I was sitting at the library today while KM was volunteering with an art project. Since it was vacation week there were a lot more kids there then usually and I got to sit with some of my former PTO "friends" for a few minutes. These are by no means people that I talked to on a regular basis, ~ more like ships passing at different PTO events ~ so out of the five of them there, only one was aware that I had begun homeschooling. They were all from the three different elementary schools that are in our town and were comparing notes on the different ways in which the schools approach or present the MCAS testing to the kids. I won't even get into the details of the conversation, but I will say that I am ECSTATIC to not have to deal with that anymore!
Then suddenly the one mom who knew that I was homeschooling turned and said "Oh how is that going?" - almost like it was some sort of infection that needed to be checked on. After my high from yesterday's day in bed (see previous post) I was more than willing to share how wonderfully everything was going. Then of course the questions started ~ "so she is home ALL day?" - "when does she see her friends?" - "what about college?"- "do you have to do testing?" ~ and I am sure most of you know the rest of them. I must say this is the first time that I have been in this situation with more than one mother at a time asking me questions as if I was running for office or something and I am rather proud of myself because I answered every one of them without hesitation ~ Apparently I am absorbing a lot of information I didn't even realize that I was from people and postings!
Then there was the I could never do that conversations ~ this is something that really amazes me - I am not perfect by any means and there are times when I need a break from my child, but these moms were actually sitting there stating that they have trouble spending an hour with their kids, expressing how difficult this weeks vacation was and how they wished that there were more afternoon classes being held at the rec center. One mom had just gotten back from a four day trip away with her husband because (as she admitted) she never would have made it having them home for the whole week! Another mom stated how when her kids go to school that is her six hours of sanity! I don't know I just don't understand it.
I do remember thinking like that from time to time, but I also really enjoy spending time with my daughter. I remember being sad each fall when school started back up. Of course I hated the homework starting up again and the craziness and always dreaded figuring out the workings of the new teacher's rules and ways, but mostly it never felt right for her to be locked in that building for 6+ hours a day, only to be let out and forced to sit at the table for 2-3 hours of homework. I felt like I never got to enjoy "being" with her.
It has been just over four months now since KM has been to school, but honestly it feels like a lifetime ago. I am amazed everyday at the progress that we have made. I am glad that we will never have to worry or even really think about the MCAS tests again. I am so sure that I made the right decision - for our whole families sake! There are moments when it is difficult, but they are outweighted by the good a hundred times over.
I would also like to mention how grateful I am to the my new homeschooling friends (on & off line) who support me daily through this journey! I heard many of your words of wisdom running through my head as the parents were bombarding me with questions!