Monday, November 7, 2016


So, I am a homeschooler.

I didn't set out to homeschool. I have a son that's an alien. He was allergic to everything. Dust, mold, trees, milk, soy, wheat, cleaners, peanuts--you name it, he was allergic to it. Not from planet earth.

When he was school aged, but not compulsory school aged, the pediatrician suggested I hold him out a year to see if he outgrew any of his allergies. He said, "He might not have to be the kid with the epi-pen." By the time he was five, my son and I had had enough experience with this allergy thing to know, being the kid with the epi-pen was not a good thing.

 Folks fall into two categories when it comes to allergies. There's the dangerous group, which tends to be men of my dad's generation that think allergies should be overcome by will. "What do you mean he can't drink milk? It's good for him." One friend's ex-husband falls into this category. He tried to make her son eat foods he was allergic to because he saw avoiding them as disobedience. One daycare person my son was exposed to was in a sub-category of this "won't hurt 'em" camp. She would give my son milk when a holiday was coming up,  because kids with diarrhea have to stay home until 24 hours from their last solid BM. The daycare used to survey parents to see how many would need services on say Martin Luther King day, a bank holiday, but not a retail holiday. I always had to work. But if my son had diarrhea, well than I was out of the running. And it was only a little allergy.

Then there is the second group, people who are scared of kids with allergies. They follow your kid around and ask "is he allowed to have this?" I understand when the kid is a baby, but at 5, my son knew what things he could and couldn't have. He knew to check if he wasn't sure. It was always hard for him to have adults snatch his food away and bring it to me to see if he could eat this cookie or that yogurt.

We decided to stay home a year. And it worked. He outgrew his milk, soy and peanut allergies. But when he was six, the school wouldn't enroll him in first grade, because he hadn't done kindergarten. I asked for him to be tested. They refused. So, we stayed home another year. Our vacation in October cost a smidgen to what it would have cost in June. Our kids were thriving. "Why were we trying to enroll in school?" We never looked back.

So, I am a homeschooler. I have developed strong opinions on education and the direction our country is moving in its educational policies.

No comments:

Post a Comment