Here we are again. Monday. These days I homeschool my teen (technically he’s enrolled with a private, independent learning high school) and Monday mornings are particularly tough. We have breakfast, do some academics and drive to our weekly check in with his teacher in a neighboring county. After the meeting we grab lunch, run some errands and get home somewhere between 3pm and 4 pm. Sounds pretty easy doesn’t it? No getting up before the crack of dawn to catch a school bus. No dealing with teachers who don’t get him. No dealing with bullies.
It’s far from easy. Despite being on medications to help quell my son’s anxiety, Sunday night’s sleep is usually beyond fitful, and he gets up tired. Because of all of his various issues, on top of being a teenager, when he’s tired or doesn’t feel well, school becomes a nightmare. Something deep inside of him resists it with the force of an atom bomb that he swallows. His brain melts and it’s all hands on deck just trying to survive.
Sometimes he can get through a few subjects of school work, but today it took everything he had to sit and watch fifteen minutes of a recitation of The Rime of The Ancient Mariner. He didn’t even have to read it (he has dyslexia), just sit and listen to the actor Ian McKellen, watching the text scroll. Within a few minutes, I saw him begin to physically shake with anxiety.
Even on a good day, reading, writing, and math are the bane of my son’s existence. But when his anxiety amps up, he’s done. There’s nothing I could do but send him back to bed and call his teacher. I’ll check in with her over the phone today. She’s very ok with it. Many of her students have issues that preclude them from attending public or regular private schools.
He’s had a few more hours of sleep and some lunch, and he’s still not up for academia today, but he’s wandered outside to check out his progress on a yard project. Just before Christmas we had a massive (about 100 ft. tall) fir tree go over in our back yard, and he’s working on getting it cut up and split for firewood.
When there are things to do on his own that he wants to do, with no supervision or oversight, done at his convenience, and in this case with a tangible reward ($), there is no issue. That’s his ADHD. He’s interested in it, no one is bugging him about how to do it, and he can do it on his timetable. One day he’s outside working like a dog for four hours, while another time he’s done after one.
Every day, when academics don’t happen (or barely happen), it gets to me at first. I go through all sorts of mental gyrations in my head about if he can’t do this here and now, how will he ever get any sort of education beyond this homeschool environment? And then I eventually remember we’re both doing the best we can. He’s sixteen, and some of the challenges he has now hopefully will change as he matures, (and he won’t be fully mature as an adult until around age 28 or so). And he has two loving and supportive parents who will never give up on him.
Plus, I have to remember that how I see everything these days is colored by the process my own head is going through because of my Kundalini awakening, and unfortunately, much of my outlook is filled with worry and negativity simply because of it.
It’s tiring. And I keep reminding myself it won’t be forever. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. And we do.