Jeremy spilled the beans on this one today - it wasn't a secret but it's been an intense few weeks leading up to the decision and I wanted to feel sure before I posted about it. It comes down to the fact that my bright, intense, creative, curious daughter has a wicked time adjusting to school in fall. What is even worse is to see her a month or two later, coming home either gray and monotone or feverishly bright eyed and manic, wildly assuring us that it's all good. Which it's not. I'd like to avoid starting Ella in the system altogether although I suspect she'd have an easier time of it (does that make it better or worse?).
For Ivy school is academically dull and socially isolating. I wonder if that applies to most kids, judging from what we've heard from other parents. Why is this something we should be adjusting to? Because it's "good for us" to "get used to the way the world works"? Ivy will have no trouble learning at home and will not become a social freak, as so many people seem convinced will happen with home schooling. She has some good friendships outside of school but the free for all that is called recess hasn't been "good socializing" for anyone we know. Can you feel the cynicism through the quotation marks?
We are enrolling both girls in the home learning program through the district this year (hence home schooling lite). They will go in to a class one day a week with other home learners from k-grade 7. The kids go on field trips together and are provided with other learning opportunities like music lessons. The other bonus of staying registered within the district is that Ivy can still go to her gifted class one afternoon a week - she didn't want to give that up. The thought of being given curriculum that I'm supposed to "teach" gets my back up but I'm willing to acknowledge that it's a reasonable starting point - I really have no idea what I'm getting into.
It feels good. Terrifying and exhilarating. I need to stay focussed long enough to quell the occasional panic and get the paperwork done, then I'll level off. Before long it will settle into the new normal and that will be the real test. I'm hoping I'll be motivated to provide honest updates once in a while. At this time it really feels like the right choice but who knows until you've done it? This has all lead to a lot of reflection on my own school experiences, or is it the other way around? I'll save that therapeutic spewing for a late night when I'm alone with a bottle of wine. Which isn't likely to happen anytime soon.