This the story of how I became “The Happy Housewife.” You might want to start at the beginning.
As we sat at the air terminal waiting to find out if we would catch the MAC flight Sailor seemed very nervous. There wasn’t a guarantee we would get on the flight to Jacksonville, but I figured if we didn’t get on this flight, we could always catch the next flight a few days later.
As time passed and we still didn’t have confirmed seats the tension between Sailor and I grew. I couldn’t figure out why he was so on edge. I finally made a comment about how he needed to calm down and he said he couldn’t calm down, we had to fly out that morning. Almost as soon as the words came out of his mouth we found out we were on the flight.
A look of relief came over Sailor’s face. With a smile he handed me a card.
I opened it and was surprised to see a picture of a cruise ship taped to the inside of the card. We were going on a cruise in three days. The surprise cruise was the reason he was so nervous about not making the flight!
The cruise was a very early (or late) anniversary present.
As soon as I realized we were going on a cruise alone I bombarded Sailer with questions.
- “Who is watching the kids?”
- “How are we getting to the dock?”
- “What if I don’t have everything I need packed?”
- “How did you pay for this?”
He answered all my questions and we soon were flying back to the States.
We had a great two weeks in Florida. We went on the cruise (so much fun- I think I slept 70% of the time) and I spent the rest of my free time during the two weeks shopping for homeschool curriculum.
When we homeschooled previously I used Bob Jones with both kids. While I felt like they learned using BJU, I wanted to try something different. After researching for hours and hours I finally decided on the Weaver Curriculum.
I didn’t know much about unit studies, but from my small amount of research it looked like a fun and challenging opportunity for our family.
After two weeks in Florida we said our tearful goodbyes to our family and headed back to GTMO. Since the library was so small, I decided to purchase most of the resource books for the curriculum to make my life easier. We arrived in GTMO with two suitcases full of books and curriculum!
By the time we returned from our trip, the shock of the PTO Vice President pulling her kids out of the school had worn off. We started homeschooling and joined the homeschooling group on base.
It was small, but very active. There were co-ops and tons of extra-curricular activities for the kids.
The Commanding Officer’s wife had a soft spot for homeschoolers and did her best to give the homeschool families on base every opportunity to participate in command activities. We greeted sailors on arriving ships, sang at command functions, and participated in all sorts of fundraisers and projects.
We were almost too busy!
Homeschooling our oldest daughter was a breeze. She devoured every book, memorized every fact, loved every project, and generally excelled in every area of our homeschool. Our son was a different story. Only a few weeks into our homeschool year I was astounded at his lack of progress.
When he was in school, I had several meetings with his teacher to discuss what I thought were learning disabilities. She continually assured me he was right on track for his age and there was nothing to worry about.
He was either fooling me or her because he wasn’t reading even the smallest words, couldn’t write, and had numerous behavior issues.
How could a child who could solve complicated puzzles, build intricate lego structures, and run faster and jump higher than any kid his age not even know how to spell his own name?
Along with his reading and writing difficulties I noticed his behavior was very challenging as well. He wouldn’t make eye contact when he talked to anyone, including me and had several repetitive behaviors that were distracting him and the rest of us from everyday activities.
I knew our daughter was very advanced and I didn’t want to compare the two of them, but even compared to his peers he seemed very behind.
I talked to everyone I could about the issues we were having with him to try and find a solution. One of my friends had taught special needs before moving to GTMO and she agreed that he wasn’t on track, but couldn’t really pinpoint what the real problem was.
We talked to the pediatrician and he thought our son needed to be seen by a developmental team in order to find a solution. The closest developmental team was in Portsmouth, Virginia, so I became a mom on a mission.
I spent the next six months trying to convince the Navy to send our son to Portsmouth, Virginia to see the specialists.