“Moms and dads, no one will ever invest the kind of time you spend with your children. You know them better than anyone. You will be there for them for the rest of your lives. While friends will come and go in their lives, you will be the ones who share in the joy of their triumphs across time. You will be the first ones they come to in times of need. It will be your heart that breaks for them during their times of trial.”
Kathyryn Porter, M.S. Early Life Child Psychology Homeschool consultant
Special Education Teacher-Reporter-Mother of a Divergent Learning/Autistic Child
As the birth of my fifth child (4th daughter) rapidly approaches, I will be taking a break (probably permanently) from the mind/soul numbing tasks of dropping “nukes” on U.S. Secretaries of Education, and State Offices of Education in my home state of Utah, and elsewhere. Why? Over the last 3 years, I’ve said all that can be said as a parent and doctor on the subjects of Common Core school reform in the areas of developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, developmentally appropriate standards, academic testing design and ethics, cognitive/emotional abuse, the perils of “worshipping” at the altar of massive data, and privacy issues on this unprecedented level of data collection. At the end of almost every post and blog about these issues for the past three years, I have posted our clinic’s motto of:
“Parents are, and must always be, the resident experts of their own children.”
8 months ago, I wondered what our group of clinicians and in-home tutors/clinicians thought of the clinic’s “parents as expert” motto: Do they get it? Do they practice it? Do they understand the importance of it? I satisfied my curiosity by requiring that every employee of Early Life send me a page long answer to the questions, “Why Is It Important For Your Client’s To Be The Experts Of Their Own Children?”
8 months ago, I wondered what our group of clinicians and in-home tutors/clinicians thought of the clinic’s “parents as expert” motto: Do they get it? Do they practice it? Do they understand the importance of it?
I was pleased with the 25 essays that were returned to me, because I was satisfied that the staff had a solid understanding of this concept, and the importance attached to it. However, one essay from an educator on our staff, Katheryn Porter, stood out among all others. I was not surprised: Mrs. Porter is an experienced, certified, public school special education teacher in Colorado, who quit to home school her adorable (and smarter than you or I) child who was diagnosed along the Autistic/Aspergers spectrum. She also is a very active education activist who writes professionally for “Politichicks”.
One of the most creative and touching professional reporter’s take on the struggles that an autistic child’s parents endured-while suing a Utah public school district over their “one sized fits all approach” to their child, was penned by Porter in this PolitiChick post two years ago…this was how I came to learn of Ms. Porter….it brought me to tears.
Utah’s largest school district meets the next week to decide if their current “parents as experts” attendance policy of basically letting parents decide “when, where, and how” to handle their child’s absences would be better served by instituting (more) policies integrated with the police, juvenile justice system, the Board’s “wisdom”, etc. (Ironically, Kathryn wrote a column about two Georgia parents who faced jail time for violating that State’s draconian school attendance policies) As I read today’s social media comments, blogs and concerns about this public meeting next week, my mind immediately went back to the essay Kathryn wrote 8 months ago. I’ve been waiting for the right time to share it with the world. That time is now:
“Moms, no one will ever love your children like you do. No one can come close to being his or her fiercest protector and greatest source of comfort. You are their best advocate.
You are irreplaceable.
Dads, no one will be your children’s hero like you are. No one can build your daughter’s self esteem or son’s confidence like you can. You are their biggest fan.
You are irreplaceable.
Take time to create memories your children will cherish because your time with them is only for a season. This gift of time when your children are at home—it is time you will never get back. Don’t give away this gift of time by over scheduling. Don’t trade a strong relationship with your children for busyness or the pursuit of material things. Don’t let anyone steal that time from you. Not your job. Not their school. Not enrichment clubs, sports activities, or even church activities. Not anybody or anything.
That time is irreplaceable.
Moms and dads, no one will ever invest the kind of time you spend with your children. You know them better than anyone. You will be there for them for the rest of your lives. While friends will come and go in their lives, you will be the ones who share in the joy of their triumphs across time. You will be the first ones they come to in times of need. It will be your heart that breaks for them during their times of trial.
There is no one who will ever know your children the way you do—and still love them the way you do. You know all the good things and all the bad things about them—and you love them anyway.
When the world shows your children no love, it is your heart that pours out for them and back into them. And even when your children don’t show you they love you, know that they do love you.
When it comes to your children, you are the resident experts. Moms, you were the ones who experienced the labor of childbirth—and in some situations, the labors of adoption. Dads, it is your DNA that’s passed to your children and your “heart DNA” to your adoptive children—not anyone else’s. Teachers will instruct your children for a year or so. Pediatricians will see your children for their annual 15-minute wellness check and occasional sick visits. You are with them from day to day and year to year. It is you that gives your children a home, imparts within them values, and lays within them a foundation of faith.
Your children are beautiful and amazing, but you don’t hear that enough. The world doesn’t’ see their beauty like you do because different is not celebrated—and sometimes different goes unnoticed. But you notice. Your children are strong-hearted and talented and yes, they are smart. And don’t ever forget—just like you—they are irreplaceable too.”
-“Parents are, and must always be, the resident experts of their own children.”-
About the “Irreplaceable” Author-Kathryn Porter, M.A.:
Colorado PolitiChick Kathryn Porter is a freelance writer and educational consultant for homeschooling families. Specializing in ‘outside the box’ students, she encourages public school parents and home educators to be their children’s best advocates ”because no teacher or therapist will ever be more invested in a child than an involved and caring parent.’ Kathryn gives workshops on Common Core and other education topics in venues ranging from small group forums to home school conventions. Her favorite new pastime is State Board of Education watching, waiting for members to put on make-up, do nails, and take siestas as angry parents plead with them to listen to their concerns about Common Core. (And yes, certain board members do this in Colorado!). She enjoys working on political campaigns and all thing politics. Kathryn will be keeping an eye out for politicians playing the Common Core dance, side stepping their way around the issue, rebranding it, and making compromises instead of taking a stand. She will also bring you the latest on how schools across the nation continue to violate parental rights in the name of rigorous standards and high stakes testing.