Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Decisions and Revisions

Well, some things have changed since I last posted about my homeschooling plans for the year. It ended up that my daughter did get into the charter school and begged to be allowed to go. Curt said he wanted to talk to her first, so he did. As a result of that conversation, he concluded that not only is she ready to go, I need to let her go. And so, I went along with his wisdom and clarity since I was over-emotionalizing the whole issue. The good news is, she is enjoying school and making new friends, and adapting. She is learning that school is definitely not all fun and games and that studying is important. So far, so good.

With the decision to send her left the question/dilemma of what to do with the kindergartner who had served as her "place holder" for the summer while she sat on the waiting list. His spot guaranteed sibling preference-- and judge me if you want to, but I did what I had to do. After a long, hot summer with him, I decided to take him to the open house "just to see" what it would be like. And lo and behold, he loved it and begged to go back! The whole ride home, he asked me, "When do I get to go back, mommy? How many days?" Hmmm.

And I reasoned, it's kindergarten. What could it hurt to let him go?

As my friend Renee said very delicately, "Isn't he the one that is an, um, handful?"

Ah yes, my kid who does things the hard way. The kid I can best describe as:
He would rather die trying.

And then I looked at what having him in school would look like-- how it would change the family dynamics, smooth some of the rough places. And I banished the guilty, bad-mother thoughts that tend to populate my mind quite heavily and thought, "Why not, indeed?"

My little experiment has been surprisingly successful thus far, one week in. And as I have reasoned, I can always bring him home if it blows up in my face. But so far, he wakes up in the morning with his eyes wide with excitement, asking, "Is it time to go to school? Do I get to go now?"

Please make no comments about how his enthusiasm proves what you have suspected about how hard it is to live with me. I have already drawn these conclusions, trust me.

And so, I have three in school this year-- one at the local high school and two at the charter school. I am homeschooling my fifth grader and second grader. But we are taking things slow, with the intent of starting the day after Labor Day-- the old-fashioned way, the way we used to do it. The house is much quieter with the three gone, and I am enjoying what has shaped up to be an odd year for us. Perhaps it will be a one year thing, perhaps it is the beginning of a larger change. I can't really speak to that yet. Suffice it to say that homeschooling has roots that reach deep down into this mother's heart. I can't imagine not doing it-- and I have lived to see the beginning fruits of my early investments in my older children's lives. Homeschooling provides a foundation for a child that is irreplaceable and unmatched.

What I know for now is that there is a routine and a shape to our days that is punctuated with the beginning and ending of school-- the carpool line, the earlier bed times, the required reading every night. I didn't think I would, but I like it. And most of all, the kids like it too. That is what matters most, I am finding.
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myjcrew said...

marybeth, i was so excited and encouraged to read your blog entry today. it was encouraging to read how you made the decisions you have that are in the best interest of your family. i am so glad to have you in my life!

Lauren Caldwell.... said...

Thanks for sharing the honest thoughts that go on in a mother's mind. We want the best for our child, but we should also want the best for ourselves as well- and sometimes peace, or a reprieve from constant struggle with a child who needs more- is just what the doctor ordered... for everyone!

Christine said...

I'm so glad to hear you say you're beginning to see the fruits of the foundation you have set by homeschooling. It seems I'm mired in the details now but I like hearing about the big picture! I'm glad you year has begun so successfully!

Leah in Iowa said...

Marybeth ~

I say this alot, but each family needs to hear God for themselves. Good for you for listening for His leading voice.

~ Leah