Sometimes You Hit a Wall

Jacob at Paneras
Jacob at Paneras

You’re moving along and then… You hit a wall.

This week was rougher than usual. As Jacob and I sat and talked last night, he said it had been a “mildly stressful” week. On Wednesday, he seemed to have just resigned himself to the stress. While I recognize stress is part of life, this one seemed to come out of left field.  I felt at a loss.

But he made it through it.  

It could be the fact that we are coming down to the last few weeks of school and it seems like there are more quizzes, more tests, and more meetings. It could be his upcoming birthday. Whatever it was, it was hard to watch.  

Every student can learn, just not on the same day, or the same way. – George Evans 

It seemed like the motorcycle rides, the bike riding, even a few morning coffees and dinner out on Thursday could not pull him up. Finally, as we finished History yesterday, the light seemed to come back on. He went for a bicycle ride, did his laundry, and then we grabbed a motorcycle ride. Down along a river’s edge, he videoed the rushing waters. The smile was returning.  

Jacob at Full Throttle
Jacob at Full Throttle

Today, we will get coffee together and then come home to prepare the house for family and Easter. And we will plan out his week to “lighten” the load for his birthday week. Juggle some class days to reduce the stress for his day Wednesday. (And then next week, we will take him and his friends to go throw axes at the Keene Axe House! ?) I am sure he is also thinking about getting his driver’s permit! 

Over the last few months, I have talked about the challenges, the successes and the planning and preparation that goes into readying for school. How much I have seen Jacob grow in confidence. The smiles that come with good grades. 

But it is the “extras” that have happened. Life is different for him here. 

He was able to have his own room here. A new bed his mom purchased. His own TV and game set up. Quiet and a place to chill when he needs to. The ability to ride his bike without concern for the “neighborhood.” To be able to go out and take pictures of wildlife. To set his own hours. (He usually goes to sleep around 11 and wakes at 8 or so, starting school at 9.) He usually takes an hour for his lunch. And our relationship that has always been good has become better. 

And the conversations we have? Admittedly, a lot of them begin with cars and end with cars. But we talk about current events, that include Elon, politics, technology, social issues, and so much more. (I did say “cars” right? ?) 

Jacob in a mean game of UNO
Jacob in a mean game of UNO

It may be wrong to call it virtual school or home school. It could be that it is holistic in the sense, that it incorporates everything. 

Whatever it is, it sure beats where he was at. 

The other night some of his friends came over to help prepare a meal for the homeless shelter. I asked one of them how school was. He answered and then asked Jacob how school was. Jacob’s response opened to door to a lot of conversation about learning from home, social pieces, and more. It caused me to realize how much had changed for the better. 

Everyone has to find their path. There is no cookie-cutter learning. But, in the midst of whatever the choice, there ought to be peace. 

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. – Benjamin Franklin 

A short interview with Jacob about school.

(I would love to hear your homeschool stories!)

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Jacob’s art video

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