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The land of “Should I?”

August 6, 2012

Buzzy is wildly smart.  Berry-boy is smart, but has ADHD.  Stealthy is still a baby so I know nothing except he seems to be developmentally normal.

But the big two.  I’ve got two kids that people in doucheland of education would label “exceptional” in order to be politically correct.  The reality is that Buzzy is beyond smart, she would fall under the label of highly gifted.  And last year she was coming home from school, from KINDERGARTEN, bored out of her skull.  She was reading on a sixth grade level at the beginning of the year.  She was doing math well beyond her age.  Of course she was bored.  Her teacher was fantastic, and tried, but honestly what can you do?  You have twenty two kids who are all over the board and have to get them to similar places.  The smart kids have to be dumbed down.

So now…I’m back looking at homeschooling.  Really, I can’t imagine what would work better for her.  But I’m so scared.  My personality type is ESFJ, which means going against the social norms is hard for me.  Plus Buzzy is the most extroverted person I’ve ever met in my life.  How on earth would I be able to provide all those social interactions she so desperately needs?  The social needs of our little Buzzy butterfly almost propelled us to keep her in public schools.  Sure we know all the numbers.  We know that highly gifted kids don’t do well in public school.  We even stumbled on stuff that said they were higher risk for suicide, dropping out, drug use, and a myriad of other problems if they remained in public school.

And then there is dad.  Navy life has us moving every few years.  The easiest way for Buzzy to make friends is in public school.  The decision seemed to be leaning toward public school if we looked at her social needs.

And our sweet Berry-boy with his constant need for motion and inability to hold still for more than a few seconds…Public schools, actually most institutional schools, are designed to crush him.  They don’t mean to, but you can’t educate a class full of neurotypical kids if you have one that demands to be moving constantly, that can’t control his movement impulses, and gets incredibly frustrated when asked to and hits out of frustration.  Homeschooling seemed like the best, probably only, option that would work for him.  Especially if we don’t want to medicate him for several years.

But public school is easy for MEEEEEEE!!!  Kinda.  Once I started thinking about it, no, it really isn’t.  We value our time together and enjoy each other.  And I can’t figure out when we’ll see each other if our kids are in school all day every day.  Eight hours a day gone.  We could either choose enrichment activities or family time.  I don’t see how we could really do both.

Public school means if they don’t get a good education I can blame someone else?

But back to the social thing.  So yesterday we were in our community pool and Buzzy was trying to play with some little girls her age.  The thing about Buzzy is, she is sheltered.  We don’t watch a ton of television, and she watches none of the “tween” shows out there.  She has never seen any iCarley, or Hannah Montana, or whatever those shows are.  Her very favorite show is Max and Ruby.  The books she reads are classics, or Magic Tree House, and other books that aren’t based on pop culture.  She is not six trying to be twelve.  She is six, and acts like a six year old should.  But compared to some kids she is “young”  So she was trying to play with these girls, and they were snotty and exclusive and putting on the airs of modern tween girls without understanding how to do it.  They were mean.  They hurt her feelings because she was wanting to play like a little kid does, and they were wanting to pretend they were tweens.  It struck me as horribly sad for the other girls, and for Buzzy.  If she is in public school she’ll encounter a lot of these girls who are growing up to fast.  And that isn’t what I want for her.  I want my kids to have a magical, and age appropriate childhood, and I think that means we’ll have to postpone some social interactions until they are a bit older.

I believe that my children need to be exposed to all sorts of people.  I highly value diversity, not only in skin color or culture, but in values and lifestyle choices.  But she is six.  And right now I want to lay a foundation of morals and values that line up with our family, not with what the greater culture says.  And right now…I don’t see how I can keep my kids in a culture that doesn’t line up with our families values.

I think I need to stop fighting it and admit that I’m a homeschooling mother.

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