Friday, September 21, 2007

School

So, we've had a bumpy first few weeks of school. Mane has gone from excited to distressed and resigned and back again. We considered homeschooling all of last year...seriously considered it. And I'm still pretty much homeschooling, except that she's gone for a few hours every day. Now we're in the struggle of deciding whether to keep her in school or not. Because she's learning very little content. Though, Mango will tell you that learning process is just as important as learning content...and I believe him. But she also has the longest bus ride I've ever heard of on the way to school. And she doesn't like the bus driver on the way home. And the boys in her class push people.

She is learning to put everything away after taking it out. To wait her turn without interrupting. To take responsibility for herself when she has needs (like getting off the bus past kids who won't move). She is making friends, learning new games, and singing new songs. She has stories to tell from life on her own in the big, big world.

But I miss her. And I have so many things I want to do with her. And I want her to learn the things she's interested in learning. And I want her to do that without being so tired from school that she cannot possibly do/learn one more thing. I love the way that homeschooler talk about their homes and their families. I might really want to homeschool. And the bumps this year have given me a lot of pause.

Soooooo, this morning she said AGAIN that she didn't want to go. So, I said, "Ok, you could stay home. You don't have to go to school." Mane paused, considered, and said, "No, I really like school. I want to go to school." Later she said that school was too long, and that it's boring, but she still wants to go. What am I supposed to make of that?! Well, I supposed what I can make of that is that a 5yr old cannot be relied upon to make such a decision, and I still need to make it myself.

And so I sit and stew. I need to talk and talk and talk about it. I'm even bored of hearing myself talk about it. So, now I'm writing instead.

I know she needs friends. And I know that's the age-old question about homeschooling, and homeschoolers have lots of ready responses. I know all the responses. I've even used those responses in defending my potential decision to homeschool. But, the truth of the matter is that there's something unique about spending several hours a day with the same group of kids. Even if I arranged other social activities for her, I'm sure I couldn't find people who wanted to get together for a few hours a day a few times a week. That's what school is for, right?

And now I have to run because Mane needs attention. Probably more thoughts to come...though everything may have changed by the time I get back to this.

2 comments:

  1. I'm starting to muddle through the same sort of thought already..thanks for sharing your heart. It's such a mixed emotion subject for me, I'm finding.

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  2. Thanks, Ash. I'm afraid to post about this on GCM because people tend to be so polarized on the issue of school. I *know* all the arguments, and it's still difficult to make the right decision for my child right now.

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