In a surprising and slightly disappointing turn of events, The Boy has requested that since we have moved to a new and much smaller town, he would like to go to a “normal school”. I am shocked, frightened and filled with self-doubt. Had the year with me been so awful? Was he not challenged enough? Maybe too much? Where did I let him down?
The Boy has two distinct modes: the 11 year old little boy and the mature, soon-to-be-an-adult pre-teen. In the second mode, he looked at me and said, “I’m in a new town and I want to meet new friends”.
“But buddy,” I reply, didn’t you make more friends when you were home-schooled?” During four years of public and one year of private, the only parties or get together classmates invited him to were those where the whole class was invited. As a home-schooler, he has had constant get togethers and sleep overs and has made some very close friends.
“Yes, but I could have made more at [public school] if I didn’t have my bad habits. That’s why they bullied me.”
“Bad habits?” (My hear is breaking a little).
“You know, sucking my thumb, crying in class, eating things off the ground. And I don’t do those things anymore.”
“You do understand that there will be earlier bedtimes, and you’ll have to get up earlier.”
“I know, that’s okay”
“And there’ll be homework”
“It’ll be hard, but I’m sure I can do it.”
Lovely Wife and I had considered what we would do if he wanted to go back to school. We had figured it would be something further down the line, but the agreement was, in this new environment, he could choose his form of education.
So I filled out the forms, forgot to send them in repeatedly. I called the state Home Study contact to verify what would hoops we would need to jump through if public school turned out to be too awful. I fear what will happen if his “bad habits” were a result of “normal school”.
But today was his first day, and The Boy seems to love it. Now daddy just needs to get on board with not being At Home With The Boy, anymore.