Tuesday, September 6, 2016

From home schooling to WAIT WHERE ARE YOU GOING ALL DAY?

Last year we home schooled Ella. Actually, she has been home schooled since half way through kindergarten, but last year I took more of a structured approach (in the sense that I bought actual curriculum and didn't just rely on nature and some random work books I found at Target. Parent of the year, ya'll). She did great. In my completely unbiased opinion she kicked second grade's butt, and is possibly the smartest seven year old on the planet. Again, UNBIASED.

But as much as she excelled academically (and I'm taking next to zero credit here. Self motivated kids FTW), she was desperate to be back in an actual classroom again. Apparently a desk stuffed into a corner next to the wood stove while your siblings run around screaming their blonde heads off, doesn't feel like the ideal "learning environment." #highstandards 

Long story short, with barely two weeks before the start of class, we enrolled her at the local charter school. Dan and I kept it all a secret until we had toured the school, exhausted both her principal and other parents with questions, and spent many nights simply saying, "I don't know. What do YOU think?" I wish we had thought to record her reaction when we finally told her, though. She hid her excitement for about 45 seconds, then switched to this mode and has been living there ever since. 
Just replace "Santa" with "SCHOOOOOOL!"

Mabel and I took her to school this morning, while Dan stayed home with the boys (we wanted the morning to be as calm as possible for her and brothers be bonkers, ya'll). She chose to listen to "Maria songs" (The Sound of Music soundtrack) on the way there, and all I could think about as she sang along to The Lonely Goatherd, was that I would lay the smack down on anyone who tried to crush her beautiful, sweet spirit. It feels different, her first day in 3rd grade verse her first day in kindergarten. There's more at stake now, more for her to see and hear and discover from other kids, and it makes my heart tired and panicky. I thought about turning the car around at least a dozen times in the short ten minute drive. 

But look at this face. 

She was SO happy to be there. So calm and poised, quietly finding her seat and smiling at her new table mates. As her mother, I could see the tiny current of nerves flowing through her, but she didn't even look back as I said goodbye (which, I'm fine with. TOTALLY FINE). I even stayed outside the classroom door for a few extra seconds* to give her a last "good luck!" smile, and she never even turned to look.

*Roughly four minutes. I finally forced myself to leave so the other kids wouldn't think her mom was a giant weirdo. They'll find that out soon enough when I volunteer for ALL THE THINGS. 

Low quality, stalker mom pic from outside her classroom. Cropped to protect other students/mom from said other students side eyes at said stalker mom.
She had a full day today (on the first day! Come on, school! Don't you know mom---KIDS need to be eased back into this transition? RUDE), but it's almost time for us to go pick her up. Not that anybody has been staring at the clock, willing it to just HURRY UP ALREADY. 


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