"Mom, I don't want to upset you."
Oh boy. What did he break? Did the dog crap in a bedroom? That is NOT the way a conversation should start.
"What's up, Zane." (Staying calm.)
"I just don't want to hurt your feelings."
Still, what the heck is going on????
"I miss seeing kids during the day."
It was around this time last year that I started thinking about home-schooling. To my surprise, (for I NEVER thought I'd choose this route for either of my kids), I decided to pull Zane out for 3rd grade and do the self-paced program via PA Cyber, as I couldn't wrap my brain around traditional home-schooling. He had been communicating boredom in 2nd grade, and was frustrated with sheet after sheet of homework that he would rush through because they were "easy".
So, we went for it.
I've loved the approach - how all the subjects compliment each other. I've liked the freedom to opt out of assignments if he has already mastered the material. Yes, there are tests and worksheets we must turn in, but, for the most part, we've been really pleased with the content and the approach. The amount of writing is overwhelming, but a skill he needs.
But . . .
There have not been any opportunities for him to connect regularly with other PA Cyber kids. And I wasn't able to get into local co-ops - nor was I eager to commit to being a part of one, since I work from home full-time as well.
And while he enjoys a weekly children's program at a local bible study I attend, he had this to say to me a few weeks ago -
"I like you being my teacher and all, but I miss kids."
I told him going in that we weren't married to this forever, so I took his words seriously.
Thus, we have applied to a local charter school with an arts-infused curriculum. Only, we don't live in the district, so the odds are NOT forever in our favor for him to be accepted - especially not in the 4th grade.
But, dagnabit, we've applied anyway!
(I'm not even complaining about him having to take the PSSAs with PA Cyber this year (can't stand those test), because at least he'll get to see other kids!)
He's a good student. He's good with other kids. He's creative. And, well, he asked to rejoin others.
How could I say "no"?
And he loved the idea of the charter school. And has his heart set on it. But I explained the set-up. He knows going in, that it's not anywhere near a done deal.
We find out in two weeks whether he got past the lottery.
If not, we'll research other opportunities, for I'm still convinced that he needs a bit of a different teaching model for his personalty.
Only, he'd like that model to include other kids.
And, really, who can argue with that?
Joline Pinto Atkins, an actress who also uses the web as her world-wide stage, can also be found writing at The Cuppa Jo, and is the founder of Daily Fast Fuel. She is wife to one (phew - that's good to know) and mother of two amazing children, aged 12 and 8, who are both named after authors. Passionate about fitness, she is an Independent Team Beachbody Coach and sweats out any daily angst by exercising at home, longs for good books, is a redeemed coffee addict, and won't share popcorn with anyone. Even her own family.