Remember how awesome the first day of school was for me and my son? Welp. The school honeymoon is over.
I dated my husband for five years. W would fight (usually because I was complaining about him studying all the time--smh) and makeup like any normal young couple, but it was all cute and romantic and we kept at it because we were so in love. Then we got married and went on our honeymoon and came home and it was all so sweet--brushing our teeth together and grocery shopping together and cooking together and doing laundry together--doing all the things that, 15 years later, are no longer cute and that I do almost exclusively alone (and I'm fine with that because clearly I do everything the right way and one can only re-fold an improperly folded tee shirt so many times). Then we had our first fight. It wasn't much different from our fights while dating, but we were married then and our first real fight made both of us question our decision to marry each other. We both thought we had made the biggest mistake of our lives. I threatened to go back home to my momma and he offered to help me pack. I went so far as to dump my wedding planner scrapbook in the actual outside city trash, because that chapter of my life was over. I was going back to Memphis. Then we made up and decided that we would stick together, fully expecting more fights, because we I was young, and we are human and as long as we had love and respect we could make it through anything because we got married to get old and grumpy together and knew that we were meant to be together and that neither one of us is perfect (well, one of us is a helluva lot closer to perfect than the other one), but we're perfect for each other.
Yeah. Well preschool and Homeschool are my exes. Elementary school is my new-boo. The honeymoon was awesome, but two weeks in we were already on the rocks, but I don't wanna leave.
When things started to go south, I flashed back to the fights we had with preschool that led us to homeschool in the first place. Every day I convinced myself it would get better, but it just got worse. With elementary school it's like deja vu. Five schooldays in a row. Probably more days than that considering how great our son's teacher tries to manage his bells and whistles--she probably had been trying to work it out on her own before ever involving me or my husband. I was just beginning to think it was a big mistake. I had to quiet my panic and do what I knew I could do. The sixth day was way better. What I had done, worked. And on the seventh day, I rested. And Jesus put a rainbow in the sky. Then the floods came.
I knew the transition from homeschool to school-school was going to be no crystal stair. I hadn't expected it to feel like we never left though--that threw me for a loop. I have learned a lot about my child over the years and had to remember tools I had used during his previous rocky classroom days. It's looking like I still have a lot to learn.
My son's class has a substitute teacher the end of this week. When I had to pick him up early Tuesday at the behest of his real teacher, she and I agreed that it was best that I collect Zack's school books and assignments for the week and teach him at home to spare the poor sub the joy that is schooling Zack. Like, imagine the Tazmanian Devil entering a school and only stopping to ace math, reading and spelling tests, pee and eat, and the rest of the times in between he's spinning and leaving confusion and destroyed nerves in his wake. It's kinda like that.
So I'm homeschooling this week. We just got back from the library checking out books on Sacajewaya and The Oregon Trail because one of the reading selections his teacher sent home mentioned the Oregon Trail and Zack wants to go down that rabbit hole. I'm writing this blog post while he's practicing piano for his music time slot on his teacher's school schedule. I'd be lying if I said homeschooling has been pleasant a hundred percent of the time this week but, truthfully, it has been fun. I think we both miss it. I've tried to keep up with the teacher's class-day schedule, which has been the biggest source of challenges for both of us. He's used to looking at his daily work list and completing it in the order that he chooses. At school, he has to do it the order the teacher has planned and he's basically like, 'Waitwhat?! I demand autonomy!' There's the rub.
My favorite thing about homeschool, for him, is that he can get his work done, however he needs to get it done. Reality is that, at some point, he's going to have to have the skills necessary to work depending on or according to someone else's schedule. His biggest struggle is making transitions between subjects. The struggle is so real for kids like him with sensory issues. Wether he learns those skills at home or at school--time will tell. But I can tell you right now, we have left previous schools by choice, but this school is too perfect for our family in all the ways and if this relationship comes to an end, they gonna have to drag me out kicking and screaming like Jennifer (Hudson or Holiday either one) in Dreamgirls singing "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going"...
I'm staying'...I don't wanna be free.
I have really had to lean on my village, who reminded my just how much my son has grown as a person over the years and just how much a well-timed glass of red wine can preserve the mind. Having a teacher who is amazingly patient and on our side? That has made all the difference.
Is your kid doing well at school after a rocky start? Please say yes. I need hope.