We received Zac’s back to school information in the mail today. As usual, everything is in English and Spanish. The chubby envelope included a cordial letter from the principal outlining when and where the junior high orientation will be, as well as the flier for school picture day, lists of athletic and ASB fees, and the Back to School Night Agenda. Whew! It’s coming up next week.
School starts September 4. But Zac won’t be going.
He will be homeschooling this year.
I know, I know. Zac and I didn’t finish well the last time we tried this, during his 4th grade year. Turns out he hated the last 2 years of public school. At least once a month he asked if he could homeschool again. It fell on deaf ears until very recently. It all came spilling out early last week – the pain, frustration and angst – and we considered it during the dented car incident, imminent fatality of the rogue chipmunk, and everything else. We talked it over off and on last week. We charged Zac with researching possible options online. He did it right away, with enthusiasm. He hasn’t been enthusiastic about any schooling since probably 5th grade.
I felt a real peace about it. Zac’s shoulders removed themselves from his ears.
The school he will be attending is completely online. This is good. This way, 1) Mom (me) doesn’t have to be the heavy, and 2)He doesn’t need any school supplies except the odd pencil or pen and scratch paper. He’s a pretty good typist. 3)No back to school clothes! At least not right away.
I want to go on record saying I have nothing against public school. I find no fault with his middle school or junior high, merely that it wasn’t a good fit for Zac. My husband and I attended public school all the way through high school. Heck, Jonathon used to be a public school teacher. We both attended a private college, where we met. I graduated from there but he did not. Jonathon went on to get his BA, Masters and now PhD at public institutions. We flourished in our environments. Isn’t that what it’s about? The caliber of my high school education ( especially during junior and senior year), surpassed at least my first 2 years of college, excepting the music classes. No classes equaled Music Theory’s ability to stretch my brain. Oy!
Ruby will continue at her grade school. She voiced a desire to be homeschooled, too. I suppose that’s not completely off the table. But Ruby is an extrovert; she needs people. Her request seemed token, trying to make things “fair”. But this is fair. Zac is very introverted and has a vivid life in his head and in computer games. Thank God we have options.
When I originally homeschooled Zac back in first grade, I set a few goals: I wanted him to learn to think for himself, to deftly discuss concepts through writing and dialogue, to discover and pursue his true passion(s), to have a real relationship with Christ, and acquire a compassionate global worldview shaped by that relationship. Perhaps rather lofty goals to put on a 6-year-old. Now, nearly 8 years later, I find none of my earlier desires for Zac have changed. Only now I can see them all coming together.