Monday, May 31, 2010

Goodbye to Classical Education...

Nine years ago I joyfully poured over the Veritas Press Homeschool catalogue and carefully designed a curriculum for Johns first few years of school. It went swimmingly. He was that gifted first born with the benefit of all the parental involvement he could endure. That same catalogue came last week and I didn't even crack the cover - I simply threw it away like so many ideas I have had about adoption in general and the education of our adopted children.

I love the ideas behind a Classical Education, the goals, focus and appeal are all there for me. But it's like visiting the National Archives and then sitting down with a box of Crayola watercolors to replicate what I saw - it's impossible with my limited skills. Many of our kids are like me with that paintbrush - they would flounder under this type of education, any type of education that wasn't focused on the tiny increments, repeated daily for years that their particular brains need in order to learn.

I enjoy the flock of new adoptive parents that are on the horizon. Young, excited, willing to do hard things and totally committed to the vision of expanding their families through adoption - they are who I was ten years ago. Little did I know that words like Sensory Disorder, FASD, Behavioral Disorder, ODD, Sleep Disorder, Autism and Learning Delayed would become my every day diet and what how those words would become the framework of my life.

I wouldn't change our choices and I have to be careful when I talk with those bright young families about adoption. As they enroll their gifted biological children in the local Classical Academy or private school and wait for the placement of their first adopted child (or children) I see my own past and wonder how their future will play out.

6 comments:

waldenbunch said...

I think the hardest thing about homeschooling the last 16 years is giving up the dream, of happy children sitting around the table paying absolute attention to their dear mother. Right. I had a lot of the dream with my bio kids but it certainly isn't true with my adopted. School can be an all out battle and most of the time it is not fun. I hate it but that's the way it is when you have diagnoses hanging out all over the place. It is a journey. A tiny step at the time. God bless you for your heart.

TheHappyNeills said...

that's us! "typical" biological children, "gifted" firstborn, love the Classical method and the first one's starting kindergarten there this fall, adopting the rest of our children now. . . we are thankful for many forerunners like you who we can watch and learn from.

we wonder all the time how our future will play out, if the rest of our children will fit right in there, what our future will look like if we have children with challenges or diagnoses. . .

oh Lord, may we live with open hands to embrace whatever comes with any of our children whom you chose for us before there was time!

thank you, Dorothy, for your transparent blogging and sharing of your life.

Marian said...

Life in theory rarely looks like life in reality, does it? Especially when you live in the alternate world of special needs!

Tricia said...

This post made me chuckle because we are at the very beginning of what you are talking about. Veritas history cards and Latin ready to be commenced this year adn also in the process of adopting from Uganda. Your post humbles me because it shows me again that I don't know what all lies ahead for us. I do know that this is what the Lord has called us to and He will be faithful as we walk this road. Hopefully reading your thoughts will keep me holding on tightly to what really matters and holding very loosly to the "extras" that we may now enjoy.

~Kim said...

I think I am somewhere in the middle of the Veritas cards and throwing the classical ed magazines away. I peek a little at them when they come, let them sit out in hopes I can get to them soon...and THEN wind up throwing them away. We have 4 bio kids and one adopted SN kid and it's still really tough to get in the "workbooks" like we should. I just focus on what my husband always reminds me of...and that is that if we have gotten in our family worship time and been in the Word that day, that that is a good day. All the rest is secondary and will eventually come.

tracey fields said...

a friend of mine forwarded your blog to me yesterday. i have two bio kids and two adopted kids. one of my adopted children has "undiagnosed" fetal alcohol effects. the diagnoses have been all over the place. i KNOW that this is what it is. luckily- the speech and play therapist just brought this up...so now that a professional has concurred..people will stop thinking i'm psycho. we homeschool- ha! we use veritas for our first two girls and prob will for our 4th daughter, however, my 3rd little girl is all over the place. what have you seen to be the most effective education "style" w/your fasd kiddos?? content mastery? PLEASE share with me what you know. :)