About Me

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After being told I would never be able to have children, I am now a stay-at-home Mommy to Maddie who happens to have Down Syndrome. I've been married 16 years to my best friend, having the time of my life. Thanks for stopping by and sharing in our little journey through life.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

My Greatest Privilege and Biggest Challenge

Do you guys have that one issue that you think you've dealt with, but at of nowhere, it rises up and you find yourself back to square one?
The monkey on my back is insecurities with homeschool.
It's not that I doubt Maddie's capabilities.
Quite the opposite, actually.

I doubt mine.

Am I really cut out for this?
Am I doing her a disservice?
Should I be doing it differently?
Is she reaching her full potential?

These are the questions that get me up at 5:00 am for a run, as if the answers are hidden around the next curve.
In the quiet of the day, or while driving alone with my thoughts; most of the time, this is what I'm thinking about.

The crazy thing is, I've never doubted that homeschooling is what we should be doing.
I felt God call me into it, and believe me, I resisted at first.
But once I confirmed the call, I've never once doubted IF we should be homeschooling.

Now, ask me HOW we should go about homeschooling and my mind is riddled with doubts!

The trigger for the insecurities this time was an assessment from the Occupational Therapist.
The therapist began using the correct chronological age category for the assessment.
A couple of pages into it, and it was obvious this was way too advanced for Maddie.
She began again with what was intended for 3-5 year olds.
I know these things really don't matter, and the most important thing is that Maddie keeps improving on her own timetable, but this is always hard to hear.

And as a Mom with homeschool insecurities, it's like throwing fuel on the fire!
I've been through this cycle many times now, and my first instinct was to just try harder.
That only lead to a frustrated kiddo and an overwhelmed Mommy.

My second thought was to re-evaluate our curriculum.  Maybe the answers are in the shiny, new box over there! We have stacks and stacks of homeschooling materials and, of course, that wasn't the answer either.

I really don't know the answer to this one, except to pray for wisdom, keep on keeping on, and focus on raising a child with a kind heart and loving intentions.

In the meantime, we celebrate the small things...

like when she showed an interest in cutting after I began wrapping presents!

And we proceed with patience on the harder things.

I thought this would be a fun, easy activity for Maddie to work her fine motor skills.

It turned out to be extremely challenging!!

We had to break it down, step by step; practicing pincer grasp, holding the ornament in one hand with pincer grasp, taking the tree limb in the other had also using pincer grasp and then simultaneously hooking the ornament onto the branch.
What seemed like a simple activity, with skills that come easily to most children, are really quite complicated when you break it down!

We did have some success, but a couple of ornaments and she was done!

Play dough was easier and way more fun!

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be able to homeschool Maddie.
I consider it my greatest privilege in life.
At the same time, it's the one issue I just don't have all the answers, and my biggest challenge.

These years are passing so quickly, I don't want to look back on this time and remember angst and stress.
I want to remember the quality time we shared together mixed in with a lot of fun.
I want Maddie to look back and treasure this time with lots of good memories!

Is it a big challenge?
Challenge accepted?

Let's do this, and do this well!