The 2016-2017 school year was a little rough for our family. Ev started kindergarten at the public school and E started second grade. I was also rather pregnant with our SURPRISE! baby girl- due at the end of September. We liked our public school- our daughter started in kinder and I met my tribe there- a group of amazing women who I love dearly with all my heart. A group of awesome mamas.
However Ev didn’t particularly love kindergarten. He is a good kid- well behaved and bright. But nearly every day I’d pick him up and rather than give me a hug he’d punch me. Not really hard- but a punch and not a hug. It was clear he was not happy and he told me, finally one day, that “I hate having to do what the teacher wants us to do all day long.” The poor kindergarten teachers are expected to teach 26 five and six year olds how to read and write in just 3.5 hours a day over 180 days so they need to make that time count-which means little time for playing and, well, being kids.
At the same time E was also not loving school. Her story is not mine to tell but by the end of the school year- she was DONE. I ended up pulling her out the last 7 weeks of school and homeschooling her through our district’s independent study school. By the time we got to that point she hated all things school. This was a stark difference from the year prior where she loved school- especially math (she’d ask for extra!) even though she had been very sick that year (her juvenile arthritis flared terribly and she was diagnosed with Celiac disease-she had to be put under twice in 5 days thanks to these auto immune diseases wreaking havoc on her sweet little body). So I pulled her out and we did a very laid back “school” for the rest of the year.
And something magical happened.
Each week that she was away from public school- she relaxed more. Each week we’d start to see pieces of her that we hadn’t even realized had been missing for a long time.
More smiles. More laughter. More play. More creativity. More love.
The child that I used to describe as a pessimist was slooooooooowly becoming more positive.
Then there were the clothes. The daily battle with clothes. I’m working on a whole post about this but my child who struggled greatly each morning to get dressed now rarely struggles with getting dressed. If you have a child with sensory issues around clothes- you’ll appreciate what I’m talking about.
There’s so much more…but basically- our daughter came back to us. And we didn’t even realize she’d been gone.
When the school year ended I knew. I knew I could not send her back. I left the choice up to her, however, and she was very clear that she did not want to return. In addition- my sweet Ev also expressed that he did not want to return to public school. They both wanted to be homeschooled.
So here we are. We’ve been at it since last August- so it’s been just over 7 months. There are good days and not as good days- but thankfully most are in the good category.
I’m excited to share more about this journey with you all and how my whole perspective on “education” has really changed over this time.