Thursday, 4 October 2012

Angst, and Worry, and Dread, Oh My!

My kids want to go back to school. We have been home educating for nearly 2 years, and it has been good. We have enjoyed each other's company (most of the time) and learned a lot. Our family is closer than ever before, and we have great friends. Our lives are happy, on a very fundamental level. I love it.

But the eight year old and five year old don't really remember school. The five year old has never even been to school. She in particular is very keen to try it out and see what it's like for herself. The eight year old feels like he would "learn more" in school, despite my attempts to remind him of all the things he's learned at home so far!

All this time, I have said that we should be flexible with the children; home education OR schooling don't have to be a permanent situation. So now, I suppose I need to keep my word.

My nine year old remembers school and wants nothing to do with it. When I first floated the idea to her, the immediate reaction to the thought of returning to school was a very strong NO WAY. She doesn't like being forced to learn what's on the syllabus and she doesn't like having to ask permission to use the toilet. She enjoys learning at her own pace and is probably the most motivated self learner of the bunch.

It looks like we will be a part-time home ed family now. I would love to get the kids into a flexi schooling arrangement, whereby they attend for 3 days a week. I think that would be a great compromise.

I'm not sure how this will all pan out. Maybe they will flourish in school. Maybe they will hate it. Maybe they will feel better because they aren't so different from most of their friends anymore. It's difficult to accurately find the root of their desire to school, but no matter.

They will go. I will have my first- and last-born at home during the day, and we will find many things to do together. This time of more one-on-one togetherness might be just what my 9 year old needs right now.

Deep breaths. Change and growth are good things. This will work out just fine. At least, I hope so.

5 comments:

Jenn said...

It will work - on one level or another. They will know that you listen, that you honor their wishes, that you care about their opinions. And they will sate their curiosity.

*hugs*

Shauna said...

Ooooh, this must be difficult for you. Did you attend a school? hopefully you'll be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

Raisin4Cookies said...

Jenn - thanks! That's what I tell myself. Hopefully my actions will engender a deeper level of trust between us.

Shauna - I went to school for the prescribed amount of time, but it wasn't until I had my oldest child that I really "discovered" the idea of home school. I didn't feel I could do it, so I sent my older 2 to school. They attended for several years before we moved to a new town and decided to keep them home as a bit of an experiment! I immediately felt like it was the right choice and was so at peace with the decision. But that was a couple of years ago now, and kids change a lot in such a short space of time. I need to be flexible, so I'm learning to stretch....

Mortons said...

It will be OK, and well done you for respecting your children's feelings. We all just want to be able to make our own choices in life, even (or especially) children! Good luck to you, and who knows, they might think it's awful and want to return home!

Raisin4Cookies said...

Thanks! I am trying to raise my children with respect for their personal autonomy while also protecting and nurturing them. It's a delicate balance, and one that I frequently need to reassess. I'm hoping they would prefer home, but I have to accept the notion that they won't! Sigh...