5 Days of Asynchrony

About 2 years ago, I first stumbled across the term asynchronous, and in many ways, it felt like I had just stumbled upon a user’s manual for my son, who was five at the time.

Later this week, I’ll share some of my favorite links to other bloggers, educators, and researchers who gave helped to shape my understanding of asynchrony, but today, I get to tell my story.

Asynchrony is, in a nutshell, development outside of the expected developmental window. It’s usually a combination of really early and really late at the same time.

It means, in our case,

  • early reading but late collaborative play
  • early math but late physical coordination
  • early awareness of people’s emotions but late development of the maturity to deal with said emotions
  • early interest in and understanding of the world coupled with late development of the social skills that ease peer interactions

It’s not easy.

I’m not complaining. I’m grateful for J and who he is, and I’m especially grateful that I can homeschool him. Public school can be rough for asynchronous kids.

We tried it. He went to public school for kindergarten & first grade. It wasn’t an entirely negative experience, and we worked with some talented and dedicated educators along the way, but look at this:

A side-by-side comparison of what they did at school and what he was naturally drawn to at home.

There’s no judgement for the teachers intended in this picture. Their responsibility is to teach all the students, so of course they choose work that is accessible for most students, but my kid… he gets to twiddle his thumbs.

Meanwhile, he needs to spend time in small groups, interacting, playing, learning to trust his peers, but that’s not what the school had time for.

So we homeschool.

Here, we can spend 5 minutes on the multiplication tables and half an hour on shoe tying.

Here, we can set up play dates and small group interactions in a supported environment where he can practice those very important “soft” skills.

Here, he’s free to spend hours a day reading and learning about chemistry, rather than being told he can’t balance a chemical equation until 10th grade.


And most importantly, here he isn’t constantly being told that there’s something wrong with him. He isn’t being compared to “normal” and being made (unintentionally) to feel like an outsider, just because his brain and body happen to be on a different timeline.

He’s celebrated for who he is, and we can always focus the next thing, regardless of what the developmental charts say we should be doing.

Come back tomorrow and the rest of the week for 4 more days of Asynchrony, how it plays out in our family, links to other resources, and maybe some helpful tips for you as well, if you’re in a similar boat.

And read more from other bloggers at the iHomeschool Network through the graphic below!



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