For many years, I’ve kept this little note tucked in the clipboard that I use for my son’s lesson plans.
I needed this note because teaching Josh has been a long-term proposition. He picks up some things slowly and other things not at all. We’ve been doing educational activities together for years; at times, especially at first, I got very discouraged because I was used to the steady learning pace of my older, “typical” children. This verse has always been a good reminder for me and helped me keep at it no matter how I felt.
Today was Josh’s last day of school in the eyes of the state because he turned 18 this semester. I was in Target yesterday and saw “Graduation 2011” paper plates and cups on clearance; it gave me a funny feeling because that would be Josh’s class. We decided not to make a big deal of his graduation because then he would think he never had to “do school” with me again. His sister said he’d probably think it was another birthday party. I don’t know about that (although he would definitely be expecting presents). 🙂
I don’t want him to think he’ll never sit down and work with me again. He has a lot to learn, and people with Down syndrome have a learning curve that’s always going up (albeit slowly) throughout their lives. What they couldn’t pick up at age 10 might be absorbed at age 20 or 30. That’s why we’re not looking at today as the end of his education.
That said, teaching him will become more informal. He’s finally gotten good at asking us questions, so my husband and I will always be a part of his education. But as for the requirement of doing a certain amount of school each year, well, that’s over now.
It’s a weird feeling. I’ve been homeschooling since I was in my 20s. What do I do now? Being over 50, I’m not getting responses to the resumes I send out (then again, why would they want someone who’s been out of the full-time workforce for nearly 30 years?). It’s both scary and exciting to wonder what’s next.
I think I’ll keep this little scrap of paper; it can remind me that God knows what the future holds, and that He’ll help me overcome discouragement about the future just as He helped me overcome discouragement about educating Josh.