I have a confession to make. A huge part of why I wanted to homeschool my daughter was out of fear. Fear that she would be influenced in the wrong ways by the masses of children at school. Fear that she would be bored by sitting in an overcrowded classroom all day. Fear that her creativity would be stifled…that the spark that makes my kid awesome would be snuffed out. Fear that I wouldn’t be able to keep a watchful eye on every single part of her day. Fear. It makes us crazy. It made ME crazy. I created scenarios in my mind of what would happen if I sent her to the dreaded public school. I was so caught up in convincing myself that public school was the worst possible thing that could happen to my kid that I failed to see that we were miserable. And then we became homeschool dropouts. And we became a public school family. And ya know what? Public school is not ruining my kid.
All the fears that I had were a total waste. She is not being influenced in the wrong way. In fact, my five year-old is a pretty incredible judge of character. She knew right off the bat who to befriend and who to avoid when it came down to lunch buddies and friends on the playground. And all the different kinds of kids she has encountered has brought up great bits of conversation about morality and virtue at home. We have had conversations about the kids who disobey the teacher and get sent to the office (there are some disobedient kids in her class). We’ve had conversations about why boasting about oneself is not a good thing to do (there is a little girl in her class who likes to tell everyone she is the best and brightest at everything). We’ve had conversations about how everyone is good at something…and that not everyone is good at the things that “school” says you should be good at. And that people learn in ALL kinds of different ways (there is a boy with pretty severe autism in her class…she couldn’t understand why he doesn’t color the “right” way). I am so thankful for the wide variety of kids in Addison’s class, and for the conversations that have stemmed from interacting with them on a daily basis. She is learning more about tolerance than I feel I could have ever taught her at home.
And Addison is far from bored. My daughter comes home from school every day bursting with all the new things she is learning. Academically, she is thriving. She is reading two levels above where she started. Her handwriting is like that of a different kid. And my daughter is one who is very motivated by competition and by the group mentality. The motivational incentives in the classroom work wonders for her. In the morning on the way to school, I say a prayer aloud in the car for Addison each day. And I always ask if there is anything she wants me to pray for. Every day she wants me to pray that she will be “flying high” on the classroom wall chart for the day. Something as simple as a clothespin on the “right color” is enough to keep her on the right track. I’m thankful that she has found the motivation she needed.
I know many of you who are homeschoolers are cringing right now. Sometimes I still catch myself cringing…cringing that I am subjecting my kid to the “horrors” of Common Core. That I am sending my poor immature, defenseless kid into the lion’s den every day for 7 hours to be conditioned to become part of the “government machine”. But you know what? If that’s what it takes for me to have a healthy relationship with my kid, than that’s what we’re going to do. For the first time in MONTHS, we are able to sit down together and read without drama. We are able to get schoolwork done without a giant tantrum. And we are talking more about God, and about the way He wants us to behave, and about being good examples for those around us. These things have all come about because we recognized that homeschooling wasn’t working for us. So instead of being disappointed in where we are, I will chose to be thankful that we have been led down this path. I am confirmed every single day that sending my kid to school was the right decision for her. Public school is not ruining my kid.Share This Post!