In this episode, we discuss homeschooling children with special needs, working as a team with your children, and grieving the loss of normal. Guest Cindy La Joy has homeschooled her 5 children for the past 11 years. Cindy adopted her children and when her children came home, they either didn’t speak English, or had had minimal schooling, so she had to start back from preschool to educate her children. All her her children had different needs. However, she had to figure out the diagnoses for each of the children, as no one else was assisting her with the diagnosis process. Cindy also had to teach her children English.
Cindy tried various homeschool programs, but no particular program was a good fit for any of the children. Therefore, she tried different programs and used the pieces that worked for each individual child. The did a lot of in person trips/field trips and excursions for hands-on learning. They chose to homeschool year round, and if it was too much, they would take brief breaks and then return to school. They did a lot of activities that taught them real-life skills. Her children adjusted to homeschooling relatively well, as it was a good fit for them, less overwhelming, and more tailored to their needs than public school. Cindy had to educate herself on various special needs, teaching, as well as educating children with special needs.
Their family considers themselves a team, and calls themselves Team La Joy. Her family chose to see disabilities as the outside common enemy, which was something they could work on together. She loves the relationships among her family, as her family works really well together and the kids have never fought with one another. They have a saying “hard isn’t bad, it is just hard.” This makes anything much easier to cope with. They always put relationships first before challenges.
At first, Cindy felt very isolated, but she worked hard on finding social supports and other homeschooling parents. She had a small social support network and didn’t feel like anyone understood or could really help her. However, Cindy noted that although she had a lot on her plate, things piled up gradually, so her “coping muscle” strengthened and she was able to find ways to cope better as time went on.
As time went on, she started to grieve the loss of normal. She grieved not being able to rock her baby and not having the early years with her children. She grieved the fact that her children still need assistance in adulthood and that she and her husband can never go away together. Her life is very different than what she expected it would be, but she loves her life the way it is.
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Intro Outro: Intro Outro 2 by Mattias Lahoud under CC-BY 3.0 License (www.freesound.org)
Theme Song: 90s rock style by monkeyman535 under CC-BY 3.0 License (www.freesound.org)
Self Care Song: Green and Orange No Water by Duncan Alex under CC-BY 3.0 License (www.freesound.org)
Hosted by: Jessica Temple and Lewis Temple
Disclaimer: Our show is not designed to provide listeners with specific or personal legal, medical, or professional services or advice. Parents of children with health issues should always consult their health care provider for medical advice, medication, or treatment.
Copyright 2020 Jessica and Lewis Temple