Just like everyone is not meant to be a scientist at Nasa,
not everyone is meant to be a student at a public school.
A teacher told us that Ryan was not having fun at school.
How could he? He was lousy at being a student there.
That didn't mean he was lousy just that school was not his path.
One of my biggest regrets was not thinking outside the lines and giving him a different path.
Ryan was caring, kind, inventive, fun-loving, talented.
He had more identities than most.
snowboarder, chef, fisherman, friend, confidante, encourager, jokester, student of life.
When Ryan found an interest he pursued it with his entire being.
The Christmas our kids got a unicycle, Ryan spent the whole day outside trying over and over to master it. He concluded that he could succeed if only he knew how to juggle. Hmmm.
When his Uncle Mike tried to teach him to water ski Ry was tireless in his efforts to get up. The rest of us just wanted him to give up but our little man kept telling his uncle to 'hit it' one more time.
Ryan was not a school student. School seemed impossible to him. He didn't have the academic skills so he acted out. Who would want to face 12 years of failure. Everyday teachers handing you back the red ink proof that you failed once again. Could he have tried harder? Yep.
But the reality is that he didn't fit there.
Not breaking with norm and getting my precious son out of school remains my biggest regret in life.
Our schools work for the majority of our kids. But there are those who
are looking at years of torturous failure unless their parents have the courage to find a better path for them.
Ryan would have flourished in Project Based Learning where he could have had hands on experiences to grasp difficult concepts. The best he ever did with academics was when he was tutoring younger kids. He felt like an Einstein when he helped much younger kids. His eyes shined in a way that never happened in a classroom.
This is difficult for me to write, difficult to admit.
I applaud those parents who homeschool, charter school or find the path that works for their young ones. I wish I had been less of a rule follower with my own son.
My hope is that others who still have the chance seize the opportunity and let their kids flourish without a public education decade plus sentence.