About Me

About Me  

(Well, at least the part that led us to homeschool!)

My real name is Michelle, but that has always been too mature for me! Shelly is a much better fit! In my past life...BC...Before children...I spent my days as a public school teacher. I loved every minute of teaching middle school science! I loved my career and never dreamed of doing anything else! 

I had my life all planned out; I would work, we would have 3 darling kids and we would never struggle.  A bit idealistic, I'm sure, but who plans to struggle?  I was sure that teaching was my calling from God, and I was sure He would never change his mind!

Of course God knew what lay ahead for me and was surely not nearly as surprised as I was when our firstborn choose to break my water and insist on being born 6 weeks early!  I have always said that he is stubborn and just didn't like his cramped quarters inside my belly, so he just insisted on getting out!

Somewhere along the line I also know that I prayed not just for healthy babies but for "just the right ones to accomplish God's plans."  Little did I realize that God's plans would ever differ from my own!

I was one of those young ladies who always thought, "When God Gives me children they will..." The word "always" or "never" came next! I filled in the blank with every conceivable positive childhood attribute imaginable! They would ALWAYS be well behaved, smart, Godly and NEVER throw temper tantrums!  Then God surprised me with 3 children that are anything but typical... but then again, what is normal anyway?!

Caleb was such a fussy...OK, downright NASTY newborn, that God's change in plans started working themselves out right away!  I knew within a week of returning to school that God wanted me to be a stay at home mom.  I started planning my resignation for the end of the school year. 

Having a baby who screamed ALL the time and still ate every two hours through the night after 12 weeks of maternity leave made wanting to quit an easy decision.  My students loved that last semester!  They had very little homework because I had very little brain cells left to grade it!

My professional career ended 5 months later.  Phase #1 in God's "NEW PLAN was underway."  I loved those years as a stay at home mom with my 3 little kids but always assumed that I would return to work.
PHASE #2 began just a few years ago.  I decided  after years of being home and raising my  3 babies, that God must surely want me to take up my calling of Teaching again.  Besides, all three kids were in school now so I needed something noble to do, right? I started subbing and filling in for maternity leaves just knowing that God had just the right spot for me!

3 years of subbing and 10 job interviews later I still had no full time job.  I kept telling myself that if God was holding out this long that he must have something GREAT in store for me!  Seriously, I don't know how I kept a good attitude about it all!

Then my world came crashing down.  I did finally manage to get a full time aid type job at my kids' elementary school and thought I was a shoe-in for any openings that came along following that year. 

That same year, however, our son's mood swings, associated with his Aspergers boiled over!  Between the academic and social peer pressure he emotionally collapsed.  Bullying was a nightmare for him.  School was excruciating because his IQ was normal and the school kept telling us he didn't qualify for much help and WAS NOT autistic so he was left to flounder on his own. 

**Just a brief side note here, EVERYONE who worked with my son tried hard to help him in school if they could but their hands were tied to help him in the ways he really needed it because of lack of help.  There just was not personnel available to help him.  As a squeaky wheel, he was not loud enough. ** 

By the end of 5th grade he had had it!  He started making up friends that didn't exist because (some) real kids were just too mean to him.  He also started to become suicidal over all of the expectations he knew he couldn't meet.
Crash #2 that year came when the last and final job I applied for was given to someone else.  From the outside looking in, there always seemed to be "obvious" reasons why I didn't get the job. I don't coach anything, I have experience so I cost more, and surely after trying this hard somebody must just not like me! 

I was angry as well as confused.  Wasn't teaching my mission?  From God?  After about a month, I finally quit crying long enough to ask God what was going on.  His answer was gentle.  "I have a "NEW PLAN."  New to me anyway.  Well I still didn't know what that new plan was but I had to just wait and see what unfolded.

Within a month of the following school year, Caleb took an emotional nosedive again.  That's when it finally started to become clear to me what God wanted me to do.  But seriously, homeschool? HIM?! 

I have been asked lots over the years if I would ever consider homeschooling Caleb and my answer was always, "NO WAY!  One of us will be dead within a week and I will be incarcerated!"  I told God that too.  :O)
In December of that year, Caleb was suicidal again.  We knew what we needed to do!  You know, something as daunting as homeschooling a moody, special needs kid becomes much less scary when it becomes a matter of life and death!  When we finally presented the idea to Caleb and let him make the final decision. His reaction a few days later was "Get me out of there!"  We withdrew him the next day!
Now don't get me wrong!  Just because we are following God's plan for us doesn't make teaching Caleb has been all a bed of roses.  Mostly it is VERY rewarding watching him blossom and LOVE learning.  But, now I definitely know why God had me spend a few years working on a Master's degree in Special ED.  None of my training or research was wasted!
Moving ahead just a few months, our other two kids started noticing how Caleb had changed after a few months of being taught at home, AND the fact that he did school in his jammies, was often done by noon and LOVED all the field trips.  They also asked to be homeschooled.  Woah!  Hold the phone!  That was not part of my plan!  But it was part of God's plan.  We now homeschool ALL of our kiddos and would never do anything else...well, unless God told us to!

1 comment:

  1. Shelly, I just read this and wondered if you would like to participate in my new weekly interview for home educating mothers who used to be school teachers. I am interested in knowing how your career helped you to become a better home educator, and more. If you'd like to participate please send me an email. -Savannah www.hammocktracks.com