Monday, July 27, 2009

Beasties and School

Tomorrow we have our first PTC meeting since leaving CCS. I'll admit to some apprehension about going back. We didn't leave on good terms, and I am feeling some anxiety about how we will be received. My gut reaction is to of course have second thoughts about schooling. I know it's not doubts about putting them in school, but rather my own reluctance to face things that I'd rather leave buried.

The kids are excited about going back to school. They ask everyday when they go back, and express glee as the days whittle down to that moment. I, on the other hand, am wishing the days would drag their feet a little more. I don't feel like Umberto's prepared enough. I am not looking forward to the early mornings rising, the structured days, etc, etc. But deep down I know that this is the best decision, that when we go for our Ph.Ds that we will not be able to do homeschooling, and that really I am just not prepared or qualified to deal with the problems that Umberto and Camille have in terms of schooling and interactions, etc. So I am ignoring these yearnings to just go back to homeschooling because I know that what I imagine in my mind is not the same as the reality of our day to day lives homeschooling.

Homeschooling was just never what I wanted it to be. I had this imagine in my mind of what we would do, what our lives would be like. There were days when those imaginings were realized but most of the days, if I am utterly honest, were not those idyllic fantasies. There was fighting, tears, impatience, entirely too much spent going stir crazy, longing for adults, any adults. And there was the insanity of trying to do a hundred different things within too short a period of time. Perhaps it would work if I did nothing else, if I devoted myself to homeschooling. But I am not that person. I like my work, like teaching, writing papers, being out in the academy doing my thing. I do not like being home all day surrounded only by the beasties. With school, I get the time to do what I need to do. The kids get the time to be with other people, other kids, and to learn under people who are much more prepared and skilled at teaching this age then I am. And then we get lots of times together where we all enjoy one anothers presence so much more because of the separation.

My doubts now stem from my own hatred of confrontation, of having to face things and people, that might not like me so much. And I know that is better that I just walk in and look this in the eye. To move beyond what happened and try to push through into something new. And when the beasties ask me "When's school?" with hopeful anticipation, I know that we are making the right decision. No decision comes unquestioned, I suppose, and putting the kids back into school deserves to be question. If I hadn't homeschooled, I would never even know that this is something to think about. I would just move into the patterns of what one always does but stepping outside of the system helped me to reframe how I saw something like making the decision for formal schooling.

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