Thursday, July 31, 2008

Summertime

Summer TIME and the living is easy....

Except that tomorrow August begins. That means that my Letter of Intent is due to my Local Elementary School. That would be the simple piece of paper where I out myself as mother doing irreparable damage to her five year old
by stifeling her independence,
delaying her socialization,
condemning her to a lifetime of illiteracy,
and ruining her health by denying her the chickenpox vaccine.

Yeah. In June this home-schooling course seemed so reasonable. I know the educational theory behind this decision. I've had a blast teaching my kid without a curriculum for two years. This summer has been all fun in the sun. We've even scored big at the 29 cent school supply sales at Target.

Yet tomorrow, the ax falls. I start talking to our local school. I meet the people who will be conducting my kid's portfolio review. Because that's how nuts, I am. I don't choose the safe, Mother Seton approach where I order a shiny box of materials and get to check off "option b". No, my mavereck husband and I have chosen the "unschooling" route as the best fit for our family. As my brave husband said "you can either have your stress in daily doses as you force our kinetic daughter to sit still long enough to finish those workbook, or you can save up all your stress for the two portfolio review meetings with a nameless buerucatic who has the power to send you kid to public school." I choose option B with the explicit provision that Jon take off work on those review dates so I don't have to go alone.

While I'm not excited about whole the portfolio review, I know that we'll survive. The thing that freaks me out the most is this huge "weirdness" factor. My parents were very into "not sticking out." We were supposed to be quiet as kids. We were supposed to get good grades and follow our teachers instructions. We were supposed to "not cause trouble."

So now whenever I'm outside the herd, I start to get nervous. Am I doing the right thing? Do I know what I'm doing? What is this whole "trust your kid, trust yourself" thing?

The thing I keep resting on, is that this whole thing is so NOT my idea. My idea would involve to be shopping for cute Lands' End lunch boxes right now and scoping out school bus routes. I went to public school. My husband went public school. Everyone we've ever known prior to age 32, all went to public or Catholic school.

The thing about being Catholic, however, is that it is supposed to open you up to the power of living life differently than you once imagined. We're supposed to let God reshape us in his image just as a potter reshapes clay into a perfect pot.

It's Summertime and living is hard! I'm being reshaped into something different to better serve my Lord. Many praises that he didn't leave me as a broken pot!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Abigail,

Good luck! We will keep you in our prayers. This is our second "official" year of homeschooling... we just started 1st grade this week. I felt very much the same as you did last year. It is one thing to homeschool in a theoretical sense with preschoolers... and whole other PUBLIC ball of wax to keep your child home from Kindergarten and take on that responsibility in a full-fledged sense.

That being said, it was the best decision we've made. My son is thriving. He is very close with his sister and brother, and our lifestyle is family- and faith-centered.

You and Jon have spent a lot of time and prayer on this decision, so I know that you will find it to be successful as well.

Abigail said...

This is why I love the internet! Thank you for your kind words.