Oh, the bane of my existence, second thoughts. I’m a worrier, I’m perpetually anxious. I haven’t been diagnosed, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been suffering with an anxiety disorder since I was a toddler. Even the best times in my life are fraught with indecision and overthinking.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Why can’t I just make a choice and run with it, gleefully skip down the path I chose, rather than wonder what that other path held in store for me…
Some of my biggest and most intense second thoughts revolve around my chosen profession – homeschooling my son. The actual “homeschooling” part is a no-brainer. We homeschool because we have to. There are NO public schools here that accept and support Autistic kids, or any non-neurotypical kids. There are private schools, if you can call them a school. They cost $15000 a TERM and absolutely NONE hire licensed special education teachers. Most don’t even hire normal licensed teachers. It’s glorified babysitting! No way will we spend that kind of money and have Peanut stagnate.
The second guessing part is curricula. I tend to go round and round trying to make the right decisions. This is Peanut’s future I hold in my hands. Last year it took me 4 months to decide what to use. After a while, when I talked about it to Hubby and asked for his opinion, he got this glazed look in his eyes. A deer caught in the headlights. I think I wore him out with my constant worrying.
I think my problem was the choice between what I wanted and what Peanut needed. I wanted a curriculum called Bookshark. I wanted cozy mornings cuddled up on the couch, wrapped in a blanket and sipping hot chocolate (complete with marshmallows), and getting lost in a great book that I would read to an attentive and peaceful little Peanut. I wanted afternoons filled with arts and crafts, handwriting, and evening strolls around the neighborhood. This is what homeschooling looked like in my mind.
In reality, Peanut would probably be doing headstands and jumping up and down on the couch, constantly interrupting and trying to distract me from reading to him. He doesn’t have the patience or the ability to sit still. Forget cozy cuddling. That hot chocolate would be a spilled puddle on the floor, and the blanket would become a tent where Peanut could hide from me!
Eventually I hit upon several great ‘interactive’ curricula. Moving Beyond The Page. Build Your Library. They were both based on reading aloud great books, just like bookshark, but had more hands-on activities too. Still, it wasn’t a great fit. Hubby now avoided me when I even mentioned school subjects. I don’t blame him.
Then came Timberdoodle. Very very hands on. Tailored for a kinesthetic learner. The heavens opened up and lit my path! All I had to do was walk it. But no, I couldn’t. Where were my beautiful read-aloud books?
They were piled up a mile high, cemented together in front of that literary path I wanted to travel with Peanut. Peanut was dragging me away, and with a sigh of loss and resignation, I let the little guy lead me in this one.
We went with a custom secular kit from Timberdoodle but each item brought on it’s own second and third guesses. My demons wouldn’t rest, they took extreme glee in making even the smallest choice unbearably hard. Even after I decided exactly what we would order, I had second thoughts and changed the order the next day!
The order arrived, our Kindergarten year started smoothly on August 1, and life is good. But wait, we’re now almost done week #12 of our 36 weeks of Kindergarten. One third of our year is done. What in all that is holy am I going to use next year? Time for Hubby to start getting that glazed look again!