If I had put my foot down and made both kids switch to the half time school/half time homeschool program it would have worked better. I can’t know it would have, but I think it would have. For one, the three of us could have continued Spanish more easily…Norah is fluent, Lucy is close, and they can keep me from teaching them terrible errors. Norah would have learned how to spell in English (points for her fifth grade teacher, though. She has real spelling lists and real spelling tests!)
The half time co-op school is almost my idea of the perfect school. Much more time at home with the girl(s.) Much less time spent doing the school’s bidding on my time. So next year, I can bring my kid home with me and it will all be totally awesome.
Except my eldest wants to audition for the arts academy for Jr. High and High School.
This is my husband’s dream for her, too. He has very few strongly held beliefs about education, extracurricular stuff, or really, life in general. He’s easy going, in other words, which I love. But he dearly wants them both to go to the arts academy. The school is nationally ranked for best schools ever, so I don’t blame him. As a talented cartoonist/woodworker/strings player, an education with an arts focus really resonates with him. (Get it? Get it? Strings musician? Resonates?)
When the girls were babies we lived in a kind of rough part of town (a college friend literally did not believe we lived there because we weren’t tough enough. Apart from the exploding house, it wasn’t too bad! Plus, a house exploded in our “safe neighborhood” too. And no cops were ever shot in our “rough” neighborhood which sets it apart from our “safe” one.) And we used to walk around with our babies in strollers dreaming about the future. Our grocery store was just over the hill, in the most-expensive-neighborhood-in-town, right by the arts academy. Daniel said, even back then, that he wished and hoped that someday our little girls would trudge up that hill to school, carying their instruments and portfolios, hanging out with the mopey artsy kids.
So now that we have a 10 year old who is passionate about her clarinet, Elvis impersonating, slap stick comedy (acting it, not just watching it) and all visual arts, it would be actively cruel to both her and her father to say, “No. You cannot audition for the school nationally recognized for awesomeness where you can pursue your passions and talents. I am going to teach you at home instead.”
I want to say that. But I think I would be wrong.
So…do I keep the other one lonely at home with no one to compete against for the next three years?
I don’t know.
It’s hard to get into the arts academy. It’s part audition, part scholastic achievement, and part zip code (or is that school boundary?) based lottery. Even if she was the BEST of the BEST applicants, if her name did not get drawn from the good candidates in her boundary, she would not get in.
So where does she go if she doesn’t get into the arts academy?
I don’t know. There are both too many, and too few, options. God knows which one is supposed to happen (or if one is supposed to. He might be cool with all of the options. I won’t know if he doesn’t show me!)
And this is the one flaw in the greatness of school options. How on earth do you pick?
Do I let the homeschooled kid go back to school so she can become more fluent in Spanish, have the chance to be on her student council (she could have started that this year) join the free school band like her sister did, be a safety guard to learn responsibility and serve others, and both be driven by the other students and help drive them? Where she can be a light to some friends who don’t know Jesus yet, and be sharpened by/sharpen those who do?
Or do we keep her here, where she can do gymnastics which she had declared is her lifelong passion (this week) play piano, learn to program computers, and generally, hang out with me, bored to tears when her work is done and mine isn’t. (Yes, I have to work, even when she is home. There is no way on the planet earth I can do it all if I don’t ever work on a Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. I can take one or two of those days off, but not all of them.)
I am massively rambling right now. I know. I am far from coherent, far from conclusive, and truly torn. Because both options rock and both stink. And each kid has her own set of options that stink and rock. And each kid has her own future and her own dreams. And each parent (just me and my husband, praise God!) has their own set of hopes, dreams, and priorities that we bring to the decision making process.
Man. I hope the next time I am inspired to ramble and rant I will pick something more fun like House Hunting. This pondering the future of my kids and the many ways I can screw them up is painful!
Well, homeschool recess (Just Dance, Disney) is over, so I had better go enjoy one of the truly great parts about homeschooling: chilling with my kiddo.