And it really does make me feel bad to say that.
I’m someone who didn’t have a super great experience in public school for various reasons, and I decided looooooooong before having kids (like, when I was a teenager) that I would absolutely homeschool my future brood. Being a nanny for many, many years just solidified this intent, as I was in the position of enforcing school policies and routines I didn’t agree with, like, say, homework for very young children (or hell, homework in general, really), and was witnessing firsthand the detrimental effects of those policies on children’s psyche and sense of self-worth.
There’s a reason Scandinavian countries and the like consistently have the best student outcomes and places like the US consistently have the worst: Because attempting to cram as much information as possible into tiny brains that are not developmentally ready to receive or memorize or synthesize such information while their accompanying tiny bodies are forced to sit still and master dexterity skills for which they are also not ready, focusing almost solely on subjects such as reading/writing and math while forgoing supremely important subjects such as art and music and interpersonal skills, then forcing them into phenomenally stressful regular testing cycles that essentially imply their worth at school is based almost solely off their scores on said tests, all while restricting their outdoor playtime more and more and more does not for healthy, happy, well-adjusted, eager-to-learn children make.
But as my children began approaching school age, I began doubting my ability to offer them the education they deserve at home. And not because I felt like I couldn’t handle the academic or actual teaching aspect of it (I’ve been told by countless education professionals over the years that teaching comes naturally to me and I would excel at it), but because I’m not terribly organized and struggle with motivation and can be a bit, you know, emotionally unstable at times.
So last year, we decided to enroll them in Kindergarten at the same school several of their good friends from preschool were attending, even though it was in the next city over, where they had gone to preschool part-time for a couple of years and where all the other preschool families live. And I’m not going to totally bag on the school or anything because our friends still have their children there and they all, children and parents alike, really, really like it–and that’s ALL that matters. If you and your children are happy with a particular school or program, it doesn’t matter whether another family holds the same opinion. We all have different priorities and we’re all coming from different backgrounds and one size most definitely does not fit all when it comes to education.
Suffice to say, though, we weren’t happy. So we actually pulled them out a few months before the end of the year, as I revisited my initial plan to homeschool them. However, over the past few months, I’ve come back again and again to my realization that I am just not cut out to homeschool my kids. And it’s a really hard thing to admit to myself, as it does not jive at all with the vision I always had of myself as a mama. But it’s the reality and I’ve finally come to terms with it (again).
And it really fucking helps that our neighbourhood school is literally across the creek from our backyard (we joke about fashioning some sort of catapult or trebuchet and just launching them over the creek into the school field every morning), and is within one of the best school districts in the county. So the wee folk are already familiar with the school grounds a bit, as they play on the play structure there on the weekends sometimes, and they’ll be able to ride their scooters or bikes every morning, which they’re SUPER stoked about. They’re definitely already sad about the prospect of most likely being separated for the first time this year because they are really, really, really close (King Toad Agooga tears up just at the thought of not being in the same class as his sister and it’s fucking heartbreaking), but we’ve been talking about it and preparing them and we’ll work through it if it ends up being the case (it’s not a school policy, but twins are generally separated and there’s some evidence to show it can be really good for them developmentally, so we’ll see).
And, you guys… Now that I’m totally dedicated to making this writing thing, like, an actual thing, I cannot even tell you how excited I am at the prospect of having all that uninterrupted time to write.
Because I fucking ADORE my damn kids and have (mostly) completely enjoyed being fortunate enough to be able to stay home with them from day one, but, like… I mean, I get now why my mom always said in exasperation that she wanted to change her name, you know? I’m just at the point where I need far more hours in my day when far fewer people (like, preferably none, like, no people, zero) NEED SOMETHING FROM ME EVERY FUCKING FIVE MINUTES. Because you know it’s bad when, in a family where sugar is generally limited, we’re recently spending a small fortune on popsicles.
“Blahblahblah he/she threw something at me blahblahblah I’m bored blahblahblah he/she said blahblahblah…”
“Why don’t you guys go have a popsicle?”
And off they happily run, giving me at least eight minutes of peace.
It’s called SURVIVAL MODE, OKAY?
So anyway. Countdown’s on, bitches. 19 days.
Which is, like, roughly six more boxes of popsicles.
I can totally handle that.