I’ve already had a dozen micro-meltdowns as I discovered that the only small talk adults make with children at the grocery store, the park, restaurants, involves all of the following questions:
“What grade are you in?”
“Are you excited to start school?”
“Have you met your teacher yet?”
“Well… yeah. She’s my mom. I do homeschool.”
Then there was the play date with Li’l E’s public school bestie, where the homeschool plan was announced to crickets. Okay, well crickets from the mom. The little girl instantly saw greener grass and asked her mom if she could come over to our house for homeschool instead. You’re welcome, friend’s mom!
It’s not even so much the reactions of the adults, as it is the sudden worry that my sweet girl is going to miss out on all of the attendant pageantry that comes with “regular” school: Meet the Teacher, the First Day, the Back to School Night, and class pictures. Forget my adult-sized, Facebook-induced “Fear of Missing Out,” I have proxy-FOMO for my 2nd grader!
Meet the teacher? She’s pretty thrilled that I’m going to be her teacher. In fact, she’s so proud of the fact, that I feel more motivated than ever to make this a fun experience for both of us.
First day? We’ll have one of those. We’ll pick out fancy first day clothes and have a special breakfast and take lots of pics with her “First Day of ___ Grade” sign, just like every year!
Back to school night? I’ve already decided that in honor of completing our first month of homeschool, we’re going to have a special dinner for the grandparents and great-grandparents where Li’l E will get to showcase her projects and tell everyone about her studies so far.
And class pictures? Guess what? I have a back drop (that isn’t a cheesy woodland scene or a pastel splatterscape) and a really nice camera AND even Photoshop. Plus, I won’t charge myself $50 for two 8x10s and a bunch of wallet-sizes that nobody wants.
Now instead of being afraid that my daughter will be missing out by not attending public school, I’m able to re-focus on how much MORE she’s going to get out of homeschool!
Reading and comprehension using books that are up to her crazy level.
Re-learning math at her pace and knowing that she understands it.
The freedom to choose science and history studies and projects that really interest her.
A flexible schedule to work in lots of family fun and travel.
And of course the opportunity to meet new friends and choose her own peers through homeschool groups, extra-curricular activities, and other classes.
Li’l E is so excited for the First Day of homeschool, and I am truly excited for her and our whole family!