No, not shit, or damn, or hell. Those words I can take. No, today Ryan said, “I want to go to school, Momma.” Of course, my first instinct is to cry because I must be doing something wrong for him to want to leave me and go to that place but then, a couple of thoughts crossed my mind. First, unlike his big brother, Ryan has never gone to “real” school, as he calls it. When he was 2 he went to preschool but I pulled him out when he was 4. Second, I remembered something I read on Sandra Dodd’s unschooling website. Many times when a homeschooled child voices a desire to go to school, more often than not, they are expressing a desire for something else but they’re not sure how to communicate it. So tonight, I dug a little deeper and tried to get to the root of Ryan’s wish to attend public school.
When asked why he wanted to go to school, initially he said, “I don’t know”. So I posed the question differently by asking what he thought he would like about school to which he responded, “well, at school I’ll have a reading time, a playtime, lunchtime, play with toys time.” To me, it says the boy who has a very unstructured day is needing some structure. Is that how you might read it? I explained to him that we could very easily meet those needs here at home. I told him if he wants to go to school, he is more than welcome to do that. I also told him that going to school means no more sleeping until 10am if he’s too tired to get up and no more staying up late. Upon hearing that he immediately decided against going to school and began asking questions about what we could do at school. Could we read books? Could we learn about Ancient Egypt? Could we learn about plus and minus? Of course, I answered yes to all of these things. We can do so much more here because we don’t have any set rules to follow. This seemed to please him and he’s ready to start asap.
I feel good about how this conversation went because we really connected with one another and he truly seemed to appreciate everything we talked about. He was genuinely excited with the ideas discussed and what a joy it was to be a part of it.
Is there anything you would have done differently? Something else I can do for him?