Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Educational Woes

I want to homeschool. A little bit, anyway. But I don't. My kids don't like going to school, but I've sent them both, and am already planning on sending my toddler off to preschool when she's three or four. My kids are homebodies. They prefer to be at home, they prefer to be with me. For the most part, I've been at home with them. I worked part time when my oldest was two, until my son was born when she was three and a half. I did send my oldest to preschool, three days a week, and she loved it. She wasn't incredibly anti-school, not really. She was always fine when she was there, it was leaving the house that was a struggle. Even now, in the third grade, she's still the hardest to get out of the house in the mornings. Most of the time anyway...

Which is good transition to my discussion of my son, which is the real topic I was going for. He's extremely attached to me, and has been from the beginning. He came out of the womb with separation anxiety, I'm not exaggerating. I remember distinctly the nurse wheeling him down to the nursery and hearing him scream because she had taken him away from me. He had colic and reflux, and he was incredibly, incredibly phobic about being in a social setting for a long time. So we didn't do preschool. We attempted it, but it was literally so hard for him. He was miserable and at four, I just couldn't see forcing him to go. He's my boy, my buddy, and honestly, it was as hard for me to watch him go thru the separation as it was for him to go thru it.

But by the time kindergarten rolled around this last September, he was ready. In theory, anyway. The first week was utter misery for everyone but eventually he seemed to adjust. And in fact, he's thriving. He's gone from being a complete hermit to being comfortable and relaxed at school. I pick him up at the end of the day, and he's running around and wrestling with the other kids, happy and confident. He's actually still somewhat behind academically because the combination of no preschool, and then starting off where just walking thru the door was a challenge for him, he's still playing catch up. So, as it turns out, we are homeschooling at home. He and I work together each afternoon, only for a little while, but I've already noticed a big change in his skills.

In the end, that's why I don't homeschool. I send my kids to school for socialization. I think that the benefits of being able to be comfortable in the world, to be able to be confident and secure, to trust that the world is a safe place and there is no reason to be so afraid of everything is as valuable a lesson as learning sight words and how to add and subtract. I can teach him how to read at home, but teaching him that he's okay without me is something he can only learn if he's without me.

All that being said, I can't wait for summer vacation. Because, having learned that he's okay without me will inevitably lead (as it should) to him wanting to be without me. Someday, his favorite spot won't be at my side. Until then, I'm just going to keep living for the weekends and counting the minutes until pick up time at the end of the day.

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