Happy 12th birthday Zander. I am so very proud of the person you are. You are compassionate beyond your age. You love so deeply. You have trust in people and see the good in everything. You have a sweet, pure heart. I hope that regardless what life throws at you, you will always choose to see the good.
I’m sorry for not being able to give you the best birthday ever. You deserve the best, every year. Maybe tomorrow we can have the Wimpy breakfast you are supposed to have on your birthday. Maybe I feel better tomorrow.
For now though, sorry that you had to walk into our room and see me sleeping most of your birthday. I found the photo on your phone and I wonder how many times did you walk in to check on me.
Happy birthday sweet boy.
Next year, I promise.
I have some health issues going on at the moment and I thought that we had been pretty good about not talking much around Zander. The older brothers are supportive and old enough to understand that it might end up not being anything serious any way, so they know. Kyla and Zander know the bare minimum.
Zander is very much a mommy’s boy. He also gets anxious easily. Which is why we try our best not to let him know what’s going on. At least not until we know what is going on ourselves.
He was lying next to me in bed tonight when all of a sudden he said that he will commit suicide if I died.
My heart stopped.
He is 11 years old and he even thinks about it! Of course I immediately said that I plan on living 113 years. That he does not have to worry about anything happening to me. He said that he won’t have anything left to live for if I die. I told him that by the time I am 113 he will have great grandchildren whose names he can’t remeber. He will have a lot to live for.
I don’t know if this is just something that crossed his mind now? I am wondering if it could be because Tommie’s cousin just passed away unexpectedly. However we didn’t discuss that in front of him either.
I mean we could all die right now. There are no guarantees in life. I just hope I get to live until an age where he doesn’t feel I am all he has to live for.
Sometimes I am at a loss of words, unsure how to make him less anxious.
I can’t believe he said that. I can’t believe he even thinks about that.
That. That is why.
However there is so much more. I can’t possibly put all of it in words and I can’t possibly remember all of the positives but let me try.
- Time. He gets to spend more time on a subject if he needs to. There is no rush to get to the next class or worrying that the rest of the class has to wait for him.
- Time again. Class doesn’t have to be 25 minutes. If he is enjoying a specific topic, then we spend more time on it. Learn more about it. We don’t stop at what the book says. We learn more. Google. Youtube (our best friend)
- Time again. If he is tired or battling to concentrate, I just skip the lesson and do it on another day.
- Our relationship. We have always had a close relationship. (as I do with all my children) however he is now more willing to open up to me. He is a happy chappy. That is not always a good thing, since under that happy smile there is also anxiety, sadness, worry, stress. Only recently he has started sharing the more negative side of things with me.
- Bullies. We don’t have bullies in our school ☺ (One of the reasons I wish I could homeschool all my children – bullies have no idea how much they hurt someone. By the time they are grown up and realize it, it’s too late for the person who was bullied)
- His friends aren’t just 11 years old. One of his closest swimming friends is 14. It’s not limited by grade.
- Stress. He has so little of it now.
- Confidence. He is another child. Where he used to almost battle to talk to other people or hide behind me, he will now have conversations as though they are long lost friends.
The list is endless actually. He is happy. He is doing well. As an example, he got 82% for history. He did not learn for it. We did no revision. It was from what he learned when we worked through his book (google and youtube as well) No stress. Just from the time we spend on the subject, to make sure he understands and enjoy it. It’s not a punishment. It’s fun. He wants to learn more because we make it fun. We live the history. We don’t read the history.
Anyway, off subject again.
He is happy.
I have read many articles on homeschooling. One of concerns people has is that you cannot work and homeschool. One article actually said that it is impossible.
Well, I’m here to say that it is very possible.
Possible for me and Zander. Okay, I can work around homeschooling, true but still I have to balance work, homeschool, 4 other children, their sport and well….having a life and we do it.
If you really want to homeschool, take comfort in the fact that you can. It is really not that big of a deal.
I’ve done the planning for this term. I actually wouldn’t mind starting now already! Although I highly doubt Zander would want to 😉
Zander had to write an Afrikaans story yesterday. Let me tell you that when he was still in “normal” school, that would bring tears to his eyes. He felt incompetent to do that. He didn’t want to write more than a short sentence. Writing took long. Concentrating on spelling and remembering what it was that he wanted to write about took time. Time he never had in school. (Just to make it clear I don’t blame school. Class is only so long.)
We just finished his Afrikaans for the year yesterday. His last activity was to write a story. I’m going to rewrite it here, with his spelling mistakes. He has dyslexia and unless he uses the speech to text program, his spelling is typical that of a dyslexic person. So either read past that or try and understand what it is like for him to write.
Before I do that though, look at this. This was posted on a website and tries to show us what it looks like for a dyslexic person to read and obviously that is one of the reason why spelling is so difficult.
Die gesegde is hulle bekly soos kat en hond
Daar was ‘n kat en ‘n hond wat altyd bekly het. Hulle dag en dag bekly. Een dag toe bekly hulle nog en ieweskilik wou ‘n arint kat vag. 😦 Hond het gese: “Ek gaan dut nie toe laat nie.” Hond het gehartloop en die aarent gebyt die arent het vinig gevlug.
Kat het gesê: “DankieDankieDankie!!! 🙂 Dankie baie hond jy het my lewe geret.” Hond:” Enige tyd my goei vrind.”
Kat en hond het van dei dag af nie weer bekly nie.
Daar is soveel redes hoekom hierdie storie vir my so mooi is. Hy tyd geneem om te dink oor wat hy wil skryf. Hy het die storie beplan. Die storie is nie net een sin in ‘n paragraaf nie. Hy het direkte rede gebruik. Hy het dit geniet. Dis die belangrikste. Hy het dit geniet.
Ek is so ongelooflik vreeslik trots op die seun.
Quintus is your typical Ouboet. He will stand up for his brothers, protect them and give them advice. He will be their biggest supporter.
Zander is lucky enough to have two older brothers. Both of them love the little guy a lot and probably do more for him than most brothers will.
This is about Quintus though. I looked at him yesterday as he stood with Zander at the pool, waiting for his turn to swim. Zander’s first gala. He stood there and spoke to him so nicely. Giving him the kind of moral support that many fathers lack.
When Zander swam freestyle he got tired at the end. (probably because he was late for the race and didn’t have time to catch his breath) However when he looked up and saw Quintus, it was as if he got extra strength. Just that little more energy that he needed.
I am hugely thankful for the love my children have for each other.
To anyone else, this is a photo of a child writing a story.
To me it is so, so much more. It’s my
dyslexic son, that uses spaces between his words. That’s writing in paragraphs. My son who put thought into the story. He took the time to think of a good introduction and ending.
He wasn’t worried about the spelling or how quickly he had to finish. There is no rush when you are a home schooled and spelling is helped by the cellphone.
By removing those two factors, he could focus on what is truly important when writing a short story.
I don’t know if we are getting it 100% right all the time. I don’t.
I look at that though and it seems like we are getting something right!