And so a new school year begins. I confess to still having an addiction to unsharpened pencils and unsullied books with crisp corners and unbroken spines. And I also know that there is nothing as constant as change.
This year I find myself wading into uncharted waters yet again. My 10 year-old son has decided that public school would be MUCH less time consuming than schooling with “mom” (a word he can somehow make in to two syllables with a tired, jaded inflection). I have also learned that the art of parenting dictates that sometimes allowing your children to make a decision and walk it out beats all the words you can say in the matter. Experience does sometimes become the best teacher.
Each one of my children has been very different. My education process has to morph annually to decide what that child needs and how best to bring it out of them.
Duncan’s education has been unconventional from the beginning. In his kindergarten year, it became apparent to us that D (as he is most often known in the household) had a processing deficit. The path we chose for him was to work with a neurodevelopmentalist for almost three years before he began formal education. The blessing is that in a year and a half, we have managed to negotiate our way from first through most of Calvert third grade.
Yesterday, in consultation with a public school reading specialist, it was determined that Duncan will be placed squarely in the middle of the pack in 4th grade. He is delighted and I am grateful yet again for the Calvert education that has managed to keep him abreast and ahead of his public school compatriots.
Does this mean that we have abandoned homeschooling for Duncan? I think not – right now he sees this as a grand new adventure. I am confident that having the chance to compare educations he will find that there is much virtue in is “home”.
My question to you is this: Can you adapt to the needs of your child? Can you swallow your pride (yeah, there IS a good deal of swallowing going on here) and allow them to experience something that you know might not be the best idea? If you keep in mind the ultimate goal is to raise contributing adults, then this year, when compared to the ultimate goal, is just another adventure.