Tuesday, January 8, 2013

harrison's new school

my intent to do a "school morning practice run" of getting up, dressed, fed and out the door by 8:00 am was an epic fail.  i set out the boys clothes last night and told them they had to get dressed before they could go downstairs to watch cartoons.  well, that didn't happen.  i set my alarm for 6:30 so i could get myself ready before going downstairs to start breakfast.  well, that didn't happen either.

what did happen is this: the boys woke up at an ungodly hour and snuck down to the basement.  my alarm went off at a later, but still ungodly, hour and i snoozed it.  at 7:42 am, while i was indeed still lying in my warm, cozy bed, i had an epiphany.

getting up, dressed, fed and out the door by 8:00 am is overrated.

sadly, i am going to have to figure out a way to deal with it anyway.  that's just one of the joys of being an adult.

so, graham goes back to preschool tomorrow morning.  and harrison starts a new school.  i am feeling a combination of emotions - sadness (i'll miss them), happiness (i know they'll have fun and i'll actually have a moment to be alone), concern (how will harrison do?).  overall, though, i am excited to start this semester.  it will be full of new adventures for harrison (kindergarten and STAR therapy) both of which will be very beneficial for him.  

i haven't shared all the details about the decision to quit homeschooling yet.  but because i feel the need to justify my actions to the world, i'll do my best to fill you in.

the summarized version is that we never wanted to homeschool long term.  our goal was always to homeschool for this year and figure out first grade later.  but when all this sensory processing stuff started our first questions were: is it okay that we are homeschooling?...is it detrimental to harrison?  the answers (from three different therapists) were all similar: no, it's not hurting him...he would not learn the things he is "missing" from simply being near or observing other children...yet, it is so good for him to socialize with his peers...if your desire is to put him in traditional first grade, the transition from being at home all day to being at school all day will be a difficult one. 

while those conversations were taking place a neighbor "just happened" to mention that her daughter is in a morning kindergarten class with just ten other kids.  i put "just happened" in quotes because you know i don't believe anything "just happens".  so her comment got my wheels spinning - a morning program, a very small class, i think we should go check out this school!

harrison and i went together to tour the school.  the principal was welcoming and other staff members were so warm and sweet to harrison.  we only briefly met the kindergarten teacher but we got to observe her class for quite a bit.  harrison liked what he saw.  jeremy and i discussed, at length, the options.  then we stopped discussing it and just prayed about it.  ultimately, we asked harrison what he wanted to do.  we gave him a choice:  do school at home or go to public school?

he chose to go to public school.  he WANTED to be at the school with other kids.  his reason?  "it will be more fun". 

now,  do i believe that five year olds can, or should, be the decision-maker in situations like this?  no.  absolutely not.  jeremy and i believe it is our job as parents to do what's best for our children, even if that means our children are unhappy with our choice.  the tricky thing about this situation, though, is that i honestly thought harrison would choose to stay at home.  he is not your typical social butterfly.  far from it.  so the fact that he WANTS to be with other kids is a really.big.deal. 

we need to support his choice!  in fact, we need to encourage it!  we need to jump on it and harness it and monopolize it!  ha! 

i joke (a little bit), but in all seriousness, what we are finding is that if harrison expresses an interest in something we really need to capture his desires and manipulate them in such a way that helps him grow and develop.  he loves to ski?  well, then, we will take him skiing every single weekend.  it has been an AMAZINGLY therapeutic activity for him.  and he has no idea that it's therapeutic, he just thinks he's having a blast!  he wants to go to public school?  well, then, we will use this desire to the best of our abilities, too!

what it comes down to is this: we believe sending him to public school is what's best for harrison at this time.

and that's all the justification we need. 

so, tomorrow is a new day...a new adventure.  yes, i'm nervous about it.  i wouldn't be me if i didn't worry.  and i'm sure they'll be some bumps in the road.  every road has a few unexpected dips and turns.  but...

at least we are headed in the right direction.

and i cannot wait to see where this paths leads.

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