Well, we decided to keep the boys in the private school they’ve been in for more than a month. Ezra, who was the ringleader of Operation Freedom, continues to shed a few tears, but we are resolute. Here’s why:
1 – I’ve been working on a book for, well forever. I just got some really good feedback on how to move it forward and I want to spend the next three weeks working on it. So unless they are torturing him at school, he is going to have to tough it out.
2 – When I met with his teacher last week, I learned that Ezra has completely snowed this kind woman. When I told her that he is claiming that he is bored and that I don’t see any work in any of his notebooks, she told me that this is because Ezra informed her he doesn’t like to write. Aaahhhhh. It’s becoming clearer. Ezra has dyslexia, which makes copying off of the board more difficult. And when you are copying in a language you don’t understand, it’s extremely difficult. You end up searching the board for random letters that you think are next to the letter you last copied. He is also quite delayed in his fine motor skills. So he has a horrible time writing in general. And then there is his other problem, the one that has no clinical definition: He is cute. And blond. In a country with no blonds. So he tells the teacher very nicely that he doesn’t like to write, and she doesn’t make him do it. For the sake of his future wife, I am keeping him in school for another month to give his teacher, armed with new weapons against his charms, a chance to help him do something he is convinced he can’t do. I know that we could work on this problem at home as well, but I don’t want him to get the message that if he acts dumb and flashes his helpless puppy dog look he can get away with not working hard. I think the new strategy is working because for the last four school days, he’s lamented, “Why?! Why did you have to tell her to make me do work?”
3 – Zach likes it there. He claims that he would prefer to stay home, but he gets up excited each morning to “go see my friends!” Zach needs to play with other kids. At home, we have lots of opportunities to do this, even while we homeschool. Here, that’s not the case. So Ezra will have to tough it out so that Zach can play with friends.
The truth is that you can justify whatever decisions you make about schooling. For our family, homeschooling is the hands down winner when we are at home, but even for us, we can come up with as many reasons to go to school as we can for schooling at home.
In the end, you make the best decision you can, capitalize on its strengths, and, within its constraints, you learn to tough it out.