My daughter has decided that she wants to go to school. “Regular school.” With the school bus that picks her up at 7 AM and drops her back at home at 2:30 PM…every single day.
No more staying up late watching tv or playing. No more sleeping in until her body tell her it’s time to wake up (or the neighbor’s dog noisily announces his dislike for the neighborhood’s stray cats). No more play time at noon, interrupting school so we can run errands for our family business or quick kisses throughout the day just because we’re together.
I feel a bit conflicted. Perhaps “a bit” is an understatement. Since she’s been born, I’ve been teaching her at home. How to walk, how to sign (so we could communicate before she decided to talk), how to color, how to share, how to read. I am not ready to relinquish my school teaching role to someone else.
My husband and I agree that we want to do what’s best for her. But if this is indeed the best decision, it is one of the hardest I’ve ever made.
I’m not ready to let her go into the big world. It’s not so much that I want to protect her from it because she is exposed to the world as we live and play in it. It’s that I want her with me, as long as possible. And I want to learn with her and enjoy her tender and sweet spirit.
Tomorrow, I call our local school and set up a meeting or possibly an opportunity for her to spend the day in class. This is another step in the journey called parenthood…letting go, trusting God and accepting that eventually we have to let them go. I just never imagined it would be this hard.
This brings me to my checklist that is useful for parents deciding whether to send their children to “regular school.”
- Is the child thriving at home?
- Is the local school district known for offering a good education?
- How will the family dynamics be affected if one child goes to school and one stays home?
- Is the child strong enough emotionally and academically to succeed in brick and mortar school?
Ultimately, every family makes their own decision. There is no right or wrong decision, just what is best for each family and for each child. These are the questions I will be asking myself this week.