I mentioned in my first post that we’ve considered putting Gerg (formerly The Tornado) in school, at least until we get through the murkiness of phonics and early math. Each time I think about it, I have a fear. It’s a nightmare, actually, and it plagues my mind even when I think I have this schooling thing figured out.
The nightmare begins rather harmlessly.
We enroll them into the local public school and sign them up for the bus. Gerg loves it and the first few weeks go by without a hitch. But then their attitude seems to change. They want to stay home. They don’t like the bus and doesn’t like their teacher. They don’t give me any concrete reasons and I chalk it up to them missing spending all day with Mom and the many outings we took when they was home. Normal “new-to-school” jitters. We call to discuss this with Gerg’s teacher. And that is when it all goes to hell.
“I don’t want to go to school.”
“This was the worst day ever.”
I’m not having fun.”
These become everyday statements and I know something else is going on. They won’t sleep. They fight me about homework. And they seem to have lost their love of learning. And that is when we receive the notes from the teacher telling us the they have become withdrawn….
It goes on, erupting into observations and evaluations at best. Or maybe, at best my child develops school anxiety. At worse, they lose that passion that I see in them and despite our attempts to unschool, there are pieces of them missing- ripped away by the system that love forgot .
So of course, while I worry that Gerg is missing out on the experience of school, I go back to the issues that worry me the most about them: overcrowding and the over-medication of students, over-testing and too much competition with no focus on self-worth.
I worry that Gerg will not acclimate into school culture- the culture of be quiet and be still- because they are not that kind of child.
Gerg is bright and as sharp as a whip. They catch on to things quickly and once they have figured out how to do something, it’s time to move on. Gerg is an exploratory learner and would rather learn on their own schedule and doesn’t take well to by-the-book tactics.
I want Gerg to have the world as their classroom. Even if that means I have to tackle the things I don’t necessarily like. Like phonics. And math.