I am Terri and this is my daughter Emily. Emily is a delightful five-year old, who has suffered with epileptic seizures since the age of two. As a result of her illness, we found school difficult last year (Reception). Emily would bounce between exhaustion and hyper-activity. On several occasions we were called to the school to pick her up early because she fell asleep in class. Even when she did not, she would be so tired at the end of the day that she would often have temper tantrums on the way home.
I will never forget the day last spring when I picked her up from school. I had brought some biscuits from home for a snack because money was a bit tight at the time. She wanted to share them with her best friend, but I mistakenly gave him the last of her favorite kind. She was very upset so I told her that we would stop at the store for some more of that kind, but that I did not have much money so that was all we could get. But once we got into the store she saw a cake that cost considerably more than I had on me. I tried to explain, but things just kept getting worse. In the end, I had to pick up a crying, screaming, kicking five-year old and carry her to the bus stop.
Now since she was very little, I learned that once she gets started the best thing to do is to just let her cry it out. So I sat her down at the bus stop, determined to just wait it out until she quieted down. Except that I had forgotten that people here seem to think they have the right to comment on anyone’s parenting style. I almost came to blows with a couple of them. How do you explain to someone that your child that looks perfectly normal isn’t? No five-year old has very good impulse control, but mine has none when she is that tired.
In the end, we waited until her sobs turned to those hiccups that the knowing parent recognizes as nearing the end. We climbed onto the bus home and she fell asleep within moments. I knew that my child was at the end of her rope and I was too. We went right past our stop, staying on that bus until the very end and then taking another one back home.
We have chosen home educating for basically the same reasons…it offers us the flexibility to do what we need to do to manage Emily’s learning and behavior without excessive interference from well-meaning but misguided people.
Of course, just as that day I had to put everything on hold to meet her needs, the costs these days are even higher. I have had to cut back on my work as a chef, set firm limits with my remaining consulting clients and plan even routine tasks such as shopping carefully. One good thing is that this new schedule does allow me to pursue my passion of writing romance novels as Tara Neale.
So that’s us and how we came to this lifestyle of home education. Please feel free to join us on our adventures, make comments and share your story with us.