So, as you probably know by now, we have always planned to be a homeschooling family. I believe in homeschooling, and it seemed to be a sensible option to best meet the needs of my highly sensitive child; a child who sometimes struggles in social situations, especially in large, noisy groups.
However, times seem to be changing.
My sensitive little man is now almost four years old. Not only do I have no idea where the time has gone, but I have no idea where this increasingly confident, smart, critically thinking, curious little boy has come from.
Don’t get me wrong; I’ve always known he was a smart cookie. I just had no idea he would be so… grown up, at this age.
I guess I just thought he would always be my baby. *sniff*
As each day passes he becomes more capable, more confident and more curious of the world around him. A year ago, he would refuse point blank to try any new experience and he often struggled on family outings to new places. Although he still sometimes has a hard time with these things, his bravery and willingness to give new things a go has increased tenfold.
He wants to learn. He wants to explore. And he tells me he wants to go to school.
Now, I know that at his tender age, he doesn’t really understand the commitment of school, or what it really involves, but as his friends have started school his curiosity has peaked. He plays ‘school games’ with his toys every day, and asks me about the kind of things his friends are doing at school.
When I ask him if he would like to go to school, his answer is: “Yes, but not today mummy. When I am five I will go to school.”
…So it looks like school may become a part of our journey a lot sooner than I thought.
I do have a sense of trepidation, I have to say – I fully believe in homeschooling and I have a lot of reservations about the mainstream school system – but I will not stand in my child’s way if formal education is something he wants to experience.
The good thing about this decision is that it’s not permanent. If he hates school, we’ll take him out. If he loves it, he can stay. There’s no pressure for him to choose either way. I have to say, despite my reservations, I am quite excited about the prospect of him possibly attending school. Because of my issues with depression, I do sometimes doubt my ability to provide a nurturing and stimulating environment for him. Self-care is incredibly important for me to be a good mother, and his attending school would take a lot of pressure off of me.
At the end of the day, all we can do is see how things go. But on the whole, I am excited about this new chapter in our lives. We are lucky to live in a fairly rural area, with a few very small, good schools nearby – one of which is much-loved by my husband, who went there himself as a child.
What choices have you made regarding schooling? Have you had to change your plans at any point? If so, why? I’d love to read your thoughts!