Friday, November 26, 2010

Homeschool, again :)

How can it be, that 2 years after we tried school we are here again, having "pulled them out" (I hate that expression!) AGAIN? (How can I not blog, oh i mean to everyday, twice a day, dear reader, I assure you) Where do I begin?

Well, it was and is a wonderful wonderful little school. Precious beyond compare. No bullies. No pressure. Not even any grades to speak of. Kindness, sweetness, child-led, you name it. Each teacher loved my kids, and to share raising them was very healing and novel for me. No I am not reverting to the old piteous stuff I used to have in abundance, but truly, I still don't have much in the form of family or babysitting, or more accurately, no one to share in enjoying or raising my kids with besides my husband. It was really neat/cool/amazing/reassuring/normal/confidence boosting to do the normal thing and have my children all accounted for , charted, followed, cared for, known, understood. Even if it was with strange grown ups who do this for money. Does any of that make sense? It made me feel so REAL to get little things on paper that said "Charlie is a kind and helpful boy. He enjoys singing with the class and has mastered counting to 20." "Greta is an amazing artist, and has been a ray of light in our classroom. When she is absent the other kids are lost and depressed." "Mickey is a sweet and conscientious boy who has made amazing strides in math and writing skills. He is a wonderful addition to our classroom." And last but oh-so-not-least: "Casey is a joy to have in class. He is very polite and determined. He is reading with confidence and has made great strides"--- my little adhd mystery child, sometimes monster, sometimes angel, always so MUCH, someone else loves you and enjoys you and is working with you?

BUT. but but but but. They hated it. Really really hated it. In different ways. And it was sooooooooooooooooooooooooo much work. I mean, breath taking mind blowing head spinning family DECIMATING amounts of work. No organization, no charts, no special closet shelves could ever, ever be enough to do that school lifestyle forever. I had it down to a T and still, just mind boggling how much work it was. To get them all dressed fed clean backpacked and out the door by 7:15 am everyday, ripping poor little Eska out of her crib....and then what? My friends promised/envisioned "Some time to myself"--- but it never seemed to happen. And I tried it all. I tried going right on to some wonderful activity with just my little Eska...I tried go back home and chill out...I tried go back home and clean...I tried go and run never was awesome. It was isolating, to be alone with a 2 year old, i felt lost, lonely, scared, I tried to go visit my sister, a couple of my girlfriends, and it was just clock-watching and stressful. Twice school called me to go get a kid for some incident, leaving me at the school with one tot and one kid, to rot in the van until 3pm...

I really could go on and on but basically they started in on me, hard. The older 2 kids, Greta and Mickey especially. Amazing logical valid complaints. Bargaining. Begging. Tears. Depression. Desperation. Despair. Frustration. Mama we could learn this sill stuff on Wikipedia, Mama give us another chance, Mama please please I literally cannot go tomorrow Mama Mama Mama we will do ANYTHING please we want to come home we miss you we miss Eska Mama Mama MAmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Steve and I talked to the teachers. A LOT. They spoke of "transitioning" and such. They claimed the kids seemed more than okay in class, happy and healthy, and that maybe we were getting duped. Only made everything more confusing.

And then, we started talking in earnest. About Things Would Have To Change Around Here If You Came Back Home, stuff like rules and respect and accountability and privileges and consequences and restrictions and all that sort of stuff. The stuff I didn't use or need when they were "all little", when homeschool was paper snowflakes and math with raisins and 7 pm bedtimes with me and Daddy cleaning after they were asleep. Yes, Things Would Have To Change Around Here, because somehow, someway, this summer was all about me being completely railroaded and abused by a gaggle of spoiled rotten lazy monsters, hiding in the bathroom wondering if I should take up alcoholism or run away or divorce just for the weekends off. Dead serious.

And then we did it. And it is going really well. And I miss the teachers, so much. They were REALLY involved and close and personal and so so sweet. But we don't miss any of the rest of it. Greta is allowed to have a Facebook account now, as long as we know all her friends and she uses it in the middle of the living room, so she chats away to her pals and they don't seem to discuss school or homeschool whatsoever, just their Japanese Manga and silly jokes and drawings. She really wanted the new friends and she got them, even a little "boyfriend" whom we basically told her that she cant go anywhere with or do anything with but if she wants to say this is her boyfriend, yes we will allow that. (He kind of disappeared once she left school, kids don't talk on the phone like they did in the 80s or 90s it seems but I think it made her feel normal to have a boyfriend for a few weeks haha)

I am sick about the money we spent on the uniforms, hundreds I bet. But we are keeping the dress pants and socks and belts, and although I don't think any of them will ever want to wear a polo shirt for a long long time, all in all we are loving being back together.

I don't regret this, it helped us a lot. I am still unsure if I would rather have kids who loved their school or a happy homeschool. I was willing to do all that work, willing to be on school time from 6am to after 10 pm, six days a week (Sundays were furies of laundry and groceries, tears and preparations) but once they started hating it, weeping (often all five of them all the way to school, a 30 minute drive on a good morning! The noise! Ack!) it felt really useless.

I said it years ago and ill say it again, School should be three days a week. No homework.

Anyhow, we are home and I am back and the weather in Michigan is blustery as of a couple of days ago and this is all intense deja vu of '08 but without all the PTSD and PPD and dying family members. I look forward to being a cool blogger girl again and updating my blog pictures and links and all that good stuff.

HUGS to all!