Today I saw this message on a Facebook page I belong to.
I contacted the mum and asked her permission to share here because this is not an isolated incident. The little man spoken of is on the autism spectrum, and I'm hearing story after story of these wonderful children being broken by the “system”.
I'm also hearing many stories of neuro-typical (or what might be called “normal”) children losing their confidence and their zest for life; loving relationships with siblings/parents going cold; children withdrawing into themselves as the system and some of the people within/using the system affect them detrimentally.
Followers of my blog will know that I never intend to bash schools – I am not anti-teachers. There are many different types of school i.e., traditional, alternative, democratic etc, but schools cannot adjust everything to suit the child who is not coping. Many do try, and some of the staff care a lot about these children, but a home situation cannot be replicated at school. And a home situation is where these children most often thrive.
Our home, in all it's messy cozyness, and four of my boys xxx
I share this story here to encourage others, as this mum wishes to do. There are many parents who feel like they are watching from the side-line, powerless to do anything as their at-school-child hopelessly slides down a slimy, slippery slope into a dank and dangerous place.
Home education is an option. You are not powerless. And you're not alone. There are people to help you with the process.*
“I just had to share this. I got a memory from Facebook this morning and it was a video of my eldest taking my youngest to the park to ride his bicycle. My youngest was around 5 or 6 years old and was riding his bike (with no training wheels) with such confidence.
Sadly, a year on from that he went to class 1 (Waldorf only starts formal teaching at around 7) and his world came crashing down around him. He went from a confident, happy, well adjusted child to a child who would no longer sleep in his room, wouldn't sleep with the light off anymore, refused to pick up a pencil for fear of ridicule and could no longer ride the bike he used to love riding. He became terrified of children his age and had a terrible mistrust of adults after that experience.
Up until this video I had forgotten about the fact that he had been riding a bike without trainers at the age of 5, because he had to relearn how to ride a bike with trainers all over again and only managed to ride without them when he was 8 going on 9.
We have been home schooling for 4 years this March and he is back to the amazing, confident little boy he was before school broke him. All it took was 2 months to break him, not even 1 whole term.
For those of you still contemplating whether homeschooling is the right choice for your little person, let me tell you that it is not only the right choice it is the best choice if what we went through is anything to go by. Our youngest is now an avid reader who not only draws but writes (Occupational Therapist said he wouldn't be able to write). Best decision we ever made. Thanks for reminding me of how far we have come Facebook :-) Have a beautiful day everyone”
*Some places you might find information or support to help you with your decision:
AS Homeschooling NZ (ASD Home School Support)
Unschooling NZ networking
Home education in NZ