When our daughter, Tamara, approached Kindergarten age, we began to wonder how our homeschooling days were going to work out. I was hoping to get Gabriel to work more independently before Tamara began Kindergarten, but he still needed a lot of oversight and hand-holding. My husband and I considered enrolling her in our public school, so that I would continue to have more one-on-one time with Gabriel. I was torn. I knew it would be more challenging to continue to homeschool Gabriel and add another student to our class, but Tamara had proven to be a huge help already, like keeping the younger ones occupied while I worked with Gabriel. In the end, we decided to keep her home, but we don’t know if we’ll continue to do so, especially when the other younger children approach school age.
I met a homeschool mom recently, who also has a child with special needs. She and her husband decided to enroll their younger child in public school for the same reason we considered it. She was heart-broken when she discovered that this child was struggling with loneliness and feeling like all his mom’s attention is always on his big brother. My heart went out to her. I’m sure she is doing her best with all her children, and if she could clone herself, she would. I certainly would.
Spending some one-on-one time with each child, doing something fun, has been helpful for us in fostering good relationships with them. When it’s just you and them, they feel special. You don’t have to plan anything elaborate. Tamara and I will sometimes just spend a few minutes lying down on her bed or on my bed, having “girl talk”. She looks forward to those times. Or, when I have to take one of the children to a doctor’s appointment, I try to make the most of that time by making a quick trip somewhere after the appointment. A visit to the dollar store to pick out a fun toy is always highly anticipated. And, I’m always pleasantly surprised that they want to pick out toys for their siblings as well. And, since it only costs a dollar each, I’m willing to splurge.
(Photo source: Wikipedia)