Monday, September 26, 2016

New Homeschool Adventures...Kind Of.

If you've been following my blog then you know that we started this whole homeschooling thing because William had trouble with bullies at school.  (If you haven't been following my blog, then , fyi, we started this whole homeschooling thing because William had trouble with bullies at school.)  Before everything went down with the bullying, the reacting to bullying, and the shaming of the victim; I never ever would have considered homeschooling.  It just seemed like a crazy idea for me.  But, of course, now I love it. 

There are some drawbacks, of course. That glorious me-time that occurred when the kids were in school was pretty awesome.  And, I totally miss that.  But, not enough to want to change anything.  And they are here more to make more messes.  That kind of stinks.  But, again, still worth it. :)

So after the whole "turning our lives upside down" thing for William's sake, he wants to go back. 

He told his father.  I'm guessing that he wasn't sure how I would react.  Smart kid. ;)  But, yeah, he told Brian that he wanted to be able to go to high school and that he was willing to serve his time at the alternative school to make it happen. 

At first, I was like "No way!" And "What? So he hates spending time with us now??"  (This is why he told Brian first.) This was in my head, of course, not to him. And eventually, I came around to the understanding that he wanted and needed to be around other kids his age.  Lizzie and Antwan are pretty cool but they are 8 and 9.  Kaleb is also pretty cool but would rather have his wisdom teeth removed than spend time with William.  Sadly. ;(  He has a couple friends in the neighborhood but Kaleb is also friends with them. So you can imagine how well that works out for William when Kaleb is around.

So, things continue to be harder for William. Across the board. I try to help where I can like paying the neighbor girl to walk the dog.  It benefits Rose (the dog) and William gets to walk with her, too.  But, in the end, he still feels isolated and a 15 minute walk with a kid in the neighborhood isn't cutting it for him.

So, it looks like our basic plan is to have him finish most of middle school at home (virtually, on the computer) and then attend the alternative school for the last 45 days so that he can be all ready to start high school.  A quick call to the school board indicated that it would be a relatively simple process.

I've mostly come to peace with the plan.  I don't love it, though.  And, I'm terrified that it will end in a similar way as his 6th grade year.  But, here's hoping that high school kids really are "nicer" than middle school kids like everyone keeps saying.  Either way, we decided to home school William for his emotional health and now it looks like we have to public school him for the same reason. 

But, as is true with life, people keep you guessing.  And, after the soul searching and the school board calling, William unexpectedly announced that he had changed his mind and would rather continue to be homeschooled. When I asked him why, he said that he wanted to be home to spend time with us.

But, I'm thinking the speech that I had just given him about working hard to make sure to stay on pace so he would be on the same level as the school kids (when at the time, he really wanted to watch TV instead), may have had something to do with it. Haha.

Good luck, William's future teachers, good luck. ;)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Trying Is Exhausting But Important.

Ok, I lied.  Well, I didn't realize that I was lying, but turns out I was.  Because I just can't resist writing one more Kaleb post.  Only days after writing the other one!  Wow, I might need some practice at this not writing about Kaleb thing!  But, since this is kind of more about me than him, I think I can get away with it. ;) And, I just can't stand to leave it on such a defeated tone. So, I just wanted to say this.

Boundaries, making an effort, trying.  It all matters.

After writing my last post and reading the comments (Thank you so much for the support, by the way!), I was re-fueled, rejuvenated, inspired, etc.  I started to force myself to get back in the game.  I made him clean his room.  I mean, really clean his room.  Well, not really clean his room. There was so much more that he could have done but the important thing was that he did so much more than he wanted to. ;)  I won't go into details. but it was pretty much a textbook teenager room cleaning experience.  He cleaned very LOUDLY.  Many things were moved ANGRILY.  But, when I let him stop and he left to go hang out with his friends, I felt better.  I had regained some confidence as a parent.  And, I knew that I had done the right thing.  Even if it totally made my afternoon just plain suck. ;)

Throughout the week, I made my efforts (and he did, too).  I don't remember the scenario but I remember a moment when I told his back (because he was walking away) that we wouldn't get close again if we didn't start fighting again.  While, thankfully, that didn't end in a fight, haha, but it was yet another wake up call for me.  It only kind of mattered if he got my point.

But, what really got me was the other day when he finished mowing the rest of the grass for Brian.  Before he went out to do it, he had been talking about how a particular function on the mower worked.  Brian had some trouble with it, but Kaleb was confident that he could make it work.  And when he came in (after doing a much quicker and less thorough job than Brian would have), he immediately said "I don't see what was so hard about that."  I was instantly annoyed because I could look out the window and see the spots that he missed.  So I responded, pragmatically and un-helpfully with "Well, that's because your father does a more thorough job than you."
Of course, he responded just as un-helpfully with "Whatever. If he doesn't want me to do it, I won't do it."  And I responded with something to the effect of "I'm not trying to upset you and we do appreciate your help. I'm just saying that's why it's harder..." Etc, etc. It didn't matter what I said, he was walking out.

(Come to think of it, I think that's when I made my "We won't get close again if we don't fight" comment!)

Anyway, I stewed on it as he showered and changed.  When he came back, I called him on the fact that he shouldn't walk away, blah, blah, blah. He said that he was just trying to point out that he was able to get the mower to turn on right.  While he still could have picked a better choice of words, I realized that I had taken offense to the wrong thing.  Or more to the point, taken offense where no offense was intended.

So, I apologized for misunderstanding and taking offense.  I said that I was glad that the mower worked and acknowledged that I was expecting him to say something rude so I was ready to react...which wasn't fair. 

And, even though, I was forced to admit that I was wrong which is never fun, I again felt better.

I felt like maybe I could do this, after all.  I'm confident that won't be the last time that I will take offense where none is intended and I'm just as confident that sometimes offense will totally be intended.  But, still, maybe I can do this.

But, I'm not looking forward to the next room cleaning day.... ;)

(Ok, now back to not writing about Kaleb for all the really good reasons that I said in my last post!)