Tuesday, August 16, 2011

T minus 1

Tomorrow is it. The first official day of homeschooling. Because it’s the first day of Dan’s former school, so why not?

So tomorrow morning, instead of dashing around packing his lunch and snack; instead of pushing him to hurry up and get dressed/eat breakfast/brush his teeth/make his bed/get in the car or we’ll be late; instead of fighting traffic, searching for a parking spot, dragging Johhny  along to Dan's classroom and then to the PTA Coffee after the first few minutes of school,

I will wait until the town has safely parked its cars in the school parking lots and then mosey out the door with my two boys. And we’ll have pancakes and sausage at the Pancake House to celebrate not going back to school.

I didn’t realize how weird this day would seem. How wrenching it was going to be to send my “letter of resignation” to the school, officially withdrawing him. How terrified I would feel, how unmoored when I thought about his name being deleted from the roll sheet. How sad to think that his desk will be empty tomorrow, and that his friends will look at each other and wonder why he is not there.

And yet. His desk, in fact, will not be empty. There will be an un-waitlisted student sitting at it (I know, right?), with her name neatly printed on a strip taped to the top of his (well, her) desk, so each of his friends will simply assume that he is in another class.  Four families know he is homeschooling, and by the time the PTA Coffee is over tomorrow, all of his friends’ mothers will know. In three days, everyone will know.

Which is scary in a different way.

I never thought that I would be scared. I’ve been dreaming of curriculum all summer, thinking of fun things to do, interesting things to study together. I’ve been looking at math curricula, writing curricula, reading websites about whether or not and how to teach cursive. I've written up lists of what I hope to "cover" this year--course of study, what, what? I’ve been collecting science experiment stuff, binders, paper, notebooks. I’ve been reading volumes and volumes of books about homeschooling. But it began to dawn on me yesterday that despite all of this, I am totally, completely unprepared and I am just going to have to wing it. A lot. I am not comfortable with winging it.

I’ve also been realizing lately that there is so much, so much that I want to do with Dan that I can’t start it all at once, no matter how exciting it seems to me. And also that a lot of what I want to do with Dan may not necessarily be what he wants to do with me. And I’m nervous about that, too. It’s hard for me not to drive the car all by myself.

But in honor of my former teacher self, I made a little list of what I want to do this week (in a strictly academic sense). I printed out a couple of little math worksheets because I know he’ll enjoy doing them. I have a tiny little seed of a plan for the very first tiny baby step and I’m not married to it, and I feel a little teeny bit better, even though--not to scare anyone else, but--I really, really don't know what I'm doing.

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