Monday, August 24, 2009

T comes home

I quickly discovered our first impression did mean trouble. Within a week I got my first every phone call from the teacher. "T is not listening." "T is not paying attention." Then the second phone call. "Does T have problems taking tests?" Umm, he's in first grade.... why would he have ever taken a test. This was an unexpected detour in our vision of our child's education. Never did I expect to get one phone call, let alone 2 a week, not to mention the numerous notes home.

I started re-researching Homeschool almost immediately, but only as a backup, never really thinking we would have to resort to that. However as each day passed, and each note was sent home, it became clear that his teacher was intent on creating an autonomous environment where sitting still and following directions were more important than learning and inquisitiveness. My attempts to correct T's behavior were only resulting in a child who now was resistant to learning, but still bravely went to school each day with a good attitude. My attempts to become involved with the school were unwelcome and red taped to death. My relationship with T was stressed and he was stressed. I didn't even realize how stressed until the school phoned one day to tell me he had wet his pants. That was pretty much the turning point for us. I couldn't imagine what kind of either stress, or dominance, he was under to not ask to go to the bathroom.

That night we made the decision to homeschool. Actually I very reluctantly made the decision to homeschool. I knew it was the right thing for T, but I was having trouble letting go of my vision of my own future. A future that included some quiet time (something I highly value), a few hours each week with both kids in school, and my going back to work, new (to us) cars, vacations, and other things that even a part time job would allow us. Plus I was still unsure how I was going to survive homeschooling a boy that I couldn't even do homework with. But we made the decision, but also agreed to wait a month or two so that I (the planner) would have time to do more research and assemble all the great books and curriculum I would find. I know you can all see where this is headed...

Yep a week later T was home and we were scrambling around alternating between regimented workbooks at a desk and an unschooling day at the library. You see, the last straw for me was the note home "T is picking his nose. Please inform him that this is unhygienic." Apparently, our first grade teacher had never encountered another first grade boy who is determined to stick his finger up his nose no matter what his well intentioned parents tell him about hygiene!!!!! So I sent my husband (the level headed one) to school the next day to collect T's possessions and to tell the school to buzz off. We were now officially homeschoolers and I had NO IDEA what I was supposed to do now.

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