We have sent in our “Letter of Intent” to home school.  Yup.  We have made the leap.  We are going to do this.  We will need to send in quarterly reports.  We will need to send in detailed descriptions of our curriculum.  We have begun a file.  Correction.  We have begun several files.  One of the files has the copy of our “letter of intent”.  The others will soon be filled with “history,” “social studies,” “science,” “math,” “english,” “creative writing,” “philosophy,” “geography,” to name just a few, and “German”.   You read that right.  German.  This is the language Emma asked to learn. “Language,” Emma wrote.    “You mean you want to learn a different language?” I asked.

“Yes,” she wrote back.  “How about German?”

“Seriously?” I asked.

“Yes,” she replied.

We will also be doing theatre and acting.  Emma suggested writing a musical, as well as studying art, art history, artists and doing art projects incorporating painting, collage, photography, origami, fabric, found objects and anything else Emma might show interest in doing and learning about.  Taking a page from one of my favorite artists, Robert Rauschenberg, who once wrote that he wanted to work, “in the gap between art and life” so will we!

All of this has happened quite suddenly.  I have gone from gut churning terror and overwhelm to something calmer and more peaceful.  Somehow writing and sending that letter of intent made it seem concrete…  and now, now I feel tremendous relief.  Just tremendous relief.  I know we will figure this out as we go.  I know it will be tough at times, but in the end, I no longer need to worry that she will be challenged academically.

During a recent typing session I asked Emma if she had anything more to add regarding homeschooling.  She wrote that she was excited to be home schooled and then wrote, “… what cabaret kind of life awaits me I can only guess.”

When I showed this to her just now and asked if there was anything else she wanted to add, she wrote, “I paint words on to the canvas that I think of as my life.”

This is the photograph she chose to accompany this post.

July, 2010

July, 2010


40 responses to “Homeschooling

  1. I love how poetic she is 🙂

  2. Awesome Ariane and emma

  3. *gasp* We have been weighing this for months now. This post has given me a huge push.

  4. Oh Captain, my captain Emma! With your hand on the rudder, may your adventures be many and sweet. Congratulations!

  5. Awesome!!
    And here’s a little advice from a woman who managed to homeschool her AS guy from midway through first grade until he got a sizable scholarship to college:
    ENJOY it!
    If you want more advice, I got plenty of it, but I’m sure you’ll do great.

  6. Aw congratulations! I know you will make a huge success of this time of your lives. As a long term home educator (what we call homeschooling here in the UK) I am ever so chuffed to welcome you to this way of living xx

  7. Very nice post, and Congrats on taking the important step. I am also impressed with Emma’s thoughtfulness in painting the words on to the canvas that she thinks of as her life. Awesome! It’s true that when it comes to wisdom, apple seldom falls far from the tree.

    Make a great day!

  8. “… what cabaret kind of life awaits me I can only guess.”

    If we can match our attitude with Emma’s, we should all do very well indeed!

  9. Congrats for making the decision….allow yourself to make mistakes and forgive yourself regularly! You will learn just as much as she will. We are trying public K this year, but loved homeschooling for awhile. It may be in our future again…never say never 😉

  10. Let us know when her field trip travels England ; )

  11. I’m a former teacher and I have to say I’m confident she’s in good hands. Oh what you’ll learn from her! Loved the cabaret line Emma!

  12. Congratulations! I hope it is everything you want it to be and more.

  13. Kendall Seybert

    We are excited for all of you! Emma will continue to shine and you and Richard will find yourselves enriched even more by listening how Emma interprets what she is learning and how she is learning!
    Go for it!

  14. Field trip to DC! We await your arrival with open arms and free housing near metro (ok, full disclosure: the burbs). History, politics, activism, culture, and on and on. And you don’t have to wait for “school break” to make the trip 😉

  15. Sherry Watkin

    We already know the problems with public education. I know you and Emma will find new ways of learning and may help teachers understand what is needed to support these kids. I see it as a win win for everyone.

  16. Awesome! My niece and nephew are home schooled, and they are years ahead of their peers. They go at their pace, just like Emma will be! This is one of those things that every family–with an autistic or “relatively average” child needs to consider. Wishing you luck in your new adventures!

  17. You both can do it ! I know you can!

  18. I am so glad you’ve decided to homeschool. It’s made a big difference in our life.

  19. My immediate response to this great news is to say, Thank you! Everything I learned that was valuable to me in later life, I learned at home in my early years. The greatest tragedy was being forced into the nightmare of mainstream education far too early. From both my personal experience, as well as almost twenty years of teaching young children, I am an avid proponent of homeschooling for those of us with different sensory and cognitive styles, though I know not many parents are able to do this. I am most confident that you can, and will have a wonderful time of it! Good luck, and thank you for your decision. All the best, Emma, you will love the journey for sure! xo

  20. Oh my that is wonderful news!! Yay Emma! I’m excited for you both! It’s going to be the most wonderful canvas!

  21. Congrats on your (big) decision!

  22. Alles Gute (yes, I googled that). 🙂

  23. This is going to be fabulous… perhaps sometimes a spectacularly sticky mess … but fabulous all the same!
    ♥♥♥♥♥ 5/5 heart rating!

  24. Reblogged this on bunnyhopscotch and commented:
    A cause for celebration! Way to go, Emma, Ariane and Richard!
    (I tried to reblog this earlier in the morning, but my attempt was lost in cyberspace. Maybe some WordPress bot thought I was a stalker/spammer? Anyway, I have no energy to repeat my previous soliloquy but this subject is important to me, so I am trying again. I want my readers to share my joy! To me, homeschooling, when well executed, is the best thing for people with different sensory and cognitive styles.)

  25. So wonderful to hear! Come our way anytime it suits… Emma will have a free university awaiting her in montreal when she is ready. xx

  26. Yes!!!! I could go on and on, Emma and Ariane, but suffice it to say:

    I have never met a single person who regretted homeschooling.


  27. Marie Brennan

    Happiness to all of you! Home schooling is the way to go. Katrina was home schooled for five years from age 11 to age 16. We just learned something interesting. Since Katrina is an adult, In our state, (Indiana) the Medicaid waiver will pay me as her mom to work with her. We are starting to do this in July. Since our daughter won’t be going out with non-family care givers we can work more intensely on increasing her alternative means of communication, and exposing her to richer life experiences. I quit my part time job and I have signed on as her day habilitation worker, for 26 hours/week. We are very excited to begin.

  28. This must be one of the times where you will need to explain how German isn’t pretty much the most logical choice because if you got to pick your first second language rather than having it thrust on you I would be hard pressed to come up with a more logical choice.

    Even with the stated curriculum if any of those gets really interesting well how far could you go without German?

    I don’t know it’s really a solid choice for another language. What would you have picked? What did you pick?

  29. Congrats!! You won’t regret it! It has been the best move that I made with my kids who are also both non speaking. Emma is going to just explode with awesome stuff doing this with your amazing support. At home she will truly thrive. I’m so excited to continue reading about your new experiences! ❤ 🙂

  30. We may be behind you…luckily our state requires much less record keeping (since I’m terrible at it lol). Good luck 🙂

  31. We may be behind you…luckily our state requires much less record keeping (since I’m terrible at it lol). Good luck 🙂 Deutsch ist eine gute sprache. ( ok it’s been ten years so prob screwed that up lol)

  32. Home schooling is fabulous. I homeschooled my son for about six months while he was between schools which was due to bullying and the resulting high anxiety. He did so well and we both learned a lot. I hope you both enjoy the adventure of homeschooling your embarking on 🙂

  33. Congratulations! I’m sure this will prove to be a most positive step forward. Viel Glück, Emma!

  34. Good luck with this new journey you are beginning with your daughter 🙂 What an amazing mother you are that you have decided to enable your daughter and be a true partner and guide in her life. She will have these memories forever with you….

  35. I have been a working elementary teacher and never expected to homeschool…but since March, we have homeschooled.
    My only regret was that I let me son feel worthless, invisible, stress for too long.
    I’m not going to say it is easy, but it is so much easier having a child that is beginning to enjoy learning again.

  36. Welcome to the club!! There are a lot of us out here homeschooling our diverse kids. In our family, we have found homeschooling to not only open educational opportunities for our kids, but it has changed our family dynamic so much for the better. Enjoy the ride!! 🙂

  37. We too did this this year. In the middle of the year. Our school district decided not to support, or even allow, Rapid prompt method. Our whole world with our non verbal child had opened up during the previous year and I was not willing to shut that down and go back to rudimentary PECs etc. it is certainly a learning experience. I’m hoping to use the summer to improve our curriculum and have religious study time. You CAN do it!!! Our child loves that we are willing to home school. We also have a tutor for a bit each day to help with RPM, this helps his communication with myself and for himself. You will find it rewarding and disruptive and fulfilling and hard. And completely worth it as your child’s world is expanded more than the school system can do for her. Happy homeschooling!

  38. usethebrainsgodgiveyou

    There are no labels, no unrealistic expectations in homeschooling. ALL learning differences are accommodated. Dyslexic Advantage says 50% of gifted dyslexic kids are homeschooled. Kids who learn outside the lines always have been.

    You’ve got to admit, Public school has set the bar really low for you…Good luck, you will do beautifully.

  39. Thats wonderful news 🙂
    Even though I had previously homeschooled my eldest, I thought that the best place for the boys was school, yet, after five years of problems
    I brought my autistic sons (actually everyone) home full time for school the year before last.
    Best decision for them. Less stress, better learning.
    I know that, some felt it was giving up on changing the system (in terms of fighting for accommodations, inclusion, acceptance within the school system)
    but in the end, the boys come before ideology.

    Emma, I think you’re going to love it. 🙂

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