Saturday, March 13, 2010


My brother called me on the phone after checking on my blog and said, "so does this mean you're homeschooling Charlie now?'


Not right now.

I have every intention of sending him to school in August.

What I'm talking about is figuring out the best thing for my child--and I think every parent should be doing the same thing. If your child were ridiculously gifted in music or art, would you send them off to a lesson and then never ask them about it? Would you never encourage them to practice? Of course not, that's silly. You'd be involved.

Well, parenting a special needs child is no different. In some cases, you might end up taking them out of the traditional classroom--just as you would if your child were a skilled actress who worked six nights a week on Broadway. In some cases, some school might work--I have a genius friend who spent her afternoons at a local college while still enrolled in high school. There are similar programs for kids who are dance, theater, or music. Maybe your child will attend regular school all day like I did. It's not the how that matters--it's whether or not it works.

I've never seen a successful student that didn't have an involved parent. Parents are a child's first teacher. They are the reinforcer. They are the ones who put the spark and love of learning in their kids eyes. Thinking that job belongs to someone else is a cop-out.

You gotta figure out how to make it work--for you and your child. That's not about one answer--that's about a lot of different answers for a lot of different circumstances. That's what I'm trying to do here--empower parents when the answers aren't obvious and easy. Show them that they are still the guiding force in their child's education.

I'm not so deluded that I think everyone wants to hear this--hell, I don't want to hear it. After I started a Facebook page about teaching my special needs kid I felt the weight of that action--Lord was that heavy. Me. In charge of my child's education.

Guess what? Doesn't matter if it feels huge or not because it's my responsibility. And I don't have to do it alone--thirty-seven other people have agreed to do this with me or at least cheer me on as I try it. Yes, it's scary, but there's strength in numbers, and one way or another it's gotta get done.

Charlie "dancing"