Saturday, July 08, 2006
Husband Steps Up
So a select few people in my life know we're planning on homeschooling our 6yo daughter next year. I have been trying to prep said 6yo by mentioning that homeschooling was an option for next year, you might not have to do school at all next year, etc, etc, but it was maddeningly difficult as I could never get a straight answer out of Fran about the whole thing. Like "so are we homeschooling next year?" "I dunno, how?". DAMNIT.
On Thursday we were out outlet-mall shopping (a spectacular example of self-restraint if I do say so myself - the only thing I bought that wasn't on my list was a $2 shirt for 6yo) and we ran into one of 6yo's kindergarten classmates. This made 6yo quite excited and the girls were happy to see one another and talk for a moment.
When we got back to the car 6yo started crying. "My teacher spent lots of time getting me ready for first grade mama" "I wanted to be a first grader" "First graders have three recesses!". We talked again about how in first grade, you are in school all day, and have to do lots and lots of the things she doesn't like doing (she is not advanced per se, but is extremely speedy in her work and was already, in kindergarten, having trouble in that she'd finish a task and then have to remain seated, bored out of her wits, while her classmates finished). We talked about how in first grade, you get three recesses because you are in school ALL DAY. We talked about how it is fun to just be at the park with our friends, and we get to do that longer than recess.
She remained unconvinced.
We got home and it was obvious to Fran that she had been upset and crying. She blurts out "I'm sad I don't get to go to first grade!"
Hmmm, little red-rimmed crying eyes? Daddy huggle-snuggles? Cue daddy cave-in? Will he say "oh it is ok honey, we're not sure you're going to homeschool, I'll talk to mommy?" "Oh sweetie...you can be a first grader!"
Nope. OMG I love my husband.
"Becca" (it went something like...) "I know you were excited about first grade. Mommy and daddy have plans for you and we think that you don't understand yet, but we think you will like it EVEN MORE than you would like first grade! Mommy and daddy don't want you to be unhappy in first grade, honey. I know you miss your friends - we will make sure to spend lots of time with friends even though you aren't in school. We will meet with friends at the park and at our house and other houses, but we will still see friends, ok sweetie?"
OMG I love my husband. Off went the waterworks, he'd found the magic words. 6yo played a little depressed-like for about an hour while she mulled it over and then went back to life as usual.
Of all of us, I think our poor 6yo has the most and biggest and hardest to address fears about homeschooling. It makes me sad not to respect her desire to got to school next year, but I suppose that the great burden of parenthood is making decisions in your kids' best interest, even if they dislike it at the moment.