Zane had a tough time at school. I came to pick him up. The principal said (with Zane present), "He said something about home schooling?" I asked Zane what he said. He told me, "I want to home school 'cause I don't feel good here." WOW! That's fucking powerful from a 7 year old RAD kid!!!! He's been really fighting the idea of home schooling and Jon and I have been really supporting him in school, but we have made him aware that if he ever changes his mind he's welcome to come home anytime. I read this last week. I've been applying it to our daily doings. Really being okay with what is happening. Finding authentic reasoning when I'm noticing I'm fighting something because of my conditioned reasoning.
Such as: We rode bikes to Wendy's after dinner to enjoy a free Frosty coupon Zane got today at school. Zane was eating his as slowly as absolutely possible. I've never seen this child eat anything sugary as slowly as he was. Barely nibbling snippits off the tip of his spoon. So, I told him, "Hurry up so Stori doesn't get bored." Immediately I recognized what I was doing and said, "Never mind dude, take your time and enjoy it." He should enjoy it. This type of event is so very rare, why should he rush it if he actually isn't. If he's savoring the moment why should I rush him to not be present in the moment? Duh, Shannon. Whew! Glad I caught myself so quickly.
Tonight I'm seeing that the same thing happened when I accepted school for what it is. His desire to be there and my desire for him to succeed. Even if it's at something I don't want him to succeed at, I still want him doing well. And now... he realized his own feelings. And his worth of feeling better. Woot!
So, tonight we applied for the COVA program and I'm pretty excited. Less afraid than I was a couple of weeks ago when Jon and I were going to decide for him. We'll still have transition, but I learned a few things this summer about parenting him, keeping everyone safe, and establishing boundaries that he will not cross. I guess a benefit of parenting an emotionally disturbed child alone(well with Jon, but you know...we don't exactly have a community of people who have invested in learning about him) is that I've given myself a crash-course in RAD parenting. Thanks a TON to Christine, Corey, Alicia, and others.
One of the things we did learn this summer is that Zane and I need a focal point. We need it to be lighthearted and not too heavy or demanding. We need flexibility, but we DO need something to focus on. So, our initial idea of unschooling won't work for us. There's just TOO much to choose from in that arena. This is why we're signing up with COVA. The principal also offered to allow Zane to come to school for music class (he said as we were leaving "I get to go and keep learning to sing really good so I can be a music teacher when I grow up!") and allow him to be in either game club or chess club when they start.
I'm feeling good and hopeful about the way we'll be approaching home schooling at this point. We still very much parent in the philosophy of love which encompasses the theory behind unschooling. Our brains just work differently and we've learned that. Sweet! I'm so incredibly proud of Zane to recognize his feelings today. So! Proud! Of! Him!
Many thanks to God and many thanks to us being us. We could choose to be a lot of different ways (like the lady who was yelling at her daughter that she is BAD, BAD, BAD at Zane's school last week since her Mom had to sit in class with her through the day). But, we do choose to be who we are. I'm glad for that.
**If you really knew me, you'd know that if I call my Dad while he's watching a DVD he will tell me he's watching a movie and can't talk and you'd know that my Mom has repeatedly told my sister and me that she has other things to tend to and can't handle us, even when we're offering to pay for family counseling with her. My parents have never put us first. I don't think we've ever even been second.