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OC Mom Spotlight: Mary Bailey

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Mary Bailey is a single mom to Chase, her 13-year-old son who was diagnosed with autism when he was just a toddler. In her blog, she shares the life-changing decision she recently made to home school Chase. Together, they’ve also set up www.chasenyurface.com to share their journey and to encourage people to follow their dreams.

Why I Chose to Home School My Son

Growing up the seventh of my parent’s 14 children taught me so many things that prepared me to be Chase’s mom. Lots of simple things come to mind, but the two overarching lessons are first, that each person—no matter the gifts and imperfections—has a place and a purpose to fulfil in this world; and second, that life isn’t easy, fair, or painless, but with the right attitude, the willingness to work and learn, and the right help from others, life can still be meaningful and full of joy. So when Chase was diagnosed with autism, PVL (periventricular leukomalacia), and dyspraxia, I was appropriately concerned, and even overwhelmed at times, but I wasn’t devastated or defeated. My attitude was, and remains, this is the hand we’ve been dealt and we will not just build a great life, but we will leave a legacy. Granted, there have been times when I have been in the dark about exactly how all of that is going to pan out, and what my next steps should be, but I have refused to drown in despair, or to lose sight of the big picture.

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One of the many defining steps I ended up taking was to home school Chase. After years of working extensively with therapists and the resources offered through the school districts, it became clear that in order to ensure that Chase would fulfil all that he is meant to be and do, I needed to create circumstances that would enable him to learn the academics and life lessons that traditional methods of education could not provide for him. Chase’s brain is wired in such a way that makes him an almost entirely visual and experiential learner. For more information about Chase’s diagnoses, how he learns, and details of the LIFE CURRICULUM that I’ve created for him, you can go to www.chasenyurface.com and read the related posts under MARY’S BLOG .

I firmly believe that academic experiences should ultimately be about preparing us to fulfil our purposes in life. So when Chase developed a love for the culinary and entertainment worlds, this gave me a clear road map to how his curriculum needed to be designed, and to the lifestyle that is healthiest for him and the two of us together, as parent and child.

One of the fortunate things about coming from such a large family, is that Chase has 28 cousins to socialize with, in addition to his close friends. His home school schedule allows us to arrange times for him to go on outings or just be at home and relax with his peers, playing video games, watching movies, swimming, shooting hoops, and of course, eating! He has also been able to include cousins and/or friends on a few of his home school field trips. To see and learn more about Chase’s adventures and field trips, check out the website under CHASE STUFF.

Another factor governing the decision to home school Chase was how I would coordinate my career with implementing the kind of home school program that I had envisioned. The obvious and organic answer was to change careers and embark on another new adventure as an entrepreneur, building a business founded on Chase’s dreams and goals, and making the business a part of his curriculum and lifestyle. By the time his last public school year ended, everything needed to make the home schooling and business happen, had come together – timing, circumstances, resources, and support were all in place, and I had no choice but to just go for it!

Everyone’s circumstances are different, and home schooling is not the best answer for everyone. But in our case, when all the pieces of the puzzle came together, home schooling was the best path for us. And we are loving it!

Together with her teenage son Chase, Mary Bailey is the co-creator of Chase ‘N Yur Face, a free online resource designed to inspire children and families to celebrate life—from the simple to the spectacular. In 2014, Mary made the decision to step down from her corporate job in order to home school her son who, as a toddler, was diagnosed with autism. Today, the single mom and entrepreneur creates her son’s curriculum which revolves around his love of cooking. Through this journey, her goal is to help Chase become a self-sufficient adult, as well as to establish a foundation for people like Chase, who need a helping hand to make their dreams achievable.
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  1. Summer Activities That Keep Your Child Learning | OC Mom Blog | OC Mom Blog - […] mentioned in my first blog post that I am the 7th of my parents 14 children. Entertaining and educating…

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