Friday, November 02, 2012

Homeschool no more

I've started to write a blog post for several months but I just couldn't articulate what I wanted to say. Its hard to admit that something you've tried isn't working as well as you hoped it would. It feels like failure. I know in my heart I made the right choices at the right time, things just change.

Ivy has matured so much in the time we spent at home. I pulled her from school last February and Piper stayed home from May onward. We had 8 months of together time. 8 months of bonding. 8 months of growing to do. In that time, Ivy has overcome a lot of her insecurities. She's growing up before my eyes. I used to have to intervene whenever there was a social issue but now she's solving many of the problems on her own. She's finally getting there!

Piper never really wanted to leave school but agreed to try it out at home. And for her it was difficult not being around her friends as much. She'll have the distinction of being the only child that doesn't have a Kindergarten diploma in the family. Thats right. I pulled her before the year was out so she never officially graduated. I do feel bad that she missed that experience but she doesn't seem to mind.

I don't remember exactly how the conversation came up, but I asked them how they felt about homeschooling and Ivy told me that she loved being home with me but that she also felt maybe she was ready to "try school again."

Piper of course was on board with that idea, and within days I was filling out paperwork for them to start back at our local public school district. I now have a child in 9th grade, 4th grade and 1st grade. And Odin isn't far behind, I'm waiting for paperwork from Headstart to come in the mail so that he can have something just for him. Now that its colder outside the kids don't want to be outside playing as much. I knew that would happen.

Being a parent is harder than I ever thought it would be. Its a lot like being a tree I think. Knowing how to bend and sway with the wind. Not falling down but being strong and able to change directions if need be.

At first I felt like a homeschool drop out. I still really feel 100% that kids don't need school especially when they're young. What I've learned is that doesn't necessarily mean some kids don't *want* it.  The biggest thing with Ivy that I've had to learn over this past summer, is to calm my OWN reactions down. When she comes flying in the house crying her eyes out and sobbing with some story of injustice done to her.. my first instinct is to freak out, be angry and protective. I've done this on a number of occasions and it did nothing to help the problem. Instead it caused fights in the neighborhood, other parents and I arguing back and forth. I learned that for Ivy, she escalates and it tailspins out of control. Its my responsibility to remain calm and help her process what happened and help her see other perspectives in the situation. Things aren't always as they seem for her. Its taken a lot for me to calm my own self down and not be so reactive, but so far its working a lot better than anything else I've done. She's learning to solve her own social issues and there been far less tears and crying fits.

We have an IEP in a few weeks, we'll see what they say at that. I'm not looking forward to the rat race again. I'm really not, but I'll do what I have to do to keep my kids healthy and happy.

On another note, Persephone turned three years old the other day. I can't believe my "baby" isn't a baby anymore. 

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