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Shifting my expectations

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Shifting my expectations

Be sure to check out my Magic Moments I posted late yesterday! Shell's keeping me busy. Today I'm back at her place for Pour Your Heart Out.
This is our third year homeschooling. Our year is off to a great start. I'd have to say that the start of this year is going smoother than any other in the past. I know a huge part of the reason why things are different, is because I've adjusted my expectations.

I've stopped requiring my son to be somebody he's not. I've stopped expecting him to do things he's not able to do. I've stopped focusing on my expectations for him, and tried to focus on God's expectations.

It's so hard to break away from what the world tells us we need to expect from our children. When you have a child with special needs, they aren't the average kid. They don't fit that mold the world puts them in. They have different needs, and see things completely different than the rest of the world. I think that's a lonely place to be for a child.

So I vowed to make sure my son never feels that way here.

Some days are harder than others, and he isn't able to complete his assignments. Some days we have to stop and regroup. When these things happen, time isn't on our side. I still have to make sure he is receiving a solid education and meeting standards. It can be a lot of pressure on me to make it all work.

But, something that I've realized is that I needed to shift my expectations. Not lower them! I have high expectations for both of my boys. I just mean adjust them. Adjust them to be obtainable.

If he wants to stand and work-fine.
If he wants to tap his pencil all day long-fine.
If he needs a break after only getting one math problem done-fine.
If he needs a day to regroup, and work on Saturday instead-fine.
If he needs extra time in the morning to get it together, and work late-fine.

Some days it's not about the book work. Maybe the day is successful because of a breakthrough in therapy, or a milestone achieved. Maybe on that day, he didn't even crack a book. FINE!

I have to be flexible. He needs me to be flexible.
I don't understand all of his quirks, but I do know that he needs me to understand him.

Some might say that he gets his way, and doesn't ever learn to follow the rules. I would say he's getting exactly what he needs! We have rules, we have structure, we have requirements. But some days he needs me to understand that he's off. Period.

Until the rest of world gets him. He will have a soft place to land here.



At September 14, 2011 at 11:12 AM , Blogger The Woven Moments said...

I don't think there's a greater gift than a soft place to land.

Well done, Mama. Love this.

At September 14, 2011 at 11:31 AM , Blogger Katie said...

I wish we could give our students the same flexibility in a traditional school setting. Everyone could benefit from being able to learn in such an amazing environment! Congratulations on setting up such a wonderful place for your boys to learn and grow :)

At September 14, 2011 at 11:43 AM , Blogger Tara R. said...

YES! This is it exactly. Our children don't fit neatly into the standard box, and we have to help them find where and how they do fit. Good for you and good for your son!

At September 14, 2011 at 12:30 PM , Blogger Colleen said...

I think the grace you are extending to your son is beautiful. He will thrive in such an understanding setting...every child should be allowed to learn like this!

At September 14, 2011 at 1:50 PM , Blogger Oka said...

Not one of my kids have fit in the box yet. As long as my two oldest were ahead of the box, they were left to continue learning. My daughter, who is behind the box, is being left there in the cold and dark...and Mom isn't liking it.

Kudos for realizing your needs some time outside that box.

At September 14, 2011 at 2:09 PM , Blogger Shell said...

You are giving him such a gift.

We may be homeschooling my middle son within the next few months. And then I'll be keeping you busy by asking you a million questions.

At September 14, 2011 at 2:30 PM , Blogger Christine Siracusa said...

He is so lucky that you have the awareness, time, dedication (I could go on and on...) and ability to teach him at his pace. That is going to make a major difference for him.

Also I struggle with the 'expectations' issue, too. Wondering if mine are too high...unreasonable. And also wondering if they are really mine or if I've subliminally adopted them from the outside world. It's hard to navigate. I think you are doing very well. Good for you.

At September 14, 2011 at 3:16 PM , Blogger Heidi said...

Your son is so blessed to have a mom that understands what he needs.

At September 14, 2011 at 3:28 PM , Blogger JDaniel4's Mom said...

How blessed he is to have such an understanding mom and teacher. You are a soft place for him to land.

At September 14, 2011 at 8:56 PM , Blogger Natasha in Oz said...

You are a very good teacher, mum and person. Good on you. It sounds like this is going to be a great year for you all!

Best wishes always,

At September 15, 2011 at 6:05 AM , Anonymous Kate F. (@katefineske) said...

My sister-in-law begins her 1st year of home schooling this Monday. My nephew is finishing his fight with Cancer this year and is unable to go back to school. I'm commend her for taken on the challenge of home schooling (last year they had a tutor). I think that would be me hardest challenge, learning myself to be more flexible and to move myself back and forth from the role of "Mom" to "Teacher." Great post!

At September 15, 2011 at 8:11 AM , Blogger Krista @ Not Mommy of the Year said...

You're a good momma. I love that "soft place to land" line. It's what I think every mother wants to be to her child.

At September 15, 2011 at 7:34 PM , Blogger Cheryl said...

I am often amazed at the things the Lord teaches me through my children! Some really good lessons here!

I'm visiting from the Ultimate Homeschool link; your blog title caught my attention, as my blog is Treasures from a Shoebox. :)

It's nice to meet you!


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