You wouldn’t think that pulling a child out of school to homeschool would be hard for me. After all, I’ve done it before, multiple times. I was homeschooled for six years as a teenager. My oldest has only ever been to school for a month and my second oldest for only a year. My daughter came home in the middle of the year her grade-one year. She returned to school in grade two of her own free will. In the summer before grade three she’d like to homeschool again, and we pushed her back into school because we had seen the fun she had the year before. She’s really not enjoying it, and there’s no real reason for her to be there, and her brothers are home, so why not let her homeschool too?
Yet still somehow, I feel embarrassed and nervous about letting her leave school again now.
It has nothing to do with who she is. She’s a delight to have around. We work well together. She’s younger, so she needs more help but not beyond what I can handle. It isn’t that having all three at home will be too hard.
There’s a tad of embarrassment on my part about her leaving school in the middle of the year, a tad of embarrassment that we are changing our mind about things like this. Does letting a child leave in the middle of the year encourage dropping out of things? We wanted her to try grade three. We wanted to give her the opportunity to have a great grade three in school. We don’t want the kids to be scared of trying other things, scared that if they go one year and have a good time, we’ll never let them change their minds. We wanted to try without committing to spending a full year. A full year is a long time for a child.
She’s had a cold the last few days and that is providing an unintended but gentle shift back into homeschooling. She’s home anyway, with the cold. Giving notice to the school can be delayed. We can start working our way back into our homeschool routines.
I feel a weird sense of worry about homeschooling. School feels a bit like some sort of all-inclusive pre-built nutritious diet. It’s like a pet-food, specially formulated to meet the animal’s entire needs, and now I’m moving away from that to feeding my own home-mixed recipe and I’m not 100% sure I’ll be able to include everything. What if I miss some important nutrient? Even though I’ve done this before, I can’t stop worrying, just a little.
Homeschooling is a great responsibility.
But I’m also happy – very happy – that she’s coming home.
“Coming home” sounds strange. She comes home from school every day, doesn’t she? She does, but then home is the place to get ready for the next day at school. The time after school is not nearly long enough. She’s tired of being left-out of things her brothers do. This way she’ll be back with her brothers and me during our days.
Homeschooling is a way of coming home again in that the priorities shift. The heart of the day will be home.