Whether your child comes to you academically behind his same-age peers or you want to increase the bonding time or you are already a homeschooling family, homeschooling adopted kiddos has benefits and challenges.
Some things to consider when deciding to homeschool
The together time is intense. There’s no quicker way to figure out what the weak parts in a relationship are than to be together ALL. THE. TIME. The benefit of this is that the sooner you know, the sooner you can work on it or get professional help. If you have other kids in the mix, it also gives you the opportunity to teach relationship skills in sticky situations that match your family’s values–not the school system’s.
Trauma significantly impacts learning. It impacts the content learned (or not retained), and it impacts a child’s ability to learn. As a homeschooler, you have more freedom to meet children where they are academically and cater to their learning styles and needs. On the flip side, navigating the needs of a child from a hard place can be overwhelming for a homeschool mom who is also working with other students with other unique needs. Seeking private services for speech, OT, or other emotional therapies can eat away at school time and finances but can be higher quality than what the school system provides. On the other hand, homeschooling can provide the flexibility you need if you do have to weave in a lot of therapy appointments so too much school isn’t missed.
Double-duty isn’t for the faint of heart. Generally, adoption isn’t for the faint of heart, but being a primary caregiver to a child with relationship trauma AND being her teacher is a tall order. No matter the qualifications of the homeschooling parent, some children CANNOT learn from a primary caregiver. The hypervigilance some kids struggle with around a primary caregiver (usually mom) prohibits her from accessing the part of the brain needed to learn.
No decision is forever. While school decisions seem pretty weighty and transitions, in general, can cause havoc, no decision is forever. Make the best decision you can knowing your family and your child, and remember you can always change it, if necessary–even mid-year. If you have a trusted mental health professional, seek out objective observations that will help you make an informed decision.
What impacted your education decisions?
Click here to reads the second part of this duo, Words of Wisdom, on homeschooling adopted children.