Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Do you feel like you are not successful?

We might not admit it in public, but how many of us feel like we are not making a difference?  We spend hours planning out our children's education.  That doesn't count the time we spend teaching them through text and life experiences.  Or the $$$ spent to give them the best individualized education possible.  But at the end of the day we still feel like we are not successful.

I will admit that everyday I wonder if I am making any progress.  Yesterday for example, my freshman level high school student couldn't answer a question about the solar system.  This was a pretty easy, grade school level question.  He was the one I really thought would know the answer.  I sat hiding my disappointment and felt defeated.  I know that he has learning disabilities and was already having an off day, but I really felt like I had failed.

I started thinking about it when we were done with our group projects.  Really, unless he is going to be in astrophysics, will honestly need to know the question I asked him?  Does he really NEED to know the difference between a meteor, meteoroid and a meteorite in order to balance his checkbook and make himself a meal?  No he will not.

Then I looked back when I was very sick a couple weeks ago.  I had a migraine and dizziness so bad that I could not sit up in bed.  I literally had to crawl to the bathroom so that I didn't crash into the wall.  I looked back at the fact he helped his sisters get their dishes they couldn't reach.  He kept an eye on them and checked on me constantly.  They may not have had any home-cooked meals throughout the day, but with his help and some convenience foods, absolutely no one starved.  He stepped up and helped out on our Minecraft server  when I was unable to sit up and even look at the screen.  Even when the kids were rude to him, he held it inside and didn't show how upset he was.

I am always stressing about him now.  He's 15 years old, and I worry about how he will take care of himself in the future.  We have been working really hard at life skills such as cooking, laundry and simple cleaning skills.  I know he can wash dishes and run our laundry equipment.  He can microwave cook, and if it was a self-igniting stove, could make himself a pancake...I think.

We have a long way to go, but we are making our way there.  After looking back on that day, most of my guilt of him not remembering about the solar system disappeared.  He is learning how to take care of himself, and he is a great friend who would do anything for the people he loves.  Who cares about inner/outer planets???

When we start to doubt ourselves, really sit down and look at what you have accomplished.  What are your real goals for your children?  Do you want them to be happy, well-adjusted adults?  Move past all the book work and remember, life skills and good character qualities are just as important as combining sentences and conjugating verbs.

And remember if you hear laughter, then you are successful.   Strive for the smiles and the hugs, that's when you know you have truly reached your goals!!!!!

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