Friday, October 8, 2010

completely fictional story about a family's decision to homeschool

Once upon a time, in a far away land, lived a slightly crazy, often loud but still pretty alright family.  There was a Daddy, a Mama, a daughter, and two sons.  And, SQUEE!!! Mama had a baby in her belly.  

The whole family was excited because it was time for the daughter, Miss Jo, to go to Kindergarten.  They talked about Kindergarten.  They shopped about Kindergarten.  They visited Kindergarten.  They blah, blah, blah, etc. and etc., about Kindergarten.

And then Kindergarten began.  Grandparents came from far and wide to watch Jo get on the bus for her FIRST! BIG! DAY! of KINDERGARTEN!!!  Cookies were made to celebrate the end of the FIRST!!! BIG!!! DAY!!!  

And Kindergarten was totally awesome for one whole week, which really means three days, because in this far away land, the first week of school is three days long.  Jo's best friend was in her class.  All of her preschool classmates were in her class.  Jo's teacher came highly recommended, and was someone with whom the slightly crazy, often loud family was well acquainted.  

Success was predetermined.


Miss Jo started behaving really badly at home.  And "really badly" means the complete opposite of any behavior that was ever permitted or encouraged by the Daddy and the Mama.  There were tears and tantrums, refusal to eat or go to bed or bathe or use the proper, ummm, place (ahem).  And that was just after school.  Before school was terrible, too.  Miss Jo was so tired from school the previous day and not eating proper meals and refusing to go to bed, and she had a miserable time getting up in the morning.  It probably didn't help her that both her Daddy and her Mama were not morning people either. 

Miss Jo's grandmother started coming over before school every day to lend a hand.  Miss Jo's Mama was getting pregnanter and pregnanter and the two little brothers and Miss Jo's tantrums were too much. 

Mama called the school and Miss Jo's teacher and talked to the school psychologist (who refused to see Miss Jo because Daddy once did sound for her brother's band ~ hand to God that is the truth) and then talked to the school social worker who began to see Miss Jo on a regular basis and when she would get around to returning phone calls and reporting back to the Daddy and Mama would say that Miss Jo responded in a totally age-appropriate manner for every activity.  Everyone at the school seemed dumbfounded by the Daddy's and Mama's concern about Miss Jo, because she did perfectly well at school.  Perfect.  They all said perfect.

This was somewhat of a relief to the Daddy and the Mama, to know that there was *actually* a time when Miss Jo responded appropriately, but still they were baffled.

Miss Jo's teacher tried very hard to work with Miss Jo during school (and even after school) to help convince Miss Jo to behave better at home.  Teacher was a trooper.  But nothing helped.

Day after day, Mama and grandmother would exhaust themselves getting Miss Jo on the bus for school.  When the bus pulled away from the driveway, the Mama and grandmother would collapse on the sofa, regroup, and plan how to do it better the next day.  EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

And it never got better.  Never.  The entire school year was misery and battle and struggle and stress and crying and punishment and sanctions and grrrrr.  And that is not how the slightly crazy, often loud family wanted to live.

The Daddy and the Mama didn't send Miss Jo back to public school for first grade.  They sent her to a play therapist instead, and learned SO MANY THINGS about their child.  First and foremost, Miss Jo had some really serious anxiety problems that were magnified by being forced away from the safety of her home.  The play therapist told the Mama at every visit that keeping Miss Jo home was the right choice for Miss Jo.  And at the end of the first grade year, the play therapist recommended keeping Miss Jo home for second grade.

And so they did.  

The End.


  1. do you know how much that sounds like me and us?
    and how. much. worse. it is this year?
    and how i think i'm going to totally and completely lose it.
    and how i've considered home schooling her on my 2 days off per week. because it might be easier.

  2. And thank goodness mommy has the temperament to homeschool. When my kids were small, I would not have. And that school psychologist? Is nuts.

  3. And that completely fictional daughter is so fortunate to have her completely fictional parents. Because a lot of people? Well, they might've just kept soldiering on...

  4. That is very similar to our story except that we continued sending Miss E to school through the 3rd grade which was so not fun.

  5. Homeschooling is an awesome option - we'll be considering it for our young 'un when the time comes & we see what the schoolin' situation is.

  6. I remember the teachers telling me my daughter was fine. "She is hiding under the desk!".She has sensory integration disorder. I took her out until she was nine and went back with other children from a home school group. She is now twelve and is really doing fine. :)

  7. This fictional family I have created out of the depths of my imagination never had any intention of homeschooling. Both the Daddy and the Mama have educators in their families, the Mama was actually a certified teacher (until the Daddy told her she could stay teaching or stay married, but that's a whole 'nother fiction story...)

    And that Miss Jo? Well her demeanor changed SO MUCH for the better that (entirely fictional)people who see her only once or twice a year immediately noticed a difference. She seems so much happier! That's the little girl I remember! I can't believe it!

    And the Daddy and the Mama have learned some significantly more gentle parenting techniques which have made everyone's life better. When they remember to parent with those techniques, naturally.

    And Kimberly... I would love to find our more about your work with fun math. Your email address wasn't enabled in your profile. Will you email me?

  8. We were going to send Winston to pre-school this year. I was psyching myself out about it. Found a place, sent in a down payment... couldn't go through with it. I have spent 5 years teaching other peoples kids in a school system I don't like or agree with. I wanted more time with my boy and I wanted to teach him so many things still and give him the start I had when I was his age. Now, I'm heavily considering homeschooling both of my kids because I can't see myself sending them to public school or paying a crazy amount of money for a private school. Thanks for telling me about this fictional family!


talk to me, people. because you know i get all giddy when you do.