Sunday, September 02, 2012

The Future

As structured and prepared for high school that I want to be this year, I'm taking into account that W still does have a learning disability.  I got the report the other day.  In a nutshell, it states he has severe visual processing and visual-motor difficulties.  Auditory and perceptual skills are in the superior range.  So that pretty much lines up with what I thought it was - visual dyslexia.  It seems he has dysgraphia, too.  I'm going to speak with the neuropsych this week to go over the results in more detail.  I can't imagine what being in school is like for kids like this.  What a frustrating situation.  At least at home W has kept his intense curiosity, enthusiasm for life, and love of learning.  He reads (and retains) on grade level, writes legibly, can type up a proper story, is great at math, and knows a helluva lot about a helluva lot of things.  The freedom to move at his own pace without deadlines and demands is what works with him.  How on earth can a school - especially a high school - accommodate W effectively?  I feel without a doubt that homeschooling has always been the best option for him.  I have a feeling it may be the best option for high school as well.  I'm leaving the choice up to him, though.  Whatever he decides is fine and he has my 100% support.

So, after doing a ton of research I realize that many of these types of learning disabilities tend to only be an "issue" in a school setting.  Yeah, W reads slower and writes with more difficulty than most other kids his age, but his creativity and self-motivation are through the roof.  Throwing rigid structure at a kid like that every day just isn't going to work.  Getting that neuropsych report was almost like a slap in the face, telling me to stop worrying about a structured curriculum and let the kid just learn.  I think from now on I'll just present him with the books and tools scheduled for the week and he can choose what (if any) he'd like to use.  Pushing my agenda on him if he is not interested in the subject will stress us both out and he'll learn nothing from it.  Now that I know what the official diagnosis is, I have a better sense of what will be more effective.

He likes workbooks, most readalouds, science experiments, consumer math, art, field trips, gaming, making films, building things, and skill toys/games (Rubiks cube, yoyos, cards, miachi, diablo, cats cradle, cup stacking, etc).  But most of all he likes independence.  The unschooling side of him always shows through no matter what I try.  I'm ok with that.  W's real education is going to only come from what interests him, anyway.  My old unschooly self is telling me it's the only way to do things.  I'll loosen up and see what happens.

I don't know what each day will hold but I'm looking forward to finding out.

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