#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.