One of the hardest decisions on Isabella’s journey has been the decision to homeschool her. It was honestly something that I never even thought of or considered until her medical team recommended it last year. The decision to homeschool was one of the hardest I have ever made. I knew it was the right choice for Isabella. When it comes to her I will do anything to help.
Last year, once Isabella realized that we were going to do “work” at home she excelled. Isabella loves to learn and that smile just lights up the room. As Isabella’s regression set in, the one thing that she was consistent in was her “work”. I was so happy that Isabella continued to thrive academically. When the Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment (HBOT) stopped, Isabella quickly went from regressing to a downward spiral. It was heartbreaking to watch Isabella lose skills that she had mastered and worked so hard to achieve. It frustrated Isabella because she knew that she had already learned certain things and yet she was unable to remember. As this past summer approached, Isabella and I worked every day to maintain what skills she still had in hopes of preventing further loss. No matter how hard and challenging it was for Isabella, she was always excited to do her “work”.
As August approached, Isabella and I started talking about second grade “work”. Isabella would ask with excitement about all the new things she would learn. On Labor Day weekend we redid our “work” area in preparation for the “First Day of Second Grade”. As I watched the excitement and joy in Isabella’s eyes, I thought this is how school is supposed to be for a second grader. It is not supposed to be like last year- filled with terror, crying, screaming and aggression. I always knew that I made the right decision but seeing that excitement in Isabella for second grade solidified my choice.
The “First Day of Second Grade” finally arrived. Isabella was ready to do her “work” the moment her eyes opened. I can’t express enough, how even though Isabella continues to regress in so many areas, it is a true blessing to see that her love for learning is still there. It continues to be our silver lining. As we embark on another year of learning, I am excited to see how far Isabella will go.
Homeschooling was one of the hardest decisions on this journey and yet it has now become one of the best decisions. In true Isabella fashion, she does things her way. Isabella does not follow the path of everyone else, she is unique and likes to make her own path. For that I am forever grateful.
Guest Blogger, Kristin Olliney-Apruzzese, is the mother of 8-year-old Isabella, who suffered sudden acute encephalitis when she was just 4. Kristin’s bi-monthly blog, Mommy of a Miracle, talks about the trials and joys of raising a brain injury survivor.
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