Today at 3:45 PM central standard time two wildly different and wonderful things happened.
Winter break, for which I have pined all this autumn, began with smiles and candy canes and backpacks overflowing with holiday crafts. The other?
The House of Chaos Homeschool is now in session.
I will pause to let long-time readers absorb the enormity of that sentence.
<insert cheerful Christmas music here>
I will now proffer smelling salts for those still a little woozy and confused. I’ve been reaching for them the better part of the day, as I come to terms with the fact that I was giving up a great job in a craptastic economy.
Feeling better now? Good.
I think we’ve known for some time that homeschooling was coming, though we may not have admitted it. I always considered it the last of all resorts, a “when hell freezes over” option. But from the time we moved here and A started at the new school, it muscled its way into the forefront. From the very first meeting with the 5th grade team, to the 504 meeting that wasn’t, to barely keeping my shit together with a new job, to coming to terms with the fact that sometimes change is less painful than not changing, to reading about my life in a book I didn’t write, to begging for help with letting go…homeschooling was coming, it was just a matter of time.
And we couldn’t be more thrilled.
I’m sure the school is relieved; they do not need to “do” anything now. I faxed the official letter, followed by a more personal email to the evaluation team; not five minutes passed before I received a very nice reply from the principal, wishing us well. Relief actually poured off his email. Trust me dude, we’re considerably more relieved than you are. Me? Bitter? Maybe just a little. I researched school districts for six months before the move, trying to find one that might be able to accommodate A’s idiosyncrasies. The district is wonderful (J is staying at the elementary school), it just has no idea how to educate a twice-exceptional child. Part of the reasoning behind homeschooling A is the fact that J is doing so well at the school; we could have really pushed for A, but it would have been at the expense of J’s experience at the school. No winners in that scenario.
This afternoon A and I were talking about how we’re going to work this whole homeschool thing. If I’d had any residual doubts about homeschooling, they evaporated at the sight of my son, who not three minutes before had been prattling about Wii games, now shaking the floor with his leaps of joy when the realization hit that he now had time to learn how to use the slide rule he received as a Christmas gift a year ago. And that he’d never have a sick day, because he could “do math” from bed. And that his second language will be computer code. And the fierce hug he gave me a bedtime, with a whisper in my ear “I’m so glad you’re homeschooling me, mom.”
This is going to be good for him, good for our family. I have no idea what I’m doing, but I know how and where to find the resources I need. It helps that we live close to my family now, and that they’re so supportive of this difficult decision.
We start in the morning, with an extended period of deschooling. First up? A family visit to the Museum of Science and Industry, the awesomest museum in Chicago.
Buckle up kids, here we go.