Way back when, a long, long time ago, Turtle Tuesday was lovingly adopted by my daughter, known around these parts as Turtle, and loyally written every week.
She really got into it, and even created her own blog.
Then she turned twelve, and the fun around here REALLY began!
Seems most stuff I suggest she try to do isn't really important for her to do anymore.
Seems I have become very old-fashioned and extremely hard to deal with lately.
Yep. That happened to my parents, too!
But one of the on-going debates we have had lately has centered around next year's schooling arrangements. See, Turtle really, really, really wants to go back to school for seventh grade. REALLY wants to go. I am not crazy about the idea. At all. For many, many different reasons.
So I thought I would be a good role model of problem solving, and I asked Turtle to make a "pros and cons" list for being home or being in public school for next year. Great idea (evidently one of the few I have nowadays, *wink*)! She got right to work. Ten minutes later she was downstairs ready to go over the list.
How do you make a logical argument to someone who is completely illogical? For example:
"If I go to school, I will see my friends more often". Really. Except for your homeschooling friends that you will not see at all. And of the four or so kiddos that you would like to spend time with at school, what are the odds that any of them will be in any of your classes? Or your lunch? And, by the way, there is no more recess in middle school. (which totally surprised her, by the way!) And then, when you count in school, before school soccer practice for school soccer, after school soccer practice for club, homework, dinner, and sleep, I'm not sure how much time you will have left even to breathe. Uh-huh.
Point two: "If I go to school, I will not have schoolwork on the weekends". See? How can I even open my mouth to argue things like this? And, just so you all know, I do not assign school work on the weekends. And not usually even on Fridays, either. Yeah, I know. I'm a real slave driver, here.
And the list went on. And my hubby and I sat open-mouthed, wondering how on earth to attempt to have a sane conversation with our obviously insane daughter.
Then she left the room and I had a nervous breakdown. Only half-kidding here, all. It was pretty ugly, with lots of tears and plenty of irrationality on my own part (wonder where Turtle gets it!). I might even have stomped my foot.
I know, I know. We are the parents, the adults, the ones making the decisions, yada, yada. And that is how we roll. However, looking back on the initial reasons and decision to homeschool, we did agree for it to be a year by year decision. We did say we wanted to "try" to make it through middle school. (I do need to digress here for one more minute, though. Who in their right mind would actually WANT to go to middle school, anyway? Those years were some of the most uncomfortable, awkward, horrid of my life!--but anyway...)
I no longer have a two year-old who is missing decent naps.
We have grown so much closer as a family since we have begun.
My kiddos know God so much better now.
And, you know what? Turtle is a beautiful, caring, sensitive girl who makes really smart decisions. She is reading the Bible through completely spontaneously. She can talk to people about God. She talks to me about things other people decide to do and what she feels about them. She is trustworthy.
And to give validation to some of her feelings, sometimes I am definitely in over my head here.
Sometimes (OK, oftentimes) Firefly has a bad day and it's just really not a whole lot of fun to be around here, especially trying to do a math test.
Sometimes, when you are twelve, and your mom drags you to a park day, it's really not that exciting.
And, sometimes, when you are the mom and you really have your mind totally made up and you are ripping your hair out from the stress of the decision and you just go ahead and pray about it, sometimes you get an answer.
So Turtle will be headed to middle school next year. She's already gotten her shots and everything, ha! (She must really, truly want to go!) We have an orientation to go to later this morning.
And, yes, our schedule will be less flexible. I will have to drive her back and forth every day.
Even when it is cold and raining.
Yeah, I know.
And, probably, she won't actually see her friends that much, and she will have schoolwork on the weekend, and it's going to be a huge reality check.
(And maybe she'll ask to come home again by Christmas. Hey, a lady can hope, right?)
But I am OK with it. Truly OK with it. The peace I have with the decision is nothing less than a little miracle just for us.
God's going to look out for her. After all, she was His first, right?
We'll let you know how it goes!