Public Uncertainty

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She is five now,
my little baby is five.
Monday we will register her for kindergarten.
I’m scared.

All of these forms are a nuisance,
but that’s not what I’m scared about.
I’m scared that the public school system will ruin her.

I worked there, in the public school system,
for five years
I worked hard there,
and I took care of my students, I loved them.
But will she be loved?

She is so vibrant, so creative–
will that spark be nurtured?

I contemplate home schooling,
letting her move when she needs to move,
eat when she’s hungry,
rest when she’s tired.

What will happen
when she is hungry and it isn’t time to eat,
or she’s tired and it isn’t time to rest,
or she wants to move and leap and dance,
and she is told to “SIT DOWN!” ?

What then?
Will she turn into me,
wanting to eat,
wanting to rest,
wanting to move,
wanting to create,
and always waiting for permission?

I’m scared.

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6 responses »

  1. Oh Lorien — I am right there with you. My one regret with my sons was that, for those few years we did homeschool, I didn’t have the courage to unschool — to let them just be and follow their interests. I expressed that to them recently and my oldest son told me I could let go of that regret. He was very happy with his years at school and with the excellent teachers he had.

    I felt better but, in retrospect, i recall that my youngest son, now moving into Grade 11 and enduring school for another two years, said nothing. Gabriel is academically inclined, so it served him. Jacob is not and it remains to be seen what kind of effect that will have on his life. He’s not willing to homeschool now because he doesn’t want to be out of step with his friends — not academically, but socially.

    It’s not an ideal situation, but nothing is. Jacob is learning a LOT from this trying time — probably exactly what he needs to be learning at this time. (Me, too.) There are fabulous teachers and those who shouldn’t be teaching and whoever your daughter gets will be perfect for her soul’s development. She already chose the perfect parents, did she not?

    Homeschooling has its benefits AND it can be hard on a family, too, especially on the primary caregiver who gets to don one more, very large hat.

    On the one hand, it’s a huge decision (one you’ve probably made by now since I’m writing this more than a month later) and, on the other hand, it’s not. If you decide on something and it’s really not working, you can make another decision. Ultimately, what matters is that, whatever you decide, you give up the angst and be present for your children, a safe sounding board and loving presence at the centre of everything so that Home is always a sanctuary to return to after every foray into the big, wide world.

    Sending you hugs from this end of the school journey as you begin to navigate this new terrain, Lorien.

    • Thank you Maxine for your kind response, like a big hug and a cup of understanding tea. I appreciate your wisdom and your willingness to share your experience with me. There is certainly a part of me that wishes to unschool my children, and simultaneously there is a part that looks forward to having some ME time with great longing. I will stay attuned to my children and make decisions to help them craft the lives they were born to live. And I won’t kid myself–there is no way to be a perfect parent, and sometimes I’ll mess up, but at the root of it all, I love them and would do anything for them to help them grow into their full creative potential. Big hugs to you and many thanks for being here. Your support and kindness are so helpful! ❤

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