How One Mom Found Help for Her Struggling Student
“He can’t sit still to hear the story,” his teacher said. “I don’t think he understands, and he is too much of a distraction to the others. So we let him do his own thing.”
This moment, when Josh was younger, is carved into my memory; the moment I realized that he was different. He was a joyful, fun-loving, hard-playing boy, as many are, but this experience brought to the surface the struggles Josh was facing that others his age did not. We were at co-op, and he was in a class with other young kids his age sitting in a circle for reading time. While others were bouncing up and down, somewhat distracted while still paying some attention to the story, my son was in a completely different part of the room playing at a kitchen set. Alone. As the years went on the struggle to attend, to understand, and to learn only deepened. Worse, Josh began to see himself as different, as less capable and smart than other children.
Though I knew homeschooling was the right choice, it didn’t seem to fully address the struggles and put more pressure on me than I realized. We definitely saw benefits and growth, but our focus tended to lean towards finding ways to help him compensate or choosing the right curriculum for his disability. We were basically just trying to get him through. I watched as the spark of joy, the excitement to learn, and the desire to collaborate drained from Josh, only to be replaced with battles over schoolwork, projects, tests, and more. I felt inadequate and lost. By fifth grade our intelligent, creative son hated anything he perceived as learning and was far behind his peers. Each day was a struggle, and the joy of homeschooling began to wane.
Help from a Friend
I knew we had to do something, but no one seemed to really understand our struggle. Then a friend introduced me to Bridgeway Academy. Until then, working with a homeschool academy wasn’t an option because I did not want to give up the freedom and flexibility we desperately needed to meet Josh’s needs. But working with a homeschool expert was exactly what we needed. Rather than put him in a box, Bridgeway helped me to find the best curriculum to fit Josh’s learning style and academic needs. And my academic adviser has become like one of the family, helping me make decisions and finding ways to make Josh successful. And through the one-on-one learning therapy program we’ve seen Josh make great strides in communication, reading comprehension, and critical-thinking skills. We’re no longer scared to tackle tough subjects like multiplication and longer pieces of writing. Bridgeway’s HOPE program hasn’t just worked to help Josh compensate, it’s begun the healing process that’s allowed him to overcome his learning struggles.
You can’t imagine what a relief it has been to know that I have someone on my side to answer questions, help me adapt a lesson, and even talk with Josh when he’s struggling through a concept. And I’ve regained my confidence as his teacher knowing that I’m not alone. Not only did I get the support I needed, but Josh has gained confidence knowing that he can learn! The flexibility and accountability has helped Josh to thrive and dream again, and Bridgeway’s accreditation means that he can dream big. With Bridgeway Academy my son has finally realized just how smart he is, and he is excited about learning. And I found the support I needed to love homeschooling again.