Radical Unschooling

#100 Days of Home Ed…Day 82

Quiet!

Blessedly quiet. I got up early today and did what I do best…

Made order out of chaos!

Being our first anniversary, yesterday we had friends over. Not many…just our closest. The ones who helped us move to #HomeCrazzyHome. Nonetheless the house and this introvert were a mess.

But after a good night’s sleep I tackled it all first thing before Cookie Monster or PanKwake even woke up…I had it all done.

Then while Mog was here with PanKwake…I guiltily took a nap. Even now as the day winds down and PanKwake is seeking first one toy and then another, the pace is still slowish.

With the people I love best…Cookie and PanKwake.

Family Time!

That got me to thinking about when PanKwake was in school. Just how little time I had with her.

I had to wake her up before 7 in the morning. She is NOT a morning person like her Mommy. So it takes her a good hour or two of watching YouTube or cartoons back then…just to begin to function.

But school dictated our lives. So I could not respect that trait in her…not unless I woke her up at 5 am and risked sleep deprivation. Instead it was battle central. Over everything. Teeth. Hair. Food. Uniform. UNIFORM?!?! WTF??? She was barely four.

October 2011 008
So busy I did not even have time for pics…this is the only one I could find from that time period. And it was during the holidays.

It was not so bad getting to school on the mornings when the weather was decent. We walked and it gave her time to transition. Especially as I did allow her to walk on walls…avoid the cracks…do her things.

Then I turned her over to THEM…for hours and hours…and had no say whatsoever in what they or anyone else did to her…how it might effect her mental health or self-esteem.

Picking her up was the hardest. She had held it all in during the day. Tried to pretend to be like everyone else. Autistic girls are often like that…mimicking. It is one of the reasons that they fall through the cracks and do not get the diagnosis or support they need.

PanKwake was brilliant at it…until it came time to put away the toys. She had kept it all inside…the noises, the sounds, the smells, needing to jump/move, being too close to people…all of the sensory overload. BUT now the teacher was DEMANDING that she pick up toys and put them away.

One thing I have learned about PanKwake is that she flies in the face of all the ‘experts’ advice. All that BS about order and hiding things away so she does not get over-stimulated. That maybe true of loads of people…neurotypical and neurodivergent.

But NOT PanKwake. She has visual memory issues so when you put something away it is GONE to her. The teacher might as well have been asking PanKwake to throw all the toys away. So it was MELTDOWN time…almost every single day.

To make matters worse…they had the WORST rewards system imaginable. The children moved their names back and forth all day between gold, silver, green, yellow and red circles. But rewards were base SOLELY on the last action.

PanKwake ended up on red or yellow every single day and never got a reward. While the little boy who bullied her so badly that it destroyed her self-esteem got a balloon or pencil or sticker…because he picked a toy or two. Oh what a lesson to teach young children!

I was left to clean up THEIR mess of course. Again if the weather was good we walked home and that helped…but her little legs tired out so easily then. And when I asked about buggies instead of sharing information about the Maclaren Major special needs ones, I was told that the other children would make fun of her. Like they had no responsibility for stopping bullying…which in fact it exactly what they thought.

Often it took us two or three or more hours to get the short distance home with many, many stops including a park or parks. Of course, that was MUCH better than a packed bus…even if it would have been faster.

By the time we did get home…PanKwake was exhausted…drained…physically and emotionally from her day. And I was too. She collapsed in bed by seven each night. And often had loads of seizures and tossing and turning all night long.

Weekends then are often about doing the shopping, cleaning and errands that you did not get done during the week because of school and work.

So the sad truth is…

Most people don’t have a family life anymore.

Instead they are controlled by work and schools. Telling them when to come and go…when to eat. And yes, even when to poo.

Home educating allows you the option of reclaiming that precious connection with your child…and one another. It allows you to people when you want…and to have blessed solitude like this when you need.

I would say that is another reason why I love home ed…but I think that would be minimizing this one.

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