Madison attended public school for Kinder and First Grade. She was miserable. For both grades. I see pictures pop up on my newsfeed for the Facebook memories and during that time she is always sleeping. She was exhausted. I would even go as far as to say she was depressed.
Was that the school’s fault? The teacher’s fault? I want to say partially. But in reality, I understand their job is to teach to all students, not just one. There is probably no way they could have effectively accommodated Madison. Do I wish they had tried? Absolutely. Was it a blessing they didn’t? In hindsight, yes.
I never thought I’d be homeschooling Madison for her elementary, middle school or high school years. She begged me to. And I will be the first to raise my hand and say the job of doing so is hard. Not only hard, but life consuming.
Life consuming, but worth every minute.
Do I wish I could open up a boxed curriculum and have a set schedule? Yes, every day. But I have accepted the fact that I cannot. I have accepted the fact that I will always be tired and always will be figuring out how to keep up with Madison.
I have also come to terms that very few will understand. We can only relate to what we know. If I am looked down upon for that, I am fine with it. If I wasn’t homeschooling a special needs child then I would have more time. But I don’t. And in the end all that matters is that my child is healthy and her needs are met.
There is a scale. And that scale determines if a child is special needs. And that determination is based on each end of the spectrum. Each end. Especially the very ends.
So no, my child would not thrive in a school setting. Maybe she would in a setting designed for children like her and there are those settings, but it’s not in the cards for us right now financially and it isn’t a part of her plan. The plan I try to keep up with to help her achieve. I pray each evening that I can do that.
She makes jumps that I cannot explain. She marches to her own beat at her own pace and it’s not a pace a school could accommodate. She would only be held back and frustrated.
Madison told me the other day that being gifted is like being in jail. You are locked up and are waiting for someone to save you. Someone she can connect with. Not a parent. She feels she cannot be herself around others. And honestly, she’s right. No one her age wants to have deep, intellectual conversations about history. And why would they?
So while others are planning fun outings and craft projects, I am trying to figure out ways my child can make the connections she needs. And I am not sure they even exist.
Gifted children have different things that they are very interested in. Most are interested in science or math. Madison loves History. She wants to find someone to talk about history. She wants to find someone who shares the same depth of feeling about things that she does.
I wish there was a manual. There isn’t though, so I am trying to do the best I can.
Wish me luck.