I am not one of those parents. I am not not not not not not.
Yeah, me neither.
Especially when I consider my recent decision to homeschool my son, Rocket.
I’m so granola I should be in a bin at Whole Foods.
Next thing you know I’ll be growing armpit hair and knitting a hemp beanie for my kid, Moondance.
Or, maybe you’re thinking I’ve been BORN AGAIN. I’ve gone so religious I suddenly realize I’ve been “called” to shelter my children from the devious fingers of the DEVIL – protect them from the unrighteous (you know, gays, drugees, drunks, atheists, agnostics, Muslims…[fill in the blank]) – um, yeah fucking right. That definitely isn’t it. I’d choose the deviant outliers over the judgmental born-agains any day of the week.
I have decided to homeschool Rocket because regular school was totally and completely not working. Check it out: he’s almost 6 years old and he can’t read. Doesn’t want to read. Has no interest in reading. This may be because he’s dyslexic, which wouldn’t shock any of us, considering he has a genetic disposition for it and has shown other symptoms, OR he just, um, has no interest in reading yet.
Either way, teachers are obsessed with kids LEARNING TO READ. Must LEARN TO READ. Must learn to read NOW. Must learn to read NOW or something is WRONG with you.
And Rocket is not learning to read.
And he is not an idiot. He knows the other kids are learning to read.
And he is sensitive.
Remember The Seal Incident? Yeah, the kid feels it when he can’t perform. He feels it when he’s let others down, acted poorly, failed to meet expectations.
The result of this scenario? My little guy comes home from school nearly every day with a migraine headache. Nearly.Every.Single.Day. Five years old. Wracked with anxiety.
Yeah, no thanks.
I opt out.
Please remove me from your mailing list.
Thank you for your time, traditional schooling, but we’ll be pursuing other options now.
We considered Waldorf or Montessori – too expensive. We considered sending him to regular school and just hoping he’d handle it one way or another, but there’s a problem with that approach, namely that every day, Rocket walks away with one message: “I’m not good enough. I’m not as smart as the other kids… What is wrong with me?” And I’m pretty sure that message will play over and over and over until finally he gets tired of the sound of that noise, gets tired of the feelings it triggers…tired of the whole thing…fed the hell up…and then the tape will probably play a new tune, maybe going something like this: “Screw school. I hate it. What I want is the HELL OUTTA HERE as soon as humanly possible and until that’s possible, I’ll just sit here and mess with the other kids, sniff glue, and/or work on my Early Expulsion Strategic Plan.”
So there you have it. I’m quitting work, returning to grad school and homeschooling my son.
That’s it. That’s all I got. My shit’s spilled.
Good lord I am not the homeschool type. But what the hell am I supposed to do? I’m no genius, but shit, even I can see that some things just aren’t working.
This was not, ever, in my plan. From my perspective, the payoff for the toddler years is that when they’re over, you get to send the kid to school all day – in another building – bye bye. But this was clear. I had to reassess.
I’m just trying to do what’s best for my little guy. Trying to find something that works.
And relying heavily on the fact that it’s kindergarten. I mean shit, how hard can it be?
I remember kindergarten. We cut out shapes and laughed at the kids who wet themselves. Oh wait. Maybe that was my first year in the dorms. Whatever.