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Let's be real

This is the third part in a series of blog posts about this family's journey with dyslexia.

Drowning. Submerged. Gasping for air. Suffocated. Swamped. Those are synonyms.

There are prefixes and suffixes in all of that. I know what those are. My kid doesn’t. And, I have no idea what I am doing in teaching her these concepts. Why in the world did I ever think I could teach a kid who doesn’t learn the same way I do? Why would I take this on, on top of all the other stuff I have on my plate? Sure, she was miserable, in school, but the school didn’t see any issue with what was going on. They are the experts and professionals. What made me think I knew any better?

There isn’t any way she is going to learn at this pace. We have been working on telling time for two weeks. Yes, it’s getting better but, at this rate, she will be 30 before she gets to the “meet me at a quarter to one” part of this learning.

Don’t even get me started on the Language Arts part of this. I can’t figure out where she dropped off and where we should pick up. We aren’t doing more than an hour of sit down school, a day. Can she really be learning by just hanging out with me and talking and doing? Highly unlikely, I feel.

When I was a brand-new mom, I remember sitting on the couch, crying. Why was this so hard for me and so easy for everyone else? Every blog or post I read spoke of overwhelming love and peace with all things infant and motherly.

I quickly realized I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t feeling like less of a mom, all day, every day, because I wasn’t wallowing in euphoria.

dyslexia, parenting

I am going to pray and assume (risky, I know) that this is the case with homeschooling a dyslexic child, or any child. So, I am going to do what I did when I decided to stop pretending it was all perfect in the new momhood. I am going to be honest. Honest with myself and honest with others. I am going to share the moments of baking bread and using that as our math lesson, right along with the ones that I throw my hands up and tell them to “just go play outside.” It’s only fair to the next mom or dad who gives this a shot.

Most importantly, with all of these failure moments why am I still doing this? Why am I not just saying, “Well, we tried this, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to work. Back to school you go.”?

The smile. It’s back and it’s around, all day long. I missed that smile. I worried about that smile. The confidence is coming back. I haven’t heard “I’m stupid!” in a week. I haven’t heard her mumbling about her terrible day. We aren’t sitting up, crying until 11:30 at night. She isn’t waking up, crying.

Yes, we may be learning at a snail’s pace but, that snail is getting smarter. We may be making up words, with prefixes (unlate=not late), but the concept is coming along. We may be using some non-traditional methods to determine place value or count money, but we are doing it. And, I know this about my child with dyslexia and many others: once it gets into that brain, it will stay there. It just has to worm its way into that magic place.

Determined. Adamant. Unwavering. Persevering. That’s us. That’s this learning team. We will have successes and failures. That’s OK. Because, above all else, we have the same goal — a happy and learning kid.

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