Wednesday, May 07, 2008

If you have to ask!

“What are you doing, Aidan?”

“Trying to swim like a frog.”

Loved this post by Rosie at Dragons in the Flowerbed.

It seems to sum up a lot about homeschooling.

Another neat post about homeschooling at Knitting the Wind.

When I am facing the school IEP, as I am now, and its preliminaries, I sometimes wonder what they would say if I talked about a child reading Famous Men of Greece with a bear on his head, or as Patience said, “Having a Great Conversation with all of creation”. The speech therapist was absolutely thrilled when I mentioned that I had been researching CAVA — the virtual academy here in CA that uses the K12 curriculum She wants to know more about it, which is fine. But then she said, “Maybe you would want to enroll your other kids, too.” I looked at her a bit blankly and said, “That is more …structured… than what we do at home.” She looked at me in turn with bafflement. I know I struggle with dreaminess and lack of energy and focus, sometimes. But that is not to say that the way I homeschool is a concession to my dreaminess; it is an employment of it, at best. There is so much more to learning than is found in workbooks or standardized tests. This is a truth, even if I don’t always know how to make the most of it in daily life. Ignoring the truth wouldn’t help me focus, and it would be like taping a cloth over one eye so I wouldn’t have to be confused with depth perception.

On the bright side, I am getting absolutely no pressure to enroll Aidan. Our local school is not equipped for him, and they have said that homeschooling is the best of the alternatives for him. THe new thing is that he probably won’t be able to get any services there, even speech. He may be able to get private speech therapy, but this would be down in town, and I am not sure he has enough actual speech issues which can be easily addressed to justify the extra travel. He articulates just fine; he blew the test away with his ability to repeat long complex sentences. The speech therapy has mostly focused on conceptual things like sequencing and categorizing. I don’t feel the isolated exercises are giving him much insight, partly because he is not developmentally able to abstract at that level yet. He needs help with retrieval and with praxis — processing new concepts. And pragmatics — programmed social interactions — but these areas are more difficult to coach effectively, it seems.

A lot of this year’s speech agenda has been evaluating him to see where he is. This is useful if we are going to continue getting speech therapy, because the next therapist won’t have to spend so much time figuring out his level, but it’s not useful for me because generally speaking, I know where he is. Once in a while the testing brings out an insight — his difficulty with retrieval and his strength in reciting. Just enough, I suppose, so that I hesitate to drop speech therapy altogether — we shall have to look for alternatives, I suppose, since the school is going to close off options from their side. Hmm, rambling to a close now.