we started sophia's first day of kindergarten this year. and unlike the past two years where we sent her to nursery school and then to reception year 2 (the british equivalent to prek 4), i didn't cry on her first day. nor was i sleepless with worry and every fear imaginable when sending a young child to school (especially in a new country). nope. no tears.
this first day: it was peaceful and full of play. a few bits of sit-down learning to round off the play mixed with a dash of reading, sitting side by side.
what i've learned is that it is such an individual/per family decision to homeschool. i honestly adored her teacher last school year (as did she), and the school was great. the curriculum was okay (um, when do they have unstructured heaps of play time?). the early mornings were dreadful. the diversity was amazing and will be greatly missed (hello, to the only american in her class of 18). the school assemblies and concerts were adorable and fun to watch every so often. i had time to sit at home and read. i had time. maybe too much time (ha!).
but why am i homeschooling? in all of my prep work for this year, i read how it's important to write down that answer and to revisit it along the way (especially those rough days where neither of us wants to do any of it). so here it is:
it broke my heart not really knowing what you, sophia, were doing every day for 6 hours a day...who influenced you? how did you feel pressured? did you understand what the teacher was talking about? what did the kids say to you? it broke my heart that we didn't have conversations. you weren't sure how to talk to me or how to put your day into words. maybe you didn't even really remember the blur. i was outside of your world. and i know that i won't be able to be in your world for much longer (you will slowly nudge me out), but i don't want it to be so soon. and lastly, you were such a limp rag of a child when you returned home each afternoon. the noise and the rush of your school day straight-up wiped you out. there was nothing left but an emptied out child who needed quiet just to calm down from the day. our lives were like passing ships in the night, but at the same time, i had to be there with every scream and outpour as you decompressed. where was the fun in that?
so there you have it. this is why we made the decision to homeschool this year. i'm trying it out and realizing that it's a lot more work than just dragging my kid out of bed and sending her sleepy body into someone else's care for the next 6 hours. but heck, we're in it together--she and i. we get time together.
there's nothing really easy about this, but it sure it will be more beautiful to watch and be a part of.