I suck at making decisions quickly.
Well, that's not entirely true ...
White or wheat? Wheat, unless I'm ordering a BLT, then white.
Plastic or paper? Plastic, unless I'm at Woodman's with my reusable green bags, or at the market in town where the paper bags have handles.
Those are the types of decisions that I can make quickly. I can make them quickly because I've made them before, I've learned through trial and error what works and what doesn't, and the wrong decision impacts only me (Have you ever eaten a BLT on wheat? YUCK! Just YUCK!!).
When it comes to bigger decisions - ones I've never made - ones that impact other people (specifically those few I hold close in my heart) - I am all about gathering information ... and gathering information ... and sorting data ... and sorting data ... and? I usually get stuck there. The information and data is so dependable - so comfortable - so warm and fuzzy (SHUDDUP! It makes me feel warm and fuzzy!) that I tend to wallow in it ... and take forever to make decisions.
How long did I live in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship with husband before I finally decided to leave? Case in point.
And if I make a big decision without my extensive information gathering and data sorting? I spend months mulling that decision in my head - questioning if it was the right one - ready to flip the switch and change the decision - until the decision proves itself worthy.
I've been gathering information and sorting data regarding Cam's educational placement. My gut tells me homeschooling (or un-schooling) supplemented with fine arts, physical education, and elective classes at the public high school, is my best option.
But what if I'm wrong? The wrong decision here has the potential to be life altering, not for me, but for Cam.
So I did what any rational person would do - I sent an email to Penelope Trunk (founder of Brazen Careerist whose career advice runs in 200 newspapers and who is now homeschooling) titled 7 Reasons You Should Help Me Decide To Homeschool, because if I didn't give the email a catchy subject and relevant content, I figured she'd never read it, let alone answer it.
Okay, let's be honest, I figured there wasn't a snowball's chance in hell she'd read it no matter what the subject was, and an even slimmer chance she would actually respond.
Why Penelope Trunk? Because I've been reading her for years (since July of 2010). She has Aspergers. I identify with how she thinks. But she is far better at making BIG decisions quickly than I am. So what if the reason she easily makes big decisions is due to poor executive function, she is at least able to make them!
And it never hurts to send strangers (even popular ones) email, does it? If it gets ignored it's just a reminder of how significant you are in the world, and we could all use a bit of humble pie on occasion.
Within an hour of sending my crafty email, she responded:
I needed that validation.take your son out and then work with him to figure out how his days are with you at work.that's what i did. i started homeschooling with absolutely no idea how i'd do it but i knew there was no way i would be worse than our rural school.it's okay to have no idea what you're doing for the first six months. i wish i had known that.i can tell from your email that you'll do fine. really.my son with aspergers is so grateful to be out of school. and i have aspergers and i wish so much that someone had let me stay home.i hope this helps. you can email again. i'm happy to help more if i can.
Today's meeting with the school Social Worker and the Education Service Specialist for the high school was all about what placement options are available for Cam. It was information gathering.
Most of the placement options were unacceptable.
I let them know that I consider homeschooling (or un-schooling) supplemented with fine arts, physical education, and elective classes at the public high school as a very viable option.
They were not supportive.
I didn't expect them to be.
Soon, I'll actually have to make that decision, and I feel a little more confident that if I make the decision to homeschool, it won't be the end of the world.
In fact, it just might be the beginning of a brighter world for Cam.