talk about it more

a virtual baby book

When she was two, Fiona regularly said "Talk about it more!" to express her desire to know more about whatever we were discussing.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

School news

With my parents, there was no 'maybe.' There was no shopping around. There were no 'ifs.' When my sister and I were old enough, we went to parochial school.

Life may not be harder now, but we tend to make it that way. It is almost the end of Fiona's school year. She didn't get as much science or history as I would have like to have shared, but she is doing quite well in reading, math, and music. In addition, she had a rich life filled with books, art, music, drama, physical education, discussion groups, religious education, co-ops, community service, science center and botanical conservatory trips, and nature everywhere from bogs to the zoo to the backyard (plus the occasional mouse in the house)-- not to mention the bonus of spending virtually every meal with her whole family.

At the recommendation of her therapist, we had a somewhat structured morning for Fiona, followed by special events on some afternoons. I thought this would get easier for me, but that has not been the case. I cannot separate the 'Mom half' from the 'Teacher half' nearly the way he recommended. I just can't do it. Fiona has thrived in home school. I haven't thrived for quite awhile, with or without school.

We are nearing the end of the school year, but for myself I do not see us reaching the end of a year of insomnia or the anxious, sleep deprived effects that come from it. It feels odd to put my own oxygen mask on before Fiona's, but we have decided to send her to traditional school next year. By fall she will be in our local fine arts public magnet school. We'll still have school at home, but Our Way, whatever that is. We hope it will be fine for Fiona, plus give us a chance to balance some other things that are going on at home.

I don't wish to imply that I didn't like or 'couldn't do' homeschooling. It is a highly rewarding vocation, and I wish I was well enough to continue. I think Fiona is doing fine, and will have no trouble at traditional school. Neither do I wish to imply that homeschooling made me sick. I hit the wall the first time with insomnia in August, and it had been going on for quite awhile even then. Lastly, I don't want to infer that traditional schooling is always inferior and wrong for all. I don't believe any of those things. I think there are many 'right' paths, and we just need to choose the best one for us. As our firstborn, Fiona is our 'experimental' child, and that's just how it is. We're learning as we go. I hope our homeschooling friends will support us in our decision as our traditional schooling friends have before.

We'll miss Fiona, and I'm certain that Nora and I will be involved at her school. But Nora and I will also be involved with each other in a different way, and Fiona will make friends in a new way. And hopefully I can get my groove back-- that will help all of us. For us, it's not as simple as signing some papers and sending Fiona off to school. But it is what it is, and we'll live and we'll learn.


At 6:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said, dear ones, and well done. love, Mom

At 9:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's to self care and bettering mental health!

At 2:15 PM, Blogger Teresa said...

[I had a typo, so I had to delete my first attempt to post. How I wish Blogger would allow comment editing after publishing.]

Makes sense to me. You have to do what works best for your whole family to thrive.

Fiona is definitely a reader. The ability to read has helped me in my quest to learn.

And children will always have their parents as their teachers, no matter the schooling path.

At 4:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have said it before, but you have done a phenomenal job with Fiona. You gave her more than any regular school would have done.

History and Science? That amounts to about one-typed page of text in the K curriculum. I'm sure you covered it.

Fiona has truly blossomed this past year. I think she will do great in the "brick and mortar."


At 3:30 AM, Blogger Kristina said...

I will be praying that it works well for all of you.

At 3:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so proud of all of you -- it's wonderful to watch families love one another.
love, Becky


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