Usually, Labor Day week-end brings with it a certain sting to the heart. The time when summer is over, the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life resumes and for the last 2 years, school was officially upon us. So I’m sure you will understand how this year, we are all a bit at a loss on how to feel.
We live 2 blocks away from the elementary school my daughter attended for kindergarten and 1st grade. So every morning since September 30th, we have been watching a parade of glum little kids heading towards the school, 20 paces behind their parents, mumbling, rubbing their eyes, with their parents coaxing them to please walk a little faster or else they will be late to work. I know all this because the window is opened and the now Northern wind brings their conversations into my house. I feel for them. No one wants to push their kids to go faster, but you have to. Time moves faster than you want it to and you try to keep up.
We were rarely one of those families. We had our mornings, but Little Miss was always very excited about school. So you can imagine how surprised I was when she announced last March that she wanted to give homeschooling a try.
We talked long and hard about her motivations. The first, you probably won’t be surprised, was that she didn’t want to have homework anymore. A kid is a kid is a kid after all! We all had a good laugh and then pressed on a bit about what other reasons she might have. Her answers surprised me : she was tired of the stop watches that made her feel stressed out during her reading exercises, tired of having her questions left unanswered when they didn’t relate to the curriculum or worse, tired of being told to ask her parents to look up the answers with her when she would get home. She told us she loved her friends, but they rarely wanted to play the games she wanted to play and she was tired of always playing princess. Other concerns of hers included how little she got to speak English over there since they do not offer advanced classes at an elementary level and how anxious the intense reward system made her feel. “Everybody cares so much about being the best mom, it’s just no fun.”
So 6 months later, here we are… watching her friends walk by and planning our day. Today, we are having another homeschooling family over for arts and crafts. We found out a little girl at her dance school, with whom she spent part of the summer in dance camp with, is also homeschooled so we are creating a connection. A connection based on shared values and interests. But before that, we will be doing a bit of reading (that SHE chose) and a bit of writing (again, about something SHE chose) and she will feel pride, satisfaction and joy.
I know homeschooling isn’t for everyone. And I used to be one of those people. (A few of my friends reading this are probably chuckling right now.) But for now, it feels oh SO very right.
It is a whole new world my friends, and it looks pretty bright to us!
Hope all of you are having a wonderful day. ❤