Monday, May 16, 2011


you know, i keep thinking i'm going to stop posting here -- feeling as if i've not a whole lot to share of our days...rambling and feral as they have increasingly become and certainly without a litany of things-we've-done that would be of interest.

but then i stop in for a quick visit and find myself smiling at what i find....and so i come back, especially now - as it represents a place of comfort.

because things are going to change, it seems, as Savannah has expressed a serious interest in going to school.


i know, right?

i'll be honest....i cried. i sat and grieved for a good hour before i could pull myself together enough to join the conversation.

the Green Man waits...

my first, panicked, thought was to say absolutely NO - we don't believe in school. {well, at least i don't - B  can appreciate the philosophy on both sides of the argument} and other parents refuse their children access to things they don't believe in, right? television, candy, religious beliefs...the list goes from the trivial to the deeply personal...

but what kind of life-learning proponent would that make me?

new leaves sprouting...finally

if this is how my child chooses to explore her learning, then i have to respect that and support her and provide her with that outlet. denying her based on my {admittedly biased} beliefs is fundamentally opposed to the whole concept of educational autonomy.

nevertheless, i'm freakin' terrified.

we've had conversations since, about the 'good' and the 'not-so-good'; we've explained how we are not (and never will be) concerned with tests and grades and the other measuring sticks that schools require to monitor the masses -- but we've also made clear that if she chooses this road, then those things will be applied to her. i don't want to demonize school {i don't believe that's fair} but i want her going in there with her eyes wide open.

view from the picnic

it's not a done-deal yet - we need to make an appointment with the Principal of the local school -- and i've no idea how they'll take us me. if i sense they aren't receptive to our philosophy - and yes, i realize they aren't required to be - then i may still veto the whole thing. she has come too, too far.....

i'm wracking my brain, trying to find alternatives...wondering if she needs more structure {although she claims not to}. my first instinct was to think i've failed her in some way...that i've not fulfilled her needs sufficiently. so i'm not laying down my sword, just yet...;)

any and all thoughts/suggestion/nuggets of wisdom are welcome....


  1. Wow - I was thinking of you this very morning, and wondering how you were getting along - and here you are popping up on the old blog line! Thank you. xx
    Of course you are fulfilling her needs - she just wants to experience another aspect of life thats all. Go with it (you are doing that anyway) and see what happens. She may love it and that's fine - or she may hate it - and that's fine too. You will deal with it however it works out.
    You have helped her become who she is, and if she feels confident or curious enough to want to test these particular waters, then you are most definitely succeeding in your parenting. Things change and evolve as we go along - she can always come back out if it doesn't work out - but it might be great - and you will be there for her.
    Big, big hugs Mel - it will be fine in the end. xxx

  2. The best thing about our children is that a day is just a day, and things are hardly ever "forever" things. You've laid out the options, the pro's and the con's, and she must make the choice from the facts placed truthfully before her. But if it doesn't turn out as she hopes then at least you honoured and respected her enough to let her choose.
    Blessings and hugs to you.


  3. ditto the other comments. And a reminder school like ant new adventure is full of all sorts of new experiences - not just tests.Let her sample and follow her lead with it. AND good luck.

  4. If she ends up going back to school, then she is returning as a confident, self-possessed young lady with her own strong sense of indviduality. She is not going as a tiny child with no idea of the alternatives, who believes that teachers have all the answers and that their rules are the only set that can work. You have given her so many tools with which to survive school as herself. You should be proud of all you have done (and will continue to do for her, and I am sure you are!). You should be (and are) proud that your daughter is independent enough to make sure such a decision, even if it is hard and goes against the beliefs of those she most loves and respects. Any child who can make such a strong decision for herself is going to do just fine in school, just fine as an adult. Walk with her aways....

  5. *sigh*

    thank you, friends....i so appreciate your thoughts on this. mine have become, expectedly, cluttered. but i'm closer to peace sometimes takes outside perspective to make things again, thank you!!

    much love to you all.....xoxoxxox

  6. Wow, a big moment for a homeschooling mother! Most of us have been through it I guess at some point. I said no to my daughter.

    Actually, I said yes, because I went through that whole thing of it being her choice etc, and then at the end of the weekend - the night before she was due to enrol - I said no. I decided it was too damaging a choice, she was too young and inexperienced to make it, and that in this case my wisdom and experience and true understanding of the situation was what was needed.

    I do think differently from alot of people in that I believe school *is* a bad place. I am against it in so many ways - it is filled with many wonderful teachers but the system is simply too flawed. I wouldn't let my child do anything else that would damage her, and so I wouldn't let her go to school.

    I am not generally a bossy kind of mother - my child is unschooled after all - but I feel strongly about being the Parent when it comes to such very important issues when adult wisdom is required. That doesn't mean people who let their children go to school aren't being good parents. It just means their priorities and values are different to mine, and that's fine :-)

    I appreciate this is a radical opinion and most homeschoolers would say differently. But I wanted to give you my honest experience. I guess if nothing else it will provide you with contrast! :-)

  7. By the way, it turned out I could meet my dd's needs in other ways that addressed the real needs, and years down the track she is very grateful that she didn't go to school after all.

    But it may be just the thing for Savannah :-)

  8. When the thought first entered, early on, I always thought I'd say Yes. As it needed to be their choice, right? And then I changed that to a No.
    Now I say "Not 'til they can look out for themselves", and by that I mean not letting others opinions seem more important than their own, not letting someone else make decisions for them (such as when to go to the bathroom or what to study now, or when to answer a question), and not until they can totally dismiss someone else's opinion as entirely irrelevant an be unaffected by it.
    So, maybe when they're sixteen?
    I'm with Sarah, I think it's a bad place, too... everything about it I dislike.
    It would break me heart if my child asked to go, as it did, I'm sure, yours. I'd figure out what it was this babe was really looking for, and make That happen.

    I just don't think I could chance it. I'd see it as sending my unprepared child into hostile territory, and doing that would just be asking too much of me. :(

    I'd feel that it would change who my child is, and I'm not willing to risk that. Yup, ' think I'd pull the trump card.

    This, of course, is not something anyone else can answer for you, and I don't mean to make it more difficult. I don't think any of us are passing judgment, here, just rolling a wretched thing around in our minds.

    It's a helluva thing, for sure. You have to do what feels right, I think.



  9. Such a tough thing to decide on.
    I winced a little when you said you never demonize school - I know that I have been doing this, ever since I began working in schools as a teacher.
    So given that I, like Sarah and Stephanie, believe that school is a bad place, what would I do?
    Actually, I already did it, last September.
    Rubin wanted to go to school, and I let him, despite all my fears. By December he wanted to leave school, and the timing was just right for us too.

    But, you know your child, and your family. And I think you know your own way of dealing with these things. I forget how old Savannah is now... 8? If Rubin asked me, at 7 or 8, to go back to school, I would probably let him give it a go.

    But, I know that the school would not respect my philosophy. In fact, they'd see it as a huge pain in the arse. Their priority is for people to conform, fit in, don't rock the boat. Be prepared for this, and consider how you will deal with it. They are not going to make exceptions for your wonderfully free, feral daughter. She will have to conform.

    Perhaps this is all part of her path. I admire that you respect her so much as an individual. I'm not sure I could stomp down on Rubin's wishes, if it were him, despite my feelings about school, as some children do thrive on and enjoy the school environment. Particularly if it's because she wants to go to college to become a Vet, or something very academic like that.

  10. Wow, I really shouldn't have written that when I woke up in the middle of the night. :/.
    "broke MY heart" and "...irrelevant AND not be affected".

    :) But it still basically said what I wanted to say, anyway.

    I should say that when I say "unprepared", I mean that these children feel limitless and intelligent and strong and brave.... and I know that school would not reflect that back at them. THey've known support and encouragement, and believe in themselves, and I'm not ready to give that up to outsiders to destroy.
    That's what I meant by Hostile, and that's what I meant by Unprepared. You know? They can (and do) thrive best here, in freedom and love.

  11. all good advice...wisdom.
    i'm sending you positive thoughts, as i'm not really sure what i'd do. trust yourself and trust your girl!

    (glad to see a post here. i miss you!)


~~Thank you for taking the time to share in our madness...please, if the mood takes you, leave your thoughts here:~~