It’s been about a month now since we made the decision to pull Sno from school and after a period of deschooling, homeschool her instead. After many many years fraught with anxiety and struggle it wasn’t a decision we made on a whim at all.
I’m so happy to report that our home has been like a haven since Sno has been at home full time. She has seriously been a different kid.
Let me explain.
With school, Sno had minimal tolerance for exercise. Any small amounts of physical exertion quickly tipped her from stimulated to overstimulated and then fast escalated into meltdown.
Without school; Sno actually asked me the other day to go for a bush walk. In the last month we have been on at least 4 bush walks together and I have even found her doing skipping and jumping on the trampoline spontaneously which hasn’t then led to meltdowns immediately.
With school, Sno would be arguing with pretty much everyone as soon as she got home.
Without school, Sno is actually laughing and getting along with her sisters.
With school, Sno was not happy. I actually can’t remember a time I saw her laughing and smiling.
Without school, Sno is smiling and laughing and finding joy in her every day.
With school, Sno would overload into meltdown from noise in no time at all.
Without school, Sno has the tolerance for noise to be able to even enjoy listening to music.
With school, any screen time at home meant S would fast get overloaded.
Without school, Sno is using screen devices regularly as part of her learning and daily life without getting overloaded and she’s loving it.
With school, Sno had minimal social reserves left at the end of the day and would avoid interactions outside school hours.
Without school, Sno is actually asking to connect with peers and is requesting time being spent with others.
With school, Sno was unable to effectively communicate her wants and needs to others, instead resulting in immediate meltdowns.
Without school, Sno is using her words and is able to ask me to stop doing something or telling me she needs to leave, or that she needs help.
Basically, it’s like her system has been completely reset. And it’s purely because her primary environment has changed.
She has the capacity now to manage not only daily functioning really well, but she’s got joy back in her. Because we can control and moderate her environment now, she is no longer being pelted into daily meltdowns for hours and hours on end. She’s now finding things she likes to do, and is doing them, and when she can’t handle something she is able to stop immediately.
I’ve had people ask me how I’ll handle all the “extra work” of educating my child at home and all I can answer to that now is via a scoff of indignance. Because I can tell you right now that having my child at home full-time eliminates at least 90% of her anxiety, the vast majority of her sensory triggers and it also ends all the back-and-forth following up and communicating her needs to the school, most of which have changed by the time we actually get to talk.
I’m just feeling awful that I put my incredible child through so much stress every day for so long. I feel bad that I forced her to fit into a mainstream model of learning which was completely the wrong fit for her. Asking that she dealt with six hours of school every single day and then expecting her to come home and function was just so selfish and ridiculous of me.
Nevertheless, it is what it is. Onwards and upwards we shall go, and we are all breathing far easier from the change. I’m just sorry we didn’t do it sooner.