Sunday, March 27, 2022


 Last week I caught Hamslice screwing off during his homeschool classes, switching between class and online video reels of anime and cartoons. I got pretty codependent to the point where he was listening for me to wheel my chair backwards and then when he heard that he would flip to his schoolwork. I spent half of my time during the day trying to silently stand to catch him in the act. I caught him probably 4 times out of 20, but I saw him flip the screen each time. 

Obviously I lost my temper with this and started shouting. I may have also whopped him up side the head. While this was not a healthy setup, my resulting guilt did open a channel of communication where we started talking about what made life worth living. We decided that videos were not the thing that makes life worth living (although Hamslice is still unconvinced), but that things in line with a future career that were fun would receive 100% of our support. 

To this end, Hamslice said that for entertainment, he would like to go back to Magic on Friday nights (the card game, not the trickery) and that he wanted to focus on physics.

I immediately hired an online tutor, and just a few minutes ago he finished his first tutoring session. 


And, the tutor worked with Hamslice for an hour, with Hamslice keeping up with the tutor. I am skeptical that he is at AP college physics level, but will continue to watch the tutoring sessions to see what this looks like over time.

Friday, March 25, 2022

So, Homeschool.

 After returning to school, Little Ham was able to re-assimilate and is back to his friends and social circle, and doing well in school. 

Meanwhile, Hamslice entered highschool as Grade 9 after 1.5 (ish) years out for the pandemic... initially he did OK but then we noticed that his sense of self was eroding. His depression flared up and he was nearly unresponsive. He walked around slouched over, he was unable to look people in the eye, and his face was a mask without emotion. 

In January, after agonizing over how to help him, and realizing that the HS was unable to provide support because they were dealing with the vestiges of the pandemic (teacher absences, COVID protocols, so many students out sick or quarantined) that he was left to fend for himself in classes with little to no content and a student body that was un-socialized and savage to someone who is not neurotypical.

Hamslice described students following him throughout the school day purposefully bumping into him over and over, and teasing him.  

We were at a critical junction, and realized this may be a life or death situation. At this point we decided to try homeschooling. 

We withdrew Hamslice in January 2022 and he is now with Mom in the loft above the garage working through Khan Academy with additional tutoring support through 

Hamslice's immediate response to homeschool was to sit next to Mom and watch cartoons overlaid on top of his lessons. He put in headphones and was lost to the Internet entertainment machine for about a month. 

Mom noticed that his demeanor was not improving, which was both concerning and aggravating, because she was well aware that he was watching cartoons all day. At a breaking point, she tore the ear phones out of his ears and there was a lot of shouting and threatening to return him to school if he didn't stop watching entertainment videos. There was punishment, and he was put under extreme supervision to ensure that he did not watch non-educational videos. 

His reaction was surprising -- he was grateful.  He described the online entertainment content as "like cocaine" and he didn't want to be so addicted but didn't know how to stop. He said "I needed help"

Fast forward a month, and he is back to watching cartoons over his educational videos, but now they are tiny in the corner of the screen. Mom hit another breaking point yesterday and chased him around the workspace, swatting him in the head. Today his screen is mirrored onto a large screen TV so Mom can see everything he sees. all day. No surprises. 

Reaction: More gratitude.