Room to Bloom

I took this picture during recess at the homeschool co-op today. Riley is in the green shirt and pink leg warmers. I love how she’s smack in the middle of the play. Sometimes she hangs on the outskirts, but not usually.

People often ask the “socialization” question re:homeschooling, especially for Riley who per Asperger’s has more of a challenge than most when it comes to social situations. The thing is…now that she’s not having to hold it together all day in school, she is able to be a lot more social. The kids she comes into contact with get to see who she really is, not an anxiety riddled, fight or flight version of herself. Riley. Sweet. Kind. Maybe a bit quirky but not much more quirky than a lot of them. There is so much more freedom to be yourself within the homeschool crowd.

I also love the range of ages depicted in the photo. The kids, from teens on down to toddlers play together during recess…without any adult telling them what to do or how to do it. We’re out there, in case anyone needs us, but truly? They don’t. The big ones watch out for the little ones. The little ones experience such freedom and feel perfectly safe.

This year Riley and Seth have had the benefit of meeting a brand new baby. They’ve negotiated Lego building around sweet, but “Mine!” oriented toddlers. There are teenage girls whom Riley looks up to, and there is another girl on the spectrum just Riley’s age (a rare find) whom she really likes.

There are lots of boys for Seth to play with, and he is figuring out his way around that. He’s not used to rough and tumble, having only a delicate older sister..but today I saw him attempt to pile on. Interesting.

Homeschooling is working out well for them.

I’m so glad we gave it a try.

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5 Responses to Room to Bloom

  1. amber says:

    Me too! But I knew you knew what you were doing. I knew it all along.
    I know things.

    Also, the point you make about not having to keep it together all day, and so being more relaxed and herself, is a great one! I think of all the social pressure my typical kids get at school– even in first grade. Crazy! Sometimes Wyatt just wants to come home and “be alone and relax”, and he is only 10… He shouldn’t NEED to relax at 10, so wth? Kids today seem to have so much to deal with, and I think the haven of a safe learning enviroment that homeschooling can provide is a big plus… I always have it on the table.

    ;)
    :)

  2. Amanda says:

    Now you see it’s posts like this that get me thinking about home schooling Bear…. just wish I had your courage!

  3. Kim says:

    So awesome Michelle! I love this!

  4. kario says:

    Bee-youuu-teeee-ful! Love it! It’s amazing the things we human beings can do when we feel safe and loved. What a gift you’re giving your kids by making sure they know this.

  5. Lo says:

    I also love the range of ages depicted in the photo. The kids, from teens on down to toddlers play together during recess…without any adult telling them what to do or how to do it. We’re out there, in case anyone needs us, but truly? They don’t. The big ones watch out for the little ones. The little ones experience such freedom and feel perfectly safe.

    Love this post and especially the paragraph I reprinted above. This is the exact experience my daughter gets to be a part of daily at her Montessori School. It has been the best experience for her and has provided and continues to provide a great platform for her development (yes, her development and not one dictated by stressed out school boards running on a minimal budget with more demands placed on them continually that the real goal of educating our children, gets lost). She has been fortunate to be able to attend since Casa and will leave after next year as she gets ready to enter grade 7 in ‘regular’ school. BUT make no bones about it, if she doesn’t thrive, homeschooling is alive and waiting at our house:)