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Monday, March 26, 2012

How I "Do It"

I have been asked a lot lately, in reference to homeschooling Jackson, "How do you do it?" Usually, I just shrug and say, "I don't know. I just do it."  But I got to thinking about that question and had a bit of an epiphany as a result.

Homeschooling is not common where I live. People in the Falls Church area of Fairfax County, Virginia take a lot of pride in how great the public school system is here in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.  Most families, in my immediate community of Sleepy Hollow, are run by parents who both have college degrees and often advanced education as well.  Homeschooling is just not considered necessary or even practical.  I wouldn't say it is frowned upon, just not given much thought as a desirable alternative.

To add to that, families from all of the world move to this area to get public educational services for their special needs children because of the high quality and diversity of offerings.  It really is an amazing educational area that deserves a tremendous amount of praise and admiration.

It just wasn't the right fit for Jackson. 

So I homeschool because I have to.  I do it because I need to, and I do it because everyone else failed, and I refuse to fail Jackson.  But that does not explain how I can do it with so much energy and optimism, with so much joy and enthusiasm...with so much genuine happiness.

Here is a great blog entitled, "Dear School Personnel, Community Members, Teacher, Parents and Neighbors, by Marianne Russo, a well known and respected voice in the autism community.  She speaks to the heart of the special needs mother who feels "overwhelmed, confused, heart broken and struggling to unravel the complexities before her."  It is a plea to not judge or persecute her or her child but to extend compassion and understanding.  It is a heart-wrenching a totally honest look inside the spirit of many special needs mothers...

It is just not how I feel.  I am not overwhelmed or confused.  I am not heartbroken or angry.  I am not tired or frustrated.  

Lon Solomon, the pastor of McLean Bible Church, said on Saturday night, "Do not tell me what an omnipotent God can do!" And that statement perfectly reflects how I feel about how I have the energy and passion to homeschool an autistic teenager.  Do not tell me how tired I am supposed to be or how frazzled he is supposed to make me...because I am not.  Homeschooling Jackson has given me a renewed spirit and vigor that I haven't felt in a while.  He energizes me and motivates me to be a better mother, teacher, friend, and person.

Paul and I, for all our sarcasm and rigid emotional exteriors, are both eternal optimists!  We believe that anything is possible, and honestly think that we can overcome any challenge or obstacle in our way.  We are mini bulldozers and refuse to be derailed from whatever path we feel God has led us on.  Some people might call us foolish or reckless. Many friends and family have questioned our various decisions over the past 15 years, but we move forward with a confidence and hope that is hard to explain but easy to see in our everyday lives.

Homeschooling Jackson is just one of many outrageous things the Lord has called us to do and we know there are many more crazy things on the horizon for the Trotter family and hope we can have the same unashamed optimism for them as well!


I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13



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