While the relatives and schooling parents all seemed to breathe a sigh of relief that we were finally doing something sensible with the boys, all our homeschooling friends had reactions ranging from doubt to horror. Why ever would we give up the autonomy and freedom of homeschooling for the experience of others deciding what, how, and when our children need to learn? Honestly, I was happy with the curriculum and felt that my kids would have a great academic foundation in the program. And I felt that having outside authorities night reduce the power struggles I was having with the boys about schoolwork.
We expected a transitional period but it’s now halfway through the school year and both boys are too busy to go anywhere or see friends. We feel trapped in the house, we hardly see anyone, and it’s always all about getting the work done. This is childhood? One child is perpetually “behind” and under pressure (and not surprisingly, acting out) while the other has found that computer based learning provides a world of distraction and that one can skate along doing shoddy work with few consequences. The Princess is stuck at home while I crack the whip over her brothers and I am bordering on depression from the stress of it all.
Oddly enough, the boys tell me that they want to continue with this program. When we talk about it, it’s the structure that appeals to them but not the pace. But we don’t get to make substantive adjustments with Connections. We haven’t found a way to make it work for our family.
While I dread hunting down resources, planning lessons, and developing curriculum again, I feel like this just isn’t a good fit. I know I can take what worked from this experience and adapt as necessary to come up with something that works for our family and helps my boys grow into themselves. I’ve sent in the letter stating our wish to pull the boys out. And I finally feel like I can breathe again.