There may come a point in your homeschooling journey where you are facing a struggle that you don’t know how to handle on your own. It may be something as simple as you are not confident enough to teach the advanced math or sciences. Or you find despite all your best efforts to aid your child at home, your child has a developmental delay that you need the guidance of a physical, occupational, or speech therapist for. Coming upon a situation where you need outside help is not a bad thing.
Let me tell you a short story. Right around Chloe’s second birthday (before I had even given serious thought to homeschooling,) I started to wonder if she might have a language delay. At that time I didn’t think it was anything big, but I wanted to know more about when I should be concerned with her linguistic development. Her doctor then told me I didn’t have to even think about that until she was 2 1/2. So I ignored my immediate concerns and figured since she understood me just fine that I would let it go for now. By 2 1/2 her delay had become significantly more pronounced.
Approaching her third birthday I contacted the public school around here on the advise of my mother’s neighbor, who is a public school teacher. She described to me a program called Early On, where children under 3 years of age can get assistance from the public schools, if it is determined the child has developmental delay. I went home and did a little research. I contacted the public schools where we were to get the ball rolling.
Since it was summer time, when I contacted them I had to wait to get my daughter tested until school came back in session. By the time they tested her she was a month from her third birthday. They agreed she had an expressive language delay, but explained she was reaching the upper age limit for the program I had inquired about over the summer. They were able to offer me a speech therapy program though.
I was on cloud nine by the time I heard my first homeschooling speaker. I still wasn’t seriously considering homeschooling, especially considering I had just enrolled Chloe in public school. This parent was part of a panel made up of a public school parent, a charter school parent, a private school parent, and a homeschool parent. I found the whole thing interesting. I especially found the homeschooling parent interesting. Interesting enough I spoke with her briefly after the panel was over .
I found she was very encouraging until she found out I had enrolled my daughter in the public schools for speech therapy. All the interest I had developed in homeschooling over that hour quickly dwindled listening to her talk to me, or rather talk down to me. It felt as if she was pronouncing me a failure because I needed the extra help with my daughter.
Now as you know, I have come around to homeschooling, despite my experience with that woman. The point of this story though, is there will be people out there that think you have to do this all on your own. There is no need to face a struggle and barely muddle through, or to feel you have to give up and send them to public school.
Seek help. Accept help. Help can be found when you are facing a struggle, help that is unique to your situation. Needing help does not mean you are failing in homeschooling. All it means when you seek and accept help is that you want the best for your child. Sometimes someone other than us are the ones better suited to aid in these areas.