Those of you who follow me on my private Instagram account are wondering if this is the blog post where I talk about Felix having surgery. It’s not. I mean, I’m going to talk about that briefly but the bulk of that is being saved for another day. I’m just not there yet.
This, instead, is one of those rambling lost-in-the-woods post that pretty much sums up motherhood for me, the gist of which is that I planned on spending the next 5-10 years homeschooling our three kids in our new house in the suburbs and blogging about that to help other homeschool families. Yeah, I don’t think that’s going to happen.
Eva and Calvin are both going into new programs next year because they need things I can’t give them. Nope. Didn’t see that coming.
After struggling to find the right academic pace for Eva, we had her tested to see where she is compared to her peer group. That resulted in a placement in a program for “gifted” kids – quotation marks there because that is the most loaded of labels and I still feel awkward using it. There’s a chance that Eva scored so high because we do so much educational work at home and I’ve pushed her too fast (a BIG chance) but the test included other things that were supposed to test her general cognitive abilities and the results indicated that she’s going to need extra support one way or another.
I’m disappointed and uncertain and proud and excited for her all at the same time. The disappointment comes in because I don’t feel like I can homeschool her adequately if she needs to be challenged in different ways and I was really looking forward to homeschooling. The uncertainty comes in because I’m not sure that an accelerated program in an outside school will support her as much as I could if I try to create a different curriculum here at home. The pride comes because she has the opportunity now to join a program that not everyone can get into. I’m excited because this program has rave reviews from parents who have children who are currently there.
As for Calvin, I’ve backed off from any kind of schooling with him because his natural competitive nature has him trying to keep up with Eva. He’s not there, of course, but he’s reading at higher than a Kindergarten level and he has addition/subtraction down with no problems. So now I’m worried that he’s getting too far from his peer group and we’ve enrolled him in an intentionally non-academic preschool to focus on social skills (since he’s 100% three years old when it comes to sharing and hitting other kids on the playground) and being more creative (he wants to do things the “right” way and doesn’t seem to think outside the box much). Calvin also has problems with authority and, frankly, it would be nice if he spent some time working that out with an adult that isn’t me.
I’m a little lost here. I’ve spent the last two years getting ready to hunker down and go all prairie schoolhouse in the dining room with these kids and now they’ve outrun me in two different and totally unexpected directions. Add to this the fact that I now have Felix, who is the world’s greatest baby and who has to have a pretty major operation on his head next week for reasons I can’t write about yet. His recovery is going to be long and full of extra doctor appointments and specialists and therapies and hopefully only sporadic bouts of me weeping while shoving donut holes into my mouth. So I suppose outsourcing the kids education isn’t the worst thing.
What does this mean for the blog? I don’t know, y’all. I have 80% of an e-book done about how to homeschool for free and a backlog of great science experiments to share with you so that’s coming some day when fewer of my children are having their heads operated on. I also still believe strongly in spending time learning as a family so I bet we’ll shift gently in that direction. And maybe I’ll tell you all about the four houses we’ve put offers on and the three rejections and the one offer that they accepted because they were hoping we wouldn’t notice upon inspection that the whole structure was held together by glossy paint and prayer. But not today…