Since I've been young I've feared mice or anything of the sort. I remember when my daughter's hamster got out of it's cage and in my bed one night. I hyperventilated and I'm being totally serious. I think this fear came from my mother who is petrified of the little critters. She actually paid our neighbor to get a dead mouse out of our trap one time.
I'm also terrified of thunderstorms. Well let me rephrase that, I'm afraid of wind. Thunder, Rain and Lightening doesn't phase me but if the wind blows I'm like a crazy woman. This fear came on out of the blue and I have no clue what triggered it. It actually didn't even occur until after I got married and had a child. Everyone thinks I'm nuts but I can't help it. We had a widespread wind event the other day and I literally drug a mattress in the hallway just in case a tornado happened. We weren't even under a watch but I was prepared!
Those are just a couple examples of things I fear. You can add the fear of: Losing a loved one (especially my parent's, spouse and children), Cancer or some other Terminal Illness, Death in all forms and so on to that list. I think these fears are pretty common in most of us though.
So why do I have fear on my mind tonight? Well, it's actually been at the front and center of most of my thoughts the last few days. Let me explain.
Annalee will be going to Kindergarten next year. Her speech has gotten worse over time and for the past few days she's been unable to even have a conversation. She's noticing it more and more which breaks my heart and at some points I find her not wanting to talk because of it. While we were on vacation she done so well but once we returned home it was like flipping a light switch and she got really bad again. I have no idea how to help her. I talked with the School System the other day to see if she could do another year of Headstart but because of our State Laws she cannot. That means I have two option. I either hold her out of school altogether until she is 6 (which would be a year at home) or I proceed to send her on to Kindergarten. Frankly neither option makes me too happy.
Axle on the other hand is already in Kindergarten. He repeated it again this year due to being so far behind last year. He's doing well and his teacher says she would consider him "average" in Reading and Math now. Axle has some issues and will be seeing a specialist in a few weeks. I'll be shocked if the diagnosis isn't Aspberger's. I hope not but I already know that it probably will be. Axle HATES school and this is not an exaggeration. He goes into total melt down mode every single morning and has to be drug in kicking and screaming but a staff member! His teacher describes his fits as "not typical" and more aggressive than last year. Homework is a fight, He is completely obsessed with You Tube and Television and his anger is sometimes out of control. It's stressful to say the least!
I've spoken to his teacher in regards to what classroom to put him in next year. Unfortunately I think it's going to be a very hard transition and I'm already dreading it.
I've pondered ideas. I've pondered what is best. I've spoke with friends, family and obviously my husband. No one knows what's best. I don't know what's best. It's frustrating, it's scary and it's weighing heavy on my heart and mind.
Do I continue with public school. I mean I can force them to go. I did it with Anika and I feel like it was a total mistake. She got depressed severely, she started cutting and throughout her Middle and High School years we have had to Home Bound and Home School on different occasions. She's a Senior this year, we have made it. She's on track to graduate in May, Thank God! She still hates school though and misses quite frequently. Do I feel as though she has learned anything? Not really anything of any importance much. Do I feel like the socialization was good for her? Nope, not at all. Frankly most all of her friends are people she's met outside of school. Would I force her to go through it all again? No way, no how!
Our school systems are not up to par by any standards. That's the not so great thing about living in a rural area full of poverty. There never seems to be adequate funding for textbooks and such. Our officials are padding their pockets with tax dollars and our children are suffering. It's sad but true.
I think Annalee will learn just fine. Her communication is going to be a big issue for her. I'm terrified she will be bullied by other kids, dismissed by teachers and not worked with to reach her full potential. She doesn't deserve that!
Axle on the other hand I'm afraid will never adjust. I think the anger and rage will continue and he will never enjoy school. He's not a brick and mortar kind of kid. His personality is different and to reach him a Math worksheet or expect him to memorize 5 Spelling words is just not his thing. I mean, he can do it but he does it and hates every second of it.
Our county started a new Christian School and that option has crossed my mind. For Annalee, I think it's a good option. She would have a smaller class size so would get more one on one attention plus the kids would be supervised better due to less kids to supervise. I'm certain she would excel. Axle on the other hand I'm still not sure it would be a good fit for him. I don't think he would enjoy it one bit more than he does public school. It's still a 9-5 extremely structured environment and while some claim that structure is idea for kids like him, I'm telling you I disagree. Things must be done on his terms or not done at all. It's a lifestyle and I've adjusted to it. Not to say it's easy but it is who he is.
Homeschool has crossed my mind. Could I possibly do it? Could I teach them the way they need taught? I don't have these answers. Axle would be difficult, there is no doubt. Annalee on the other hand would be a piece of cake. How would I begin? Would I buy all the up to date curriculum and structure our days? How would I work it all in on top of everything else I need to do? So many unanswered questions. To put the icing on the cake, I know my family (mainly my mother) would disagree with this decision. She's a very "traditional" person in all walks of her life. I on the other hand am not. Anything outside of public school to her would be denying them of a proper education.
I have a life long dream that honestly I never thought would even be a possibility of being a reality. I've always wanted to Full Time RV when the husband retired. While retirement looks to have come to us sooner than later due to his work injury, it seems to be a much closer reality than I ever imagined possible. Yes, he's facing some surgeries and all that will take time. Yes, there is a lot of uncertainty right now BUT at some point in the near future we are going to have lots of time on our hands. Do we use that time to travel? Do I take the kids out of public school and let them adventure around the US with us or do we hold off on that dream and travel during vacations and holidays?
I've been reading lots on Full Time RVing. Lots of people are doing it and most call their schooling "unschooling." While that term sounds like your children are getting no education it's quite the contrary. This group of folks believes that it's more of a hands on education. Visiting places, exploring and adventures is their way of schooling. Sure they teach some Math, Writing, Reading but many of their school days are based exploring new areas and things. They focus more on Life Skills than textbooks and they let their children take the lead. They foster their interests instead of sticking to a basic plan of what someone else thinks they should learn. The idea is intriguing to me. It would be an idea that I think would work so much better for Axle.
So what's my hesitation then, right? Well here is where FEAR comes back in to play. I fear that I won't provide them with the education they need. I FEAR that Hubby and I will hit the road only to realize we can't make it. I FEAR that this isn't the best option for my children and I'm being selfish because it's what I really want to do. I FEAR that my parent's will think I've lost my mind and be totally angry and against my ideas.
Am I wanting to sell my house and give up my entire life to travel? The answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! We would never sell where we live. This would always be our Home Base. My parent's are here, my extended family is here and my life is here. My daughter (oldest) would probably stay here some and travel with us some. We wouldn't travel for six months at a time or at least that wouldn't be the initial plan. Initially we would be home at least every couple of weeks. Probably a month or so at the longest. I'm not saying eventually it wouldn't turn into a full time adventure but I'd definitely want to start out slow!
My mind is boggled on which way to turn and what to do. It's scary and there are so many unanswered questions. Budget, School, Medical, Family and so many more things come in to play. It all boils down to FEAR is holding me back though. It's holding me back from making a decision for us and for the kids!
What I do know for certain is that we will be finishing out this school year in a traditional setting however May can't come soon enough! We will evaluate over summer break and make a decision for next year. I ask if you pray, to send up a prayer for me, that I will make the right decision!