Friday, October 22, 2010

So Obviously Things Are A Bit Intense

#1 Homeschooling: When, What, Where (DisneyWorld?!... just kidding... kitchen table)

This has been a hard, hard, time in the Furious house. Not hard like the 2 years in Asheville hard... but just *important* and *important* decisions can be stressful. You want to make the best decision you can. Of course, in our house, that means 100% of the pressure is ON ME. You might not have picked up on this yet... but, well, I make all the decisions. Which sounds awesome, but, let's face it... it's a lot of pressure. Leadership can really wear on you. Trust me.

The homeschooling issue is even harder, because there is what Mr F and I think we should do (he does express his opinions... he just doesn't choose to have the responsibility of acting on decisions... lucky him), and then there is Kid. She has her own ideas and viewpoint, which I very much want to honor and respect. Yet, she is still a child and is incapable of making (nor should she) a decision of this magnitude. I'm really torn.

When school started we knew we weren't impressed with the academics by about week 2. But, we had hoped this would be a good social placement for her, and if she was happy and making friends... whatever... the academics would sort themselves out eventually. So, we said we'd wait until June to make a judgment about the academics and our future school plans for her. Then it started to become clear that she wasn't exactly making friends. Then it started to become clear that she was being teased. And then I started to think... what the Hell?!... She isn't having a good time socially, and academically she's bored and not retaining any info longer than what is needed for Friday's test.

The good news is that Kid is on board with our feelings... she's really insightful that way. She understands that the learning style is uninteresting to her, that they aren't actually learning any new information other than spelling words (which are literally forgotten by the next week), and that the kids are "meaner". But then she'll have a good-ish day. Someone will play with her, and she wants to keep trying school. And I totally get that. Of course, I can stand back and remove myself, and say one good day every ten is not good enough. But I completely get how it feels to want to be liked so badly that a little crumb feels like an entire cake and you want to hope so badly that things are changing!

We tried this week to review at the end of the day and label the day as *good* (I want to keep going), or *bad* (I want to homeschool). Out of 4 days she had one *good*. I wanted to be able to have some quantifiable evidence. To look at a calendar and see a pattern that is crystal clear.

I know (know) that she'll be happy at home. I just struggle with empathizing so much with where she is at. Putting so much in, risking rejection, and wanting to see it all pay off. As if in one more week suddenly all of the kids are going to *get it* and start really liking her. And even at 7, she can acknowledge that she doesn't think that is going to actually happen. That kids just are not as nice (to anyone) as they were at her old school (got to love the Hippies on that front!), but she doesn't want to give up hope. Oh it breaks my heart. I am so very proud of her, for trying so hard.

But, ultimately we have to step in and say enough it enough, the good doesn't out way the bad in this situation. On the weekends (and truthfully the mornings) she's always ready to homeschool... but... then there will be some event coming up (fieldtrip, Halloween parade, etc) that she doesn't want to miss... and then, that's another week. And because of that, I think this could just keep dragging on. I think what we need is a deadline, and at this point, I think Christmas break is a good one. It's a natural end, she won't feel that she is leaving in the midst of things. There is absolutely no question in my mind, that after a 2 week break she will not want to go back to school.... she won't. By then, if she has friends, we'll know about it. If she hasn't had a playdate by Christmas, I think we can write it off and walk away pretty easily. We can enroll her in the homeschool school which starts a new session in January, it gives me time to get our curriculum lined up.

This plan will also allow her the opportunity to bring a snack to school for her birthday next week (something, obviously, all kids look forward to... she also really wants me to bring something with a number 8 on it to prove to her mean desk neighbor that she is in fact older than her! Believe you me.... I will really enjoy making those cupcakes!).

Yesterday, Kid and I talked about Christmas break, and she seemed relieved. She wants closure, but more importantly she wants to do it in a way that doesn't stick out. Everyone packs up for winter break. I get it. I'm behind it. I just hope we can make it 8 more weeks, without all of us needing anti-depressants.

Of course, this could all be out the window if next week we get a 5 out of 5 *bad* day report.

I mean, Thanksgiving could be a good natural closure too ;)

#2 We told her about Dasher. Seeing as he can't play anymore and just lays in one spot all day, etc... I started to fear he might not make it another week. Honestly every time I see him I have to check that he is still breathing. Just last weekend he was still running around the house like a maniac. It is really, really, sad. More on that tomorrow. #1 was about 5 paragraphs longer than I planned, and I'm sure you have some other things to do today.


katieo said...

oh man, that's a lot. We're not going through those issues, but we have had some important stuff hit all at once and I'm just walking around about to fall over (from holding my breath 24/7).

best of luck. :)

(p.s. no one else will get this but when we eventually do move - we will FOR SURE be investing in some themed lighting "sconces" for the boys room. totally hilarious.)

Jenny The Bold said...

I like the fact that you are waiting a little bit longer. I really really really hope that things turn around for her! Yet if things don't-you KNOW you have been thinking about homeschooling for a long time-and that will be your answer.

My daughter is 4 and just started preschool this year. Last night she was telling me that her friend told her she wouldn't be her friend anymore if she played with another girl. Are you kidding me? They are only 4 years old! Where do they learn this stuff from??? I told her that she is her own person and she has the right to do what she wants and play with who she wants. And that they can all play together. I wonder what will happen today on the playground...

Mrs Furious said...

I had a feeling some people in your house would be into those!
How awesome would it be if you had them installed before you moved in... like they lucked into the BEST bedroom of all time.

it's exactly that exclusionary stuff that is so hard to understand (for us and for the kids). I can remember having a friend in elementary school who could only be my friend when her other friend wasn't around. What?!

gooddog said...

Just from an outsider's attempt to encourage you.

The cat and kid's school do sound very sad and hard. And shitty. And you sound challenged and upset. All normal.

You DO NOT sound overwhelmed, depressed or despondent like you did when you were in Aville. You sound like you are able to look at things objectively and make decisions and allow room for change.

Oh, plus you're not taking care of other people's kids with their crazy parents. ;)

Hang in there. My thoughts are with you, kid, Mr F and baby! And sweet cat of course.

Mrs Furious said...

word. It wasn't until I came back here that I realized how depressed I was there. I was really barely holding on. It was a bad, bad, time.

julie said...

Sad kid, dying can be so unfair. I know a thing or two about crying over my coffee in morning;)

I, on the other hand, am anxiously waiting for my 18 year old cat who is peeing all over my house to just get on with it. I don't mean to sound callous. I will cry and cry when she does die, but still...18 year old cat? Enough already. Ooh, that sounds really bad.

Preppy Mama said...

I give you so much credit for being so objective about everything. My heart breaks reading this. You are such an amazing mom, I hope everything works out. Keeping you guys in my thoughts. You definitely have a full plate with everything.

Gypsy Family said...

Hugs to everyone there! Poor kitty and Ruby! Xmas is a good time to come to the dark side... HS days at Disney in January!! Just sayin...

Gypsy Family said...

Hugs to everyone there! Poor kitty and Ruby! Xmas is a good time to come to the dark side... HS days at Disney in January!! Just sayin...

Deb said...

"But I completely get how it feels to want to be liked so badly that a little crumb feels like an entire cake..."

Yes. That. I remember things like that when I was in school. I'm so glad you're such an active mom. Kid is lucky.


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