|Elizabeth and Kerrie|
As a long-time homeschooler, I have run into many newbie homeschooling parents. Mostly these new parents are excited, nervous, rah-rah, relieved, lost, found, committed, enthusiastic, purposeful, determined, careful, deliberate, and intense!
But the usual adjective I would use to describe new homeschooling parents is INSPIRED.
Newly homeschooling parents are usually very very well-informed, very very well-read, highly research-oriented, open to new ideas, and seriously dedicated. And why wouldn't they be, right? They have just chosen to embrace a lifestyle unlike anything else! They have just taken the reins of the future of their families! They have just committed a new life path!!!!!!
Here in Brisbane as we get around and meet new homeschoolers, we have found many, many families with members of the families lying somewhere on the autism spectrum. Parents of Aspies, as the Aspergers Peoples tend to refer to themselves, often homeschool down here, having found the schools unable to accommodate the needs of their children. This group of parents is particularly resourceful and informed!
In our travels, we have befriended some of the most loving and wise people imaginable and I have learned so much from them.
Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time (love you guys!) knows that I have struggled to be a better parent to my daughter. Over the years I have turned over many of my old conceptions of who she is and what is best for her as I learn more and more about parenting her. Friends who I have met down here have opened my eyes to new ways to view her behavior and how I perceive her needs, whether they know of their influence on me or not! I think I am seeing her through clearer eyes now! Listening to one noob homeschooling friend in particular has been so inspiring. Kerrie is a very inspired parent. She is truly doing her homework and she has reminded me of things that I used to know, but have forgotten along the way...
Slow, I know, but I am far more able to see Elizabeth's anxiety, her internal struggles, and her efforts to make advances again. I notice that I get stuck when I start thinking that I already know and understand Elizabeth and that is when I lose my patience and my compassion for her. Strengthening my intentionality, my compassion, and my comprehension of Elizabeth has been a real gift of our time here. I'm glad she hasn't given up on me.
P.S. I changed the pic above when I got this great shot of Kerrie and Elizabeth!
WELCOME to my readers in Russia!
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like: Shooshy
Or you may enjoy reading: Query From a Confused Parent
Or try this one: My Thirteen Tips for Parenting Your Strong-Willed Teen