My younger two kids did not read until they were nine. You read that right, nine years old. They struggled tremendously due to learning disabilities. The nay-sayers said that I would never be able to teach them this skill. That I was holding them back by not handing them over to “professionals.” That in the long run I would do more harm than good.
These words struck me deeply. They were there when we had to continue the next day because we were all too tired and frustrated to master just the common three-letter words like ‘and,’ ‘but,’ and ‘the.’ They were there when those words became weeks long in their challenges. And they were there in the middle of the night…the darkest part when I am a bad mother in my mind as I counted the number of ways I failed them that day.
Each year as we faced the judgments from other moms who had children who learned at a “normal” pace or excelled, those words were there.
However, as time went on I grew to see this time as kind of beautiful. Time was the most precious gift we could give our children. Homeschooling blesses you with extra time. I learned to look at the curriculum that continued from year to year as a basis of perseverance rather than shackles that haunted us. Did I still have those nights where ‘those words’ threw me into a panic? Yes, absolutely. Did I worry that I would never be able to teach them how to read? Oh my gosh, YES.