It is almost time to begin training for the Twin Cities Marathon in earnest. I’ve been looking over Hal Higdon’s training guides and trying to decide which option would be best for this year. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking: What is my goal? Fast? Just get it done? No injury? Boston Qualifying? Run as fast as I possibly can? Stick with my much more experienced (and smarter) running partner? All the above?
There will be times when I’m mad that I’m training for the marathon. I will want to go out late on a Friday, but I know I have to run 18 miles the next morning. The two don’t mix. I will be running when its way too hot and humid to rationally run, but the training guide says I must and there is no end in sight for the heat wave. I won’t want to get up at 4:55 AM.
But, I will remind myself the entire time….I get to do this. I’m the lucky one. My body let’s me do this. My husband supports me doing this. My lifestyle allows me to run. I have wonderful friends to run with who encourage and challenge me. I get to.
This is the rationale I’ve been turning to lately with raising children with dyslexia and especially homeschooling. It’s May. The weather is finally nice. I feel like I’m on those last couple weeks of marathon training when your body is so tired and you are crossing your fingers you don’t get injured. I have worked so hard for so long and I’d like to be done for awhile. Homeschooling #2 is not easy for me. It’s nothing I thought I’d ever do. And just when I think we are getting somewhere….that there is light at the end of the tunnel….that some spelling is really sinking in and that -ed ending is cementing…I get the following text from #2 (sent from my mom’s phone):
Are you kidding me?!?!? GUST? PAST? YORE? Can someone tell me how this sentence passed autocorrect? Where is Siri when you need her?
OK, I’ll give him yore….at least he got the vowel-consonant-e concept we’ve worked so hard on. And the g/j sound is really hard for him. He needs to learn it to 100% accuracy and obviously we need to review. BUT PAST?!?! No -ed suffix? It’s what we’ve worked on for 6 weeks!
Forget it. Running a marathon, no make that an ultra-marathon, up a mountain, in elevation, on a really skinny path, is easier than this. I’m a total failure of a teacher and parent.
I believe this is what they call “hitting the wall” in marathon terms.
It was time to dig deep.
There are two types of perspectives you can take when thinking about dyslexia; the deficit perspective or the strength perspective. I was stuck in the deficit perspective. The end of the school year is approaching and I’m stuck thinking of all the things that are incredibly hard for #2. Spelling, reading speed, reading comprehension, writing, slow processing speed, math facts, sports, coordination, physical strength, attention, musical note reading, holding that darn violin bow straight…..I could go on and on. It was (and is) bogging me down and it must be bogging #2 down too.
It’s time for me to re-frame. For myself I need to remember that I get to homeschool. My life life work and personal background has lead me to this. I am strong. I am capable. I get to be my child’s teacher. I get to.
For #2 I need to help him reframe his dyslexia. (#1 and #3 are also dyslexic, but they have different strengths.) He gets to be dyslexic. He gets to have dynamic reasoning. He gets to be an intuitive thinker. He gets to have the same strengths as Albert Einstein and Wolfgang Mozart (both dyslexic). He gets to have vision about a complex process. He gets to be good at connecting the dots and spotting patterns. His diffuse attention is building creativity. His creativity is especially valuable in situations that are changing or ambiguous. A high percentage of his type of dyslexics are in the following careers: entrepreneur, chief executive, finance, geology, physics, business consulting, economics, medicine (immunology, rheumatology, endocrinology, oncology), farmer, and construction. (Information from The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain)
He gets to be profoundly dyslexic.
I get to be his teacher and parent. I get to help unlock his wonderful brain. I get to.