It’s hard for me to believe this, but the years we decided to homeschool have nearly come to an end.
Way back when Daughter was reaching school age, I’d looked into homeschooling. It wasn’t as common then as it is now. At least not here in NYC. Over the years, Daughter enjoyed her public school experience – mostly. Her elementary school was a community of wonderful teachers and terrific kids. Parents were involved as much as they could be and, except for the occasional frustration, those years went very well. So well, we were all sad for her to move on.
But move on she had to do and so came middle school. Horror of all horrors for us. It was a complete shock. First there was this wonderfully nurturing elementary school and then there was boot camp. That’s what it felt like even to me as a parent. I know children are expected to mature in middle school but in our zoned school, they forced them into ‘maturity’ in such as way as to be borderline abusive.
I researched homeschooling again and what I discovered was a rich and exciting world my daughter, myself and my husband would fall into quite happily. The number of homeschooled children in our area had multiplied ten-fold. There were organized activities, legal assistance/advice, secular and non-secular support groups and curriculum options galore.
We decided to homeschool through the middle school years and into the first year of high school. My opinion was by 10th grade, Daughter would have direction and focus, and I would have to be ready to let her soar and experience some independence. Those last few years of school, in my opinion, are great years for the child not prone to peer pressure. My child is not, I’m proud to say.
And so the search is on. We skipped 8th grade when Daughter found it too easy and went right on to 9th. That brings us to next September and 10th grade. The grade where Daughter is to return to school – by choice and by design. She’s ready and eager and looking into her options. I’m excited for her. I know she’ll do well, but I’m also quite sad to let go. This process has been an amazing one. One about which I will forever be enthusiastic. One my daughter enjoyed to the fullest, and we as a family felt was natural and right for us.
Almost as right as heading back to public school is right now.
Almost. But not quite.