If you’ve homeschooled for longer than a month you’ve dreamed of this at least once, right? Maybe even threatened it? Perhaps loaded the kids up, driven down the road, and idled in the school parking lot until you dragged promises of no-more-whining, and best-efforts from their little mouths? Ahem.
Well, I’m DOING it, bee-aches!
Except not for those reasons, and not for everyone.
It’s time for my middle child, Juliette, to start kindergarten. Last time I had a kindergartener, it was Grey and he was the reason we began homeschooling. I was pretty sure school would eat him alive. But Juliette is a different child and she has very different needs, not the least of which is spending time with kids her own age instead of two sisters a year and a half younger. She yearns to be special, to have something her little sisters don’t. I think homework will fit the bill nicely.
In all seriousness, I think it will help little J (and all her big feels) to have other authority figures and to learn to conform to the social norms of kids her age. Yes, I did just promote conformity. Because, really, you can’t cry every time you lose Candyland. Best to learn this now, love.
She is SUPER EXCITED. Like jump up and down, rub your face in the dirt, uncontrollably excited.
We went to meet her teacher Monday night and I’m pretty sure she introduced herself to EVERY.SINGLE.PERSON she saw. She was so excited that her happy oozed out and got on her brother. Her moods can do that.
So then, Tuesday night, after twenty-four hours of discussing and pro-and-conning and discussing some more, we went and met Grey’s teacher. Yep. Grey is going to public school too.
Simple. He wants to meet kids in the neighborhood. He finally learned to ride a bike and he wants a friend with a house close enough to ride to.
He has friends. A bunch of friends from homeschool and beyond (don’t get me started on the myth that homeschoolers are all lonely, pasty children typing in the dark) but they aren’t walking distance. They aren’t even hop-in-the-car-while-the-pasta-is-boiling-and-I’ll-drop-you-off-real-quick distance. They are load-everyone-up-and-think-of-an-errand-to-run-while-you’re-out distance. So, since I’m still kinda sucky at the whole playdate thing (I mean, come on – I already BUILT him four playmates) he doesn’t get to see them often enough.
This might not be a good enough reason if I hadn’t heard great things about the school, or if Juliette wasn’t going too. But, I figure at some point you have to let your kids have some ownership over their own education, and so, lucky boy, this is his time.
I’m still homeschooling Zoë. Eighth grade Memoria Press, here we come. I asked if she wanted to join the bandwagon and got a “no.” Actually what she said was, “Are you out of your MIND?!”
Now, I’m not one to let my children make all the decisions (I’m famous for, “Eat that or starve!”) but I do value their input, and frankly, I’m glad she doesn’t want to go. I like what she’s learning, I like that we have no teenage drama, I like having her AROUND.
But I’m also aware that I just signed myself up for getting two kids out the door to school by 7am, teaching eighth grade all day, and then helping with homework and those God-awful fundraisers until dark. All while working two part time jobs and taking care of two four-year-olds.
God, help me. And also God, if it’s not too much to ask, can you make sure Grey and Juliette make the best friends ever? Life-long friends (like my Jenny) that will make it all worth it? Friends whose parents have a wicked sense of humor. And maybe also a well stocked wine cabinet?