I'm going to start with a brief back story for people who haven't been reading my little blog for a while.  Last year my son Frodo went to public school for the first time ever.  He was 9 and in grade 4.  He tried and tried, and was miserable and bullied for the better part of the year.  The school was no help, and in fact made things worse.  You see, Frodo has ADHD, and I strongly suspect hovers on the Aspergers' end of the spectrum.  School was a major struggle for him and they gave lip service to being supportive. In November (our school year runs from the end of January to mid December) I finally said enough and withdrew him.  He was thrilled to return to home schooling but his brothers both love school and really wanted to stay, so that's our family dynamic.

We live a mere 200m from the school, so every morning I take the younger two up to school and Frodo has stayed home and worked on skwirk or read a book.  On those occasions where we were heading straight out to an activity or to run errands after the drop off, he would insist on rolling the windows down and waiting in the car for the few minutes it took to walk the others o class.  No way, no how, was he going onto that school campus where he was so ostracized and traumatized.  And honestly?  I couldn't blame him.

A few weeks ago Sam (who is in grade 2) mentioned that a boy who was in Frodo's class asks how he's doing fairly often and how he likes home schooling.  I didn't think much of it at the time,  but a few days later as the other two put their school shoes on and got ready to head out the door, Frodo said I think I'll go with you.  Colour me surprised, but of course he was welcome to come.  I figured he would want to sit in the car, play my iphone, and then try to sweet talk me into going to the coffee shop for an iced chocolate ;)  But when we pulled into the carpark... he actually started to get OUT of the car!  I tried to hide my surprise, and he said he was hoping to see Chad (not his real name :) to say hi to him.  Well, ok!  So we all walked onto campus and he came with me to drop Merry at his class... and he seemed bummed because we didn't see Chad.  However on the way back to the car, he started waving and saying hi Chad! and stopped & had a chat briefly :)  

I was SO proud of him... and when we got to the car I gave him a hug and told him just that, that I was SO impressed that he walked onto that campus with his head held high despite how much trouble the place had been for him.   And yeah, even though I hadn't planned to go out.. there was definitely an iced chocolate and gingerbread cookie to be had... Courage deserves to be rewarded!

A few days later, he came with us again... and this time he wandered off with Sam towards his class, instead of staying with me.  I called out to him to meet me at Merrys' class when the bell sounded and was a little nervous that he might not find the experience any better than last year, but I had to let him try.  He apparently ran into another boy he knew, and walked to class with him and came running back at the sound of the bell with a big smile :)  Time really does heal wounds I guess.

 As we walked from Merrys' class we saw one of the staff who said hello to him.  I didn't know her, but he did.  She said it was lovely to see him and asked where he's been... he told her and she said she knew a LOT of people that homeschooled and asked how he likes it?  He told her it's great and that we were off to French in the park after drop off.  Part of me hopes that makes it back to the Principal (whom we did not have good experiences with AT all) so she knows what an exceptional little boy she lost at her school.  We haven't actually seen her, but as Frodo has taken to going with me much more often, I'm sure we will.  So I'm working with him on how to respond to her politely  when she approaches him.. because I know she will.  I remind him that people think home schoolers never go out, so to share whatever exciting thing we have going on that week with the home school group ;)

I'm sure when the day comes that he is ready to face her, I'll be able to step back and encourage him to have confidence ... but also let him know I am *always* there to have his back.  Just like I had his back when I stepped up to the principal and said enough.  However, if he isn't ready to deal with that..that's ok.  I will not let her diminish the confidence & courage that he is rediscovering.

4 Responses
  1. Ingi Mc Says:

    Wow - that's a big step forward for Frodo! I had to spend 3 days working in my boy's old school - sure enough his teacher recognised me. I felt a bit traumatised going back, so for Frodo to do it, is a BIG thing! Go Frodo (and you too Caz).

  2. Kez Says:

    Go Frodo! Well done!

  3. Caz Says:

    Thanks ladies.. I was so incredibly proud of him! It took over 6 months of this school year for him to be 'ready'.

  4. momto5 Says:

    that is so crazy, it is hard to believe schools can be so nutty at times. i am glad to hear he is taking it on his own terms and stepping out. i love how kids can do that so much easier then adults. way to go kiddo!