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.