Monday, June 27, 2011

Leaving Home

So we are no longer a family of homeschoolers. The little birds have flown the nest, and look, it's almost worth it just to see them in school uniform. They are so sweet I could just eat them up. This is their winter uniform, but they started on the first day of school this year. I just have trouble getting all the way to the computer to report things..

First day of school. A minor upset when I wouldn't let Posy take the cat..
Why did I do it? Well, they all wanted to go and try something new. Except Posy, who was very happy being The Princess at home and having me pander to her every loudly expressed whim. I didn't think I could quite live with that and stay sane, but oh, how lucky are we? New neighbours moved next door over the summer, and amongst their four children was a ready-made best friend for Posy. We arranged for them to be in the same class, so they skipped into school hand-in-hand on the first day, and Posy hasn't looked back since.
Do I miss homeschooling? Well, no, actually. Except every morning when I have to get up ridiculously early to shoo them all out into the world accompanied by food and ironed clothes. I quite liked some aspects of homeschooling - the slow peace of long days with the children busy at their job of just being. But that contrasted with the other days where they shouted at each other constantly, slammed doors, kicked things and whined. I liked getting out of bed and slowly finding the pace of the day, instead of leaping out of bed and herding children for an hour and a half (I can't decide whether herding children is worse than herding cats..). I do like it that someone else is responsible for their education and stimulation for many hours in the day, and I find myself more in the position of manager than coach. I like the opportunity to live in my own head for a while each day.
Do the girls like it? Well, it's different for each of them. The Girl is having the hardest time because she is older, and I would have labelled her Most Likely To Succeed at homeschooling. She is quiet and needs lots of time alone to think and reflect. This is a little difficult in the midst of several hundred teenagers, but she is slowly finding her way to oases of calm at school, and learning that perfectionist tendencies need to be curbed when applied to homework in order to carve out some time for herself. She has fabulous teachers who are stretching her very capable mind, and who all think she is lovely.
Rosy and Posy are younger and more flexible, eminently sociable, and think reflecting is for other people. Having said that Rosy has not found any friends who can hold a candle to the dear homeschooling friends she has known, in some cases, all her life. Still, she is a friendly soul, and enjoys having lots going on. For her, school is all about events organisation, and she signs up for everything. She thinks this is lots better than having me in charge of events organisation, because that is not one of the areas I shine at. I am good at suggesting gardening and reading and then I run out of ideas.
Posy has the sweetest teacher in the whole world and they are a mutual admiration society. She has lots of friends and thinks school is wonderful when she is there. The time she thinks school is terrible is 7 o'clock every morning when she has to get up and do horrid things like eat and put clothes on. Dear Posy is not really a morning girl. The status quo is excellent and transitions are Bad.
I sympathise.