That said, understand that this decision was for our own situation; I'm not judging anyone else's. Every kid is different, as well as every situation. I had web site conversations with moms who'd put their kids on medication and these children were doing great. For one thing, these moms hadn't noticed any particular problems with diet. So, each situation has to be evaluated on its own, with each contributing factor weighed. My hubby and I did that with our family's needs in mind. Obviously if I was homeschooling, I wasn't working outside the home. This impacted once again on our potential income, but we had gotten used to never having enough money, and once again, I wasn't making any long term plans. Nothing was carved in stone. It just seemed best to keep Butterfly home at least until she was old enough to understand that she couldn't ingest certain things without having problems. She could be put in school once she was old enough, or if the homeschooling didn't work out. Then I could always review the matter of medication, and I could look for part time work.
So we went ahead with homeschooling, special diet, no meds.
One cool, Autumn day while we were still at Mom's, Butterfly had just finished a bath when we heard a sudden ruckus outside. It was migrating grackles landing in Nanna's trees and all over the road. They were after the beechnuts and oh, what a racket they made! More curious than fearful, Butterfly ventured out onto the deck, still barefoot, to watch them. They rose in dark waves off the roadway, only to land a little ways off. She was enthralled with those noisy birds, and no opportunity for learning missed, we got out the atlas and turned to the chapter on bird migration ~ the routes, the birds, the time of year... That was a lesson that "took."
And out in the community, she learned about economics from shopping and when some people demanded to know why she wasn't in school, she learned about social skills, and how not to behave. I always replied with, "she is in school." Even while we were driving around, Mom and I quizzed her with math or civics questions. At home, we spent five weeks on vowels, because they were giving her a hard time. (The public school would not have spent five weeks on this, and she would have been left behind.) We did jeopardy-like rhyming games, wrote silly stories on her white board, and more. Finally, something clicked, and Butterfly has never looked back. She began calling out street and store signs from the back seat of the car. She started whizzing along with her reading and reading comprehension assignments, and she was well on her way to becoming a voracious reader, gobbling up such series as The Boxcar Kids, Little House on the Prairie, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter and Pendragon.
When we were done our lessons for the day, educational TV filled in the spaces. No, I didn't use TV as a babysitter. A TV can't wipe a runny nose, get snacks, or answer questions. No commercial TV was allowed while Butterfly was little. We didn't need her wanting this thing and that thing as advertised on TV. She started with shows like Sesame Street, and worked up to Popular Mechanics for Kids, National Geographic, the Kratt Brothers' shows and other programs of learning value. At our house, TV was an educational tool (at least until Butterfly was in bed).
As well as some things were going, there were problems: I noticed that she couldn't remember the arithmatic she'd learned, even if it was only the next day that I reviewed it. Same thing with learning to tell time. I showed her about a hundred times, no exaggeration, how to read a clock face, and while we were doing the work book pages, she could do it. But give it even just a couple of hours, and she couldn't anymore. This... this was not clicking. And while Butterfly's reading skills were great, she couldn't learn cursive writing. She wrote her letters in big, sloppy block capitals, and she couldn't seem to do anything else. Learning cursive writing was becoming a real stumbling block and a source of stress for both of us. I needed some help with this, but we couldn't afford private help. We turned to a social services family counselling unit. I wanted her tested, but we had to jump through some hoops first.