Friday, May 18, 2012

Decompress for how long?

So, now we have an 11 year old at home. Not going to school every morning. Home all the time. Not gone from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm.

Did you ever count the hours a child spends in school? Eight hours. Add an hour for homework. Nine hours. That's too much. Unless you are the parent or parents and traditional school is your babysitter. I mean daycare center. Then 8 or 9 hours is not too much. Then 8 or 9 is not enough. [Question: Can I help you find an after school program that will keep the kid till 5?] [Answer: Yes, yes. That would be so perfect. You know I'm just so busy.]

Family timed robbed. Can never be returned. Time spent away at school.
Unknown value. Unknown loss.

Continuing on.

Jack's mom and I know next to nothing about homeschooling. We *do* know Jack was not happy to go to school. Traditional school.

Pre-school seemed OK. Kindergarten was OK as best we can remember. But at age six in the very first grade, Jack started whining.

Kids whine. No kid *likes* to go to school. "Jack is normal", said other moms.

And this type of uneasy battle continued through grades 1,2,3,4,5, and into March of grade 6.

Before I go on, let me talk about a fabulous lady, woman, mom that Jack's mom and I met a couple years ago. She is mother to three boys. Ages now: 11, 8 and 4. She homeschools/unschools all three. She's great. She's a friend. She's trusted counsel. She's awesome.

One time, about a year ago, I mentioned to her how Jack doesn't like school. Dreads going to school. Hates homework. And his behavior is even wearing down his parents. Wearing us down to the point we were questioning the methods and mind games children are subject to in a traditional school. ("methods and mind games": see, we were even starting to think negatively about this wonderful school Jack was attending.)

This wonderful mom that homeschooled her kids didn't hesitate in her response. "If you ever want to homeschool Jack, I'm the one to see. I'm a homeschooling leader in the community."

So that's what we did. Jack's mom and I asked this homeschooling leader in the community, "Now what? We pulled Jack out of school. He's home all the time. Loves to play video games. Seems happier, but it's only been a day or two."

Wonderful homeschooling leader-mom says he needs time to decompress. To expand. To get back to his original size. To get back to size regular. Size normal. Behavior normal.

Whatever that is for Jack, he needs to return to it, embrace it and, ultimately, be it. It will take time.

How much time? we ask.

She smiles and says, "One month for every year of traditional school."

Did you ever count the years a child spends in school?

For Jack: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and half of 6. Equals = Six and a half months.

That takes us from March to September.


Homeschooling, here we come.

Or is it: Homeschooling, here comes Jack.

Either way, it better be good. It better be GREAT!

It better be fun and something he likes. Something Jack loves.

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