I fought with the (public and private) school system for 5 years. Some moms are known at school because they’re always involved: PTA, classroom volunteer, reading helper and whatever else. I was known because I was always at the school fighting to get my son the help he needed. We tried it all and then in one meeting, a woman who had never been in any previous meetings, who admittedly had never met my son, tried to prove to me that he has ADHD. To say I lost it on them that day is an understatement.
The school situation was so bad that, come to find out, my son was hiding under the desk during the school day not doing any work. It was so stressful on me that after 74 notes home from the teacher every single day, nitpicking on every single thing he did, I asked my son to give me 10 minutes. I closed my door and cried my heart out and screamed to the rooftops. I just could not take another note, another meeting, another teacher lying in my face. The stress was unbearable. If I didn’t have a remote job I probably would have been fired due to how much time and mental anguish dealing with the school took out of me. The day my son stated, “it’s always something with the schools, they don’t help me. Can you just homeschool me?” at the same time I was thinking, “I should just homeschool him” was the beginning of a great opportunity for my son. We started with homeschooling which transitioned to unschooling and now worldschooling.
Last week we took a day trip to a neighboring city to see Black Panther and do some other activities while there. My son learned about geography, bus schedules, currency conversion, Spanish language, Mexican culture and cultural differences, manners, social interactions, and more. My son learned these things in a way that he enjoys, is engaged and is able to retain the information. He isn’t made to feel stupid or inadequate. He was challenged and proud when he accomplished something hard or retained something new. His self esteem went up one more notch that day and joy exuded from his face and actions.
Could I have given him this in the US? Sure, to an extent but living in another culture presents learning experiences that are not available in your own culture. Living abroad creates relevancy and a need to learn things that my son probably wouldn’t otherwise care about. Living abroad allows him the opportunity to really learn and become part of the culture instead of viewing it like a museum and leaving once he’s had his fill. It creates patience and empathy and brand new experiences, like hand washing clothes, walking into town daily and hailing a cab in Spanish (which he did on his own, with no prompting, for the first time the other day #proudmommymoment).
Are you searching for a lifestyle that will reduce your stress and provide a caring, welcoming, learning environment for your kids? The school situation just shouldn’t be so hard. It’s ridiculous but, sadly, for some of us it is incredibly hard to deal with. You know there are other opportunities outside of the U.S. but maybe you don’t have enough information to make the leap or it’s overwhelming to you.
Join me in The Single Mom’s Path to Freedom: How International Living Can Change the Game. We will take you step by step through everything you need to know in order to take the leap to living abroad. You’ll be guided by 3 amazing single moms who have made the leap. We are calling on the next 45 women who choose to take on this life outside of the states. We are going to walk you through all the steps in this journey in 10 months so at the end of month 10 you are fully prepared to transition abroad. We will meet weekly on Zoom in a private Facebook group full of support. We’re going to open up this whole discussion and, I will tell you, it’s not for everyone. This is not easy but it is WORTH IT! Your time is now. We start March 29th. We’ll see you there!