The Sonlight Blog has moved to

Please click here if you are not redirected.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Homeschool: Green Eggs and Ham

I have a theory: Those who think they shouldn't homeschool because they couldn't be with their kids all day are right.

And wrong.

I'm no psychologist, therapist or professional child-understanding professional. I'm not even a "real dad." I'm a surrogate father and a homeschooling advocate, so take this with a grain of salt, but here's my thinking: Brittany and I have had a major breakthrough in our understanding about the girls: One of them is still totally not attached to us. And this makes it incredibly hard to do things with her.

I think I missed something in our adoption classes. We were told that attachment issues were difficult. I totally got the message that the kids would be distant, frustrating, hurtful. But I think I skipped the day they talked about how you simply wouldn't care at all about the child with whom you had not bonded.

Crying? Don't care.
Hungry? Stop complaining.
Tried? Deal with it.

In fact, my reactions have been 180° from what I've heard about parenting and seen in books about raising girls. Right now, I can't imagine a little girl of mine ever melting my heart. Can't even fathom it.

That makes me sad.

But if my theory is right, I get where those apprehensive about spending all day with their kids are coming from: They--like me--are not attached to their children. Their children--like the two I'm watching--drive them crazy more than they warm their hearts. So is it any wonder they don't want to be stuck in the same room with them for several hours a day, wrestling through school work and having to <shudder> cuddle with them on the couch?

I imagine, however, there are those of you, perfectly bonded with your children, who are shaking your heads right now. 'That's not how it should be,' you're thinking. 'Having children is such a joy! There is some much more to experience. Homeschool! Homeschool! You'll see!"

And I agree. I firmly believe that homeschooling is the best way to attach. Attaching can be painful, difficult, frustrating and a number of other negative descriptors. But being attached is how life with children should be. Society has somehow made attachment optional, so you may be experiencing the same kind of issues those of us in the foster/adoption track struggle through. But on the other side, I'm told, life is great.

Are you up for it? Because if you are not attached with your children, you absolutely should homeschool. You'd have the opportunity to do things like:

Read Green Eggs and Ham Together

Build with Blocks


I realize it doesn't feel like an opportunity. "Torture" may seem more like it. Many times I know I don't feel like reading to the girls.

Still, do I want to go through life avoiding my children?


And so I do the responsible thing and I read, I play, I spend time. And I'm hoping that eventually we'll bond and everything I've been told about the wonders and joys of parenting will become true.

I hope, as I take another bite out of parenting, to one day discover that:
I like green eggs and ham my chil-der-en!
I do! I like them, Sam-I-am!

I do so like my chil-der-en!

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Surrogate Father


Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Dear Luke and Brittany,

I do understand. A little. And I hope I am not alone in saying that if felt one of your children needed to go to school because you couldn't take any more and were about to go nutty, that we would all of us be supportive.

Your honesty is a blessing. I appreciate that you are so forthright in your posts, yet still have a humble and searching heart.

May God bless you both.

Cherish said...

Hang in there.

Keep in mind that even if it doesn't appear that she's bonded with you, there's still a lot going on in her head and her heart. Sometimes there is more fear than even the most caring parent can provide.

I went through a period like that with my older boy. There were days I was crying because the last thing I wanted to do was spend all day alone with him. I had no other options because he couldn't function at all in school.

But now he's really mellowed out. He's never going to be as affectionate as my younger boy is, but I can tell that there is a lot of genuine caring there. But many people have told me that the reason he ended up the way he has is because of how much time and love I put into him.

It takes time, but it does come back. Maybe not for years...but no effort is ever wasted on a child.

se7en said...

Your honesty is refreshing - not everything is always "happy, happy" but there is no harm in marching on faithfully... or reading Green eggs and Ham... again and again!!! Hope you guys get a two minute break over the weekend...

The Reader said...

What Cherish said. It gets better. It is hard work. Terribly hard. But one day, if you keep your eyes open and your heart open to it, you will see a glimmer that wasn't there before. It will look different depending on the child, but it will mean the same thing: You are getting through to each other, finally. It might flit away again (and again and again and again) before it is there to stay, but eventually, the little glimpses come closer and closer together. Until one day, you'll have as many good days as bad. And then eventually (I'm still hoping for this one with my youngest...) you'll have MORE good days than bad days. One day.

Praying for all of you, still. It's not easy, but it IS worth it.

Michelle said...

what se7en said - I appreciate your vulnerability & honesty.

Even when you are attached to your child, homeschooling is not an easy journey. There are plenty of days I think - I cannot do this one more day.

Thanks again Luke.

Anna said...

Luke, I have 3 bio. children (youngest of those graduates from high school in 6 days). I have one adopted 7 year old daughter. We have had her since she was 5 days old. We are bonded. We are attached (she is often so "attached" that she won't let loose of me in new situations.) There are times when I have thought what you have thought, even with our bio. children. I am bonded and attached to all of my children, but sometimes I am so weary that I don't care. (fortunately for all, I don't act on those feelings!) Luke, I so admire you and your wife. Know that you are in my prayers as you go through this journey.

The Hibbard Family said...

Thanks for putting that into perspective, because I've honestly never considered it all in this light before.

I don't have an adopted child (yet), but I know the struggles I've had to bond even with my oldest biological child (9 yr old). She and I are so different, and there are days when I just don't understand her - it's just easier to interact with my younger two kids. I can't imagine how much harder it would be if I weren't with her all the time. I wouldn't see what it is that makes her tick - her school teachers and friends would see it instead.

Luke Holzmann said...

Mrs. C, thanks for your support. We're not at a point where we feel the need to farm out the kids farmed out to us <smile>. But it has been rough and we're coming to realize that the lack of bonding is central to these issues.

Thanks, Cherish! That's good to hear.

Se7en, we did a few breaks over the weekend, but the lingering issues didn't allow us to fully relax. Of course, the girls are sick right now too... so that's not helping <smile>.

Thanks, Reader. I should probably latch onto those few tiny glimmers more than I do. I think I get so frustrated at times that the glimmers just make me more annoyed. <sigh>

<smile> Well, Michelle, don't know how hopeful that was supposed to make me, but... yes, the perspective is good. I should definitely take a longer view than the troubles of today.

Thanks, Anna! Your prayers and words of insight are much appreciated.

Yes, time is the key, Ann. I'm glad you've been able to see more and more of what makes your daughter tick.



luke holzmann
Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester
Luke's Bio
Read Luke's Postsrss

box day
Box Day
Box Day stories and pictures from Sonlighters across the globe. Share your Box Day story!
Read Box Day Storiesrss

judy wnuk
Judy Wnuk
Sonlight customer champion and homeschooling expert.
Read Judy's Postsrss

sarita holzmann
Sarita Holzmann
Co-founder and president of Sonlight Curriculum.
Read Sarita's Postsrss

Guest posts by:

Jonelle, Scholarship Winners, Autoblot™

Sonlight® Moments

Other Posts of Note

Homeschool Helps