbox: the 4 year old firecracker baby
Biscuit Smidge: the 4 month old shrieky dragon granddaughter

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Then why have children?

I'm meeting all kinds of people these days. Don Juan is taking me on a new journey. He was just diagnosed with dyslexia. None of us were really surprised. At nearly 10, he still isn't reading and his ability to decipher phonics shifts as quickly as the sands in the Sahara, from poor to adequate, to poor again and then to excellent. We knew about his apraxia of speech-5 years of therapy has given him a voice. we discovered his brain integration disorder this fall and have taken steps to address it. But he was still struggling with phonics, spelling, and even numbers. His speech clinic tested him and he is over the top dyslexic. Telling him the diagnosis was like watching a thousand pound weight lift off of him. It made me feel wretched for him. Then, spending the money to get him a kindle and several whisper-sync immersion reading audio books, I really felt like a heel. He devoured "The Lightening Thief in 3 days, begged for a Bible, then finished "The Wizard of Oz" in 2 days. he's currently working on "Tom Sawyer" and listening to several Minecraft adventures.

Despite his inability to decode print, he IS a reader. That makes my heart soar.

I had an interesting encounter with a parent though, after discussing homeschooling and dyslexia. MANY parents feel dyslexia is a very solid reason to homeschool-your child isn't put in a box that restricts their strengths. They can utilize their positives to enhance the negative in a homeschool setting. Public schools may hold a math genius back because they aren't a strong reader. I feel that the public schools fail kids with disabilities like this.

I digress. A parent admitted they didn't know too much about homeschooling. Several of us expounded on the positives of it. She came back with "Eh. It doesn't sound like my kind of thing. It seems too inclusive." I assumed she was referring to the socialization argument that many lay out in regard to homeschoolers(like the emergent\cy room assuming with Pickle that she was an isolated homeschooler). I immediately jumped on the bandwagon, listing all the things my kids are involved in. She came back with the notion that she didn't mean isolated, but basically that she didn't agree with the fact that we get to choose what our children learn.

I'm still profoundly befuddled by her words, by her notion that we as parents shouldn't get to choose what our children learn. To me, this thinking is profoundly dangerous. To abdicate our rights and responsibilities as parents? To believe that the public school system-or any institution for that matter-is infallible is the worst mistake one can ever make as a parent.  Yes, teachers are educated. But the current Common Core standards of education and standardized testing controls what any district will teach. Teachers-the good, the bad, the indifferent-have no say in what is taught or excluded. They have no say in the curriculum if their state adopts Common Core. And an educational system that turns rote memorization of basic facts, such as addition or multiplication into a process that takes a child hours to complete is asinine.

We've taken away parental rights in so many arenas, and for some reason, people think it's ok if the government increases their power over our families. We as a nation have accepted the notion that a title or a degree makes them an authority and we should bow to them.

Having the right to educate my children is an amazing privilege and responsibility. Having them around me all day leaves me humbled and full of awe. Yes, I confess, there are days when I am overwhelmed, when they fight all day over the color of the sky. But I know my children and their personalities, emotions, health intimately. It doesn't take much to see when something is off. Who wouldn't want that amazing blessing?

I know to you, it may sound arrogant or snotty, but if you aren't intending to raise your children, why have any? And I don't say that as just a homeschooling mom. I know kids who attend public school that have incredible parents that are involved in every aspect of their lives. They ask questions. They are there to help with science experiments If a portion of the curriculum is unacceptable, they make noise. I have no doubt my public school parent friends are amazing parents. But they also don't expect someone else to raise their child or make all the choices.

Be a parent. Don't let the powers that be do it for you. One day, you may have no voice at all.


  1. Excellent post!!! i wholeheartedly agree with you on the homeschooling question. i, too, was dumbfounded by the woman who thought parents shouldn't have a say in what their children are learning. What is she smoking? :-)
    You guys have a lot to deal with and you do it with grace and love. Saying a prayer for you and yours tonight. God richly bless you all!

  2. Thank you, Jackie! I know our adventures get crazy sometimes, but at the end of the day, I am truly blessed. It just stuns me, how people will abdicate their rights and not even blink.