Before she entered Pre-K, I thought about and looked into various forms of schooling.
Was I cut out for home schooling? I thought I was until I began looking at the curriculum and the massive amount creativity involved. But with the home schooling community, boards and Pinterest I felt that if I organized myself, then perhaps I could persevere. Then I began to "try out" some things with my l.a.d. Needless to say, she did not respond well to our teaching sessions. So, she ended up in a Christian based program where she could learn the general routine of school, and go over the basics of letters, numbers, etc. and the bonus was that she learned scripture. Clearly at 2 and 3 years old there was no homework. I was satisfied with her progress and my ability to creatively reinforce what she was learning. I soon began to understand that she would rather surprise and impress me with her knowledge versus me being the source of her knowledge.
As she progressed it also became evident that she needed more. The program she was in was not a 5 day program and I wondered how she would fare when it was time to start kindergarten. So, onward to a five day program. To my surprise, our school district offers Pre-K to all children that are zoned to the school. I wrestled with her no longer being in a Christian environment, but ultimately felt at peace with allowing her to go.
We are 5 weeks in and I am reeling. I have yet to recover from the preparation of school - the first day of school almost ended in my l.a.d. being traumatized (I will post on that soon), which amped up my anxiety. By week 3 homework was being sent home. It was manageable at first. then, we got a note from her teacher asking us to go online for her math homework ... math? At four? Trust and believe me when I tell you it isn't just learning numbers and how to count ...
I thought I was going to be able to manage that as well - with some resistance from my l.a.d. because it required me doing some explanation/teaching. Then, yesterday, when I opened her homework folder, I almost snapped. She was sick on Monday and did not go to school, so I knew we had some catching up to do. However, I was in for a much bigger surprise. In addition to her daily routine of all things related to her verbal, writing, and math skills she is now expected to practice writing her name daily and she has to work on a project due on Friday ... As far as I can tell there is going to be a weekly or bi-weekly project.
Did I mention that she is FOUR.YEARS.OLD???
So, I took a deep breath, sat down at the table with her and we practiced her name and did two days worth of her writing/verbal skills. We did not touch math nor did we touch the project. I was too overwhelmed and quite frankly, my l.a.d. became very restless and bored with the repetition. Not to mention she has a threshold of about 30-40 minutes when it comes to homework. By bedtime, My shoulders and neck were extra tense and my muscles in a knot.
So, I awakened in the middle of the night (early morning) trying to wrap my head around how to get a handle on school. I thought about contacting the school, and suggesting alternatives to the "busy work" being sent home. Yeah, yeah, yeah - I'm not going to be that parent. And I actually do understand that teachers and schools are also pressured by the state to meet certain standards for testing, etc. I do not agree with it, but I understand it.
So, then I began to contemplate what my l.a.d.'s learning environment should look like for kindergarten. I don't think I'm going to be able to switch things up easily by transferring her somewhere else. So, I am going to have to pray through this school year in a way I have never prayed before. But I can start making preparations for kindergarten.
I am a firm believer in helping a child flourish by teaching them in the manner they learn the best. So, I will need to find somewhere, probably in a private setting, that encourages a child to learn in a diverse learning environment. One that isn't structured to fit one method of teaching. I also prefer her to be in a Christian setting, where she can learn scripture (because remember she doesn't like momma teaching her these things) and about Jesus. Also, I would like for her to be exposed to a field trip, 2-3 times a month that exposes her to surroundings that reinforce what she is being taught on a daily basis through practical application and cultural exchanges. And oh, yeah, learning another language would be great too. She is actually interested in Spanish and French ...
This tailored program I concocted in my brain can be achieved in one of two ways. I can try and get her in a "high brow" school - which I cannot afford or I can home school - but my l.a.d. doesn't learn well from me.
Back to square one ... Or is it? If I can get someone else to home school - that would be the best of two world's. I know ...
Yes, a governess. The profession of old. The profession that served nobility and royalty. When someone lives in your home and teaches your child based upon their needs and your expectation of their future standing in the world. Where your child gets the benefit of one on one, tailor made instruction. Where creativity isn't stifled but is balanced with a sense of regimented discipline. An environment in which a parent can monitor and influence what their child learns.
Clearly, I've watched one too many period pieces and Jane Austen flicks.
A person can dream can't they?
In the meantime, I will be on my knees pleading with God to give me the strength and wisdom to balance school life better. And then I will ask Him to send me a governess, because the Bible says that He, "... will give you the desires of my heart" (Psalm 37:4).
Who am I to question the Bible?
Just Around the Corner,