Before my daughter started Kinder this year, I always told people that I wanted to homeschool. I would say it as a joke, because I mean, c’mon, I had an infant already and didn’t think it was possible, or a successful option. I loved my daughter though and knew I would miss her dearly while she was at school for 7 hours every day. She was adamant about going to school, excited to meet new friends specifically, but excited to go. The first day of school came and she ran off into her classroom, so excited.
The first day after school, Addy and I were waiting by the doors. She came out excited, eager to tell me about her day. As soon as we got in the car though, she plainly said “Mommy, can you homeschool me?”
I started laughing, “Was it really that bad?!”
She answered, laughing along with me, “No, it’s just soooo long…”
Everyday my now 6 year old daughter has asked to be home-schooled when she comes home from school. She doesn’t ask in a needy way, annoying banter, or pleading with me. She simply asks “Can I be homeschooled now?”
After getting down deep to the issue, her reasoning is very simple. She doesn’t know why she has to be in school for that long. She is aware, at 6, that her time is spent mainly listening, walking in lines to and from activities, and doing a lot of things she doesn’t really care for. She does great on school work, is a teacher’s pet, and has lots of friends, but her mind doesn’t understand what is the purpose of school, she thinks she can learn this at home, and then spend time doing things she really cares about.
I am in awe of her mind. I can not give her an answer because I myself, can not find an answer as to why school has to take so long. As a mother who works at home, I don’t need the school system as a babysitter while I work. I completely understand how some parents need school as a place for them to go and have fun while they are at work. For her, I can understand how we can cover her basics in an hour at home, and go out and learn about the real world, or have her focus on things she loves, like art, ballet and dance, or science. She loves science and says she wishes she did it more.
I’ve also noticed, that once she went to school, our relationship changed. Not in a really bad way, or a major way, but in a way that was noticeable. We have always been super close. Strangly close. Finishing each other’s sentences and always thinking of doing the same things. Once she went to school, that connection was disconnected. We no longer talked and discussed things. Her mind was busy with homework, wanting to play, eating dinner, and then having to go to bed.
“I miss you,” is what I hear at least once a week. She breaks my heart, this 6 year old princess.
As a parent who went to public school her entire life, I don’t have any real complaints. I did though, spend the last 2 years of my highschool career skipping every chance that I could, because I also felt it was a waste. I blame that partially on my children’s father ;). I do agree though that maybe I could have been given the freedome to be creative, hone in on the skills I was good at, and really take the time to become something greater, earlier in life.
To become great, you need to have the time to find out who you are.
Many of us were robbed of this time. Of course there are exceptions, amazing people who were able to find their passions earlier in life and live their days doing exactly what they loved, but think about people who aren’t given that chance.
I want to homeschool my child to give her the chance to become what she is meant to be.
I love her school, and love her teachers, but most of all, I love my daughter.
I love how she is able to recognize a problem and want to fix it.
She has been very patient with me and her father. While he is against it, mainly because he is worried about my time and stress levels (we are expecting another baby in August 2013) and about how she will do academically with me as her teacher, he is always willing to listen when I bring it up. He listens and nods his head a little bit longer while I bring it up. I believe he is aware that my mind is set on it, and will give him the time before I announce it “officially.”
I didn’t un-enroll her at her first requests. I asked her to please give school a try just to be sure on her decision. As we round the last couple of weeks of school, her mind is still set on homeschooling.
I admire that mind of hers.