I am at a cross-roads. I feel like someone is trying to shove me off of a pirate plank and into the water. I feel like I am being forced to make decisions, and in-decisiveness is more my style. Not saying that is a good thing, just that I get panic attacks when *I* actually have to make a decision. Like my dog. I wanted her too, but had to make my husband make the Final decision to get her, and this house, and to get married. (my heart was pounding insane when he asked me, as I was so afraid to make the choice….not that I didn’t want to be his wife, I did. I just didn’t want to have to be the one to say yes.)
And now, school. Yes, it rears it’s ugly head once more. My son will be 5 in may. So in order for him to be able to go to kindergarten next year he needs to be registered by the end of next month…actually, the 11th of January…so like 13 days away.
I go back and forth on this. On the one hand, my parents, in-laws, and husband are right…you can’t say that something doesn’t work or is fundamentally flawed until you give it a try. On the other hand, why would I want my son to be a guinea pig?
I have friends that have their children in public school and they thrive. I have friends who homeschool and their kids are amazing! I have a friend who uses the blended program (which i am most interested in, and her kids seem pretty well adjusted….) I just can’t decide. It’s not helpful that I get into a yelling match with my husband every time we talk about it. He thinks I am irrational…I don’t think he sees my side because his mom worked in the school system her whole career. So, I would say, that is a little biased, isn’t it?
So, what is my worry…lets lay it out on the table.
My son is bright. Yea, yea, yea…every kid is gifted. (or at least every mom thinks her kid is.) I have to say that I am not making it up, my second son is no where near the intellectual capabilities that my first son had at his age. (the same can be said about the second and his physical attributes.) My son was talking by 9 months. Sentences. He has an incredible memory, he asks WHY all the time, he experiments, he can do simple math, count to 20, the alphabet is down pat…he is 4. He is also incredibly active. He likes to run, jump, bounce, climb, yell, interrupt, etc. He is sensitive, empathetic, and above all else a gentle soul. (to everyone other than his brother.)
My fear is that I will put him in school, and he will be forced into this little box that doesn’t fit. That he will be made to conform and his little soul will be broken. (I am not afraid of the peer group, bullies and the like, as he can stand up for himself.) It is the adults and the parents at the school that I have no control over.
I fear that he will be made to sit, to learn not to interrupt, to not ask questions, etc. To beat the intrinsic nature of learning out of his system. When he knows the answer and the teacher does not call on him, he is crushed. How many times does one need to be crushed before they stop trying all together?
My fear is that he will be labeled ADD and left to sit in a corner for some grade 6 student to teach him how to read, because the teacher can not be bothered to work with the kids that need more help, or seem like they are unruly. That she will focus on the little girls that sit so nice and colour within the lines.
My fear is that if I kept him at home he would learn nothing. That he would be a social outcast, that he would not be successful in jr.high or high school. That he would never go to university and that I wasted all that potential.
Mostly, my fear is that I am going to do something wrong. (I also feel alone in this decision.)
**Update for September 2012. We are still homeschooling and it was the best decision that we EVER made. He is flourishing and learning at such an excellerated pace. He is really doing better than I could have ever imagined. Listen to your guts mamas! You know your children best.**