Sometimes no matter what you do, or how hard you try, things just don’t fit. And, when things don’t fit well, discomfort and even pain are normally very close by. An ill-fitting pair of shoes or a too tight pair of jeans can have you wincing in pain and eager to ditch the offensive items without a second thought. But what is a parent to do when it is public education that is fitting poorly? You sure as sugar wouldn’t dream of ditching your child (I know some days it can seem like a valid option, though), so I guess your only choice is to toss public education overboard. (Wow, reading that statement back really made me think about prior generations. My parents and my grandparents didn’t entertain these thoughts in their day; school was school, and you just sent the kids to the one closest to your home or to the one that most closely aligned with your religion. Things have sure changed.)
Now, by no means am I suggesting that at the first sign of friction you grab junior and march out of the local school-house. Nope, friction isn’t necessarily a bad thing; we need friction to move forward. A little misunderstanding with a teacher can normally be cleared up with communication, and administrators have been known on occasion to bend (not break) school policy to accommodate an individual’s needs. On the other hand, when an entire school district’s policy on education is polar opposite of what the educational psychologist is recommending for your child, you don’t need to beat your head against the wall attempting to change “the system”. When you realize that you are spending more time fighting the system, than you are nurturing your family, that’s the signal (in my opinion) that it is time to ditch the ill-fitting system, and find a better fit.
We were fortunate to find that “better fit” right out of the starting gate. We have been with K12 International Academy for 4 years now (kiddo had just turned 4 when she took the placement tests), and have been very pleased with the way we are able to meet our daughter’s educational needs with help from amazing ICademy teachers and administrators. Over these past 4 years K12 and ICademy have grown, and with growth comes inevitable changes. Teacher changes, curriculum changes, policy changes and such have all taken place, however, through it all our daughter has never been treated as just “another student”. Her ability to rapidly learn, and her need to be challenged at an above “age/grade” level have been respected, honored and taught to; and our advocacy efforts have never been stilted by a “policy”. For those of you who have spent any time at all pleading, begging and then down-right fighting for your child’s needs, you can imagine the relief we have felt over these 4 years. We appreciate the fact that the ICademy team works with us, and allows us to focus our energy as parents on meeting her needs and not on having to “fight to get her needs met”.
So, if this is so wonderful then why don’t more people do this?
Just as public education may not be a good fit for everyone, neither is homeschooling. Education can not be a one-size-fits-all solution due to the fact that every single child is unique.
Our choices fit our needs…for now. When kiddo outgrows these choices, we will look to make new choices for a better fit. This search for the “best-fit” will be ongoing, and knowing that going in has made this transition less scary.
Right now we have a darn good fit!