Day 4…ish, and Maybe We’re Not Homeschooling Anymore?

I think it’s day 4.

Look, I’m trying to survive here. Counting is just really not an integral part of my so-called rehab program.

Today was…not too bad. But it was interesting.

Punksin asked me to play with her.

As usual, I was in the middle of 5 million things, none of which ever seem to get done. So I had to say no.

Mind you, I don’t ALWAYS so no. But more often than not, I do.

So she walked away, and then she came back and said, “Mom, you’re always too busy to play with us. Maybe we should go to school.”

Now, to my mind, those 2 statements are not obviously connected. My being too busy to play does not mean she should go to school. You don’t go to school to play, you go to LEARN. But, of course, some playing does happen.

And the Tech Guru had broached the subject earlier in the summer, when I was having one of my spaz out moments and he was trying to find ways to keep me from running down the street naked. (Yes, that is a recurring theme with me. It just sounds so…freeing.)

So I looked at her thoughtfully. Maybe she’s right. Maybe they do need to go. Pudding’s never been, and now that he’s out  of his shell, maybe someone ELSE can get him to read and like books. Maybe they’ll make more friends. Maybe I’ll have time to get this house in order and actually get some serious writing done on my book.

You know what?” I replied. You might have a point there, Punksin. For lots of reasons. You’d get more work done, that’s for sure, because whenever I ask you guys to do work it’s like pulling teeth. And you’d make more friends. And maybe it would be a good thing for Pudding to at least EXPERIENCE school, since you got to, and he never has.”

So I went to the computer and looked up our city’s Board of Ed to figure out what the hell the registration process was and also to look at the local elementary school report cards.

Punksin immediately started wailing. Pudding looked horrified and soon followed.

What’s the matter?” I said.

“I didn’t think you were going to do it NOW!” she cried. “I thought like maybe, a YEAR from now, or at least in the winter or something!”

But school just started and if we can get you in now, why wait?” I asked, continuing to sift through the site.

I don’t WANNA go! I’m gonna MISS YOU MOMMY!” Pudding cried.

Baby, the school is right down the street. Mommy will drop you off and pick you up. You won’t have to miss me, you’ll only be gone for six hours.” Which means nothing to him. His concept of time is still a tad…sketchy. Ask him about what happened 2 nights ago, and he’ll say “you mean the last night of yesterday?” Which is actually RIGHT, but…whatever.

Punksin ran upstairs and lay down on her bed. Or rather I should say, collapsed onto her bed. It was something like fainting but not really fainting, just the dramatic part.

“Baby, what’s the problem? Your father and I had discussed this idea and I’m thinking you might be right. Also, remember…it doesn’t have to be permanent. We do whatever we need to do at any given time. If it’s not working out, you come back home, I have no problem with that.”

Pudding’s brows furrowed. “You mean, I can try it, and if I don’t like it, I can come back home?”

Well…yes. But you have to really try it. Not like go one day and then say you don’t like it.” I know this kid. He thinks he’s slick.

We can try it!” he says with jubilation.

English: Kumon Method Logo 日本語: 日本公文教育研究会のロゴ。 ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Punksin sat up and began to dry her eyes. “Okay Mommy,” she said, still looking downcast.

I sat next to her. “Look, sweetie, if I seemed to act on it very quickly it’s only because I think it’s not actually a bad idea, for lots of reasons. But I’m not totally sold on it yet. We’d have to check out the schools and see what’s what. I’m not going to send you anywhere that I’m not happy with, and if you’re not happy with it long-term then we will not accept that either.” Her, I can trust. When she was in school, she loved it. She’s not the type to go to school for months and continue to say she hates it without good reason.

Okay,” she said again, this time sounding a little more relieved.

She and her brother ran off and there was much whizzy-whizzying and next thing you know the two of them were as excited as could be about going to school.

Me, I’m on the website looking at the neighborhood public schools and checking out their report cards and getting that sinking feeling – the one that I got when I FIRST looked at these schools and decided I was not sending my kids there. The one that is closest to us, which is the one I am sure they have to go to, is a regular public school, but on its own website as well as in several parent reviews I read across the web, I saw a lot about Special Education and how great the services were. And that’s incredible, but that’s not the demographic my children fall into. Meanwhile, however, when it comes to dealing with Gifted children, there’s NOTHING, and only 4% of the kids in the school are performing above grade level on the latest state tests, with almost half performing BELOW state level.

Um, WTF?

Not too happy about that. Not at ALL.

The one school that had a higher percentage of kids performing above state level (25%) is another part of the city, not at all far (I mean, even calling this place a city is really freaking generous), but I have some sneaking feeling that they’ll tell me the kids can’t go there. Which would completely and totally suck ass.

Then the Tech Guru comes home and of course we totally blindside him with this information about going back to school and I say we’re thinking about public school and he says “Or private?

And I look at him as if he’s crazy, because if we could AFFORD private school they would not have been homeschooled in the FIRST place, but $22K per year, per kid, is fucking INSANE. And they don’t offer financial aid either; at least the one I’m interested in doesn’t until 6th grade, at which point I would sure as hell consider applying.

He continues to look totally bewildered while the children get increasingly excited about going to school, and I get increasingly worried because I cannot fathom sending my gifted daughter to a school where only 4% of the kids are reading above grade level. It’s just…not acceptable in this house. I’m sorry if I sound like a snoot, but when it comes to my children’s brains, I AM.

Pudding, I could more see, for a YEAR or so. It’s early and while the early years ARE important, if they can just teach his little ass to READ, I’m happy and then I can take over again. And actually, for that purpose I had been considering registering him with the Kumon down the street, figuring maybe they can take my little technophile and get him to read. Punksin, I must admit, was in the (private) school system when she learned to read, although I still maintain, (as did her teachers!) that it was the constant reading AT HOME that got her reading by age 4. Pudding’s already 5 and he’s a different kid but he’s not stupid. And I will respect differences but so much. There comes a point in this house where you just have to perform at a certain level and differences be damned. I don’t accept mediocrity. You need help, I’ll get you help, but you WILL excel.

So tomorrow…we may be going to the Board of Ed to do this. And if they don’t let them in the school I want then I might have to tell them to kiss my ass. I don’t know. It’s also going to be weird because they’ll want records and I don’t have records for Punksin. I mean, I have MY records, but it’s nothing official.

Fuckedy duck, this is going to be interesting. I’m not anti-school; I’m anti-mediocre schools.

Well, it’s time for me to go downstairs and wrap up my meds for the evening. So far so good, right? I’m hanging in there! I haven’t stabbed anyone, slit my own wrists, thrown anything at anyone or across a room…I mean, I’ve been a VERY GOOD GIRL. The only things thus far have been the shakes, the hot flashes, the fumbling and the slightly shorter temper. Just slightly. A teensy weensy.

Keep your goddamn fingers crossed – and your eyes too if you can.

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Posted in The Fam | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Day 4…ish, and Maybe We’re Not Homeschooling Anymore?”

  1. City Girl says:

    Maybe putting them in school will be a good thing for you. If you can get them in a good one. Have you looked into Charter Schools? Also do they have Magnet schools there? The school part is one of the most challenging in raising a kid. It is such a large part of their life.

  2. Isabelle says:

    As far as the public school stats are concerned, that’s the god awful state of affairs in many public schools. I was a public school teacher for a few years it’s an overwhelming situation. I taught middle school and had 15 year-old kids in my 7th grade class. Many of my students were functionally illiterate because their previous teachers didn’t give them they tools they needed to succeed academically. I could go on for days…Anyway, my unsolicited comment is that public school only works if the kids are coming in with basic skills, which I imagine your kids already have since you have home-schooled them.