Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Reading, Writing and Homeschooling

While this subject may seem off the usual writing topic, there's a reason for it.

Genius Kid ("GK") has been seriously struggling in the public school system since kindergarten. He went from reading and drawing rudimentary stories before he started school to refusing to read at all by the end of kindergarten. And don't get me started on writing. It's been a battle since then to keep him on track with what I know he's capable of.

I felt like a failure. Why hadn't I conveyed my love of the written word to my child? I'd been reading to him since his birth. I had Green Eggs and Ham memorized for cryin' out loud!

Don't worry. I also blamed a Certain Unnamed Teacher who called GK stupid because he had problems sounding out unfamiliar words. That insensitive comment along with GK's penchant for perfectionism led to a downward behavioral spiral, resulting in eighteen months of hell dealing with the school administration.

After much soul searching, the DH and I withdrew GK from public school. We're homeschooling for this year and possibly next year. I expected a lot of crap from those outside our immediate family.

And it didn't happen. Homeschooling doesn't hold the social stigma it once did. In fact, the only person who gave me a hard time was my mother. As a public school teacher for over thirty years, she took our decision as a personal slap in the face.

But my concern, first and foremost, is GK. Now, he reads when he thinks DH and I aren't looking, his vocabulary has improved, and he's found the joy in making up his own little stories again.

I may not be pumping out a couple of thousand words a day on my own wip. But it's worth GK's giggles as he reads the adventures of Nate Twitchell raising his triceratops in Freedom, NH--all by himself.


  1. Good for you! Btw, the book I recommended for him was Skinnybones, by Barbara Park. Bet he'll enjoy it.

  2. Thanks, Colleen! I've flagged Skinny Bones and a couple of other books on Amazon for the next paycheck. And thank goodness, we have a library and a boostore close to us!