I Had a Plan (or so I Thought)
As Little grows, I’m beginning to realize that what I had planned for her does not always pan out the way I thought it would (go figure!), and we need to make adjustments along the way. One area in which I just might veer off course is with regards to her schooling.
Before Little even began kindergarten, I knew every school she would attend, and where she would graduate high school. I taught here early on that she had two options for college: Stanford and MIT. She was the only 5-year old around who knew what graduate school was, and that she would one day attend. Now please don’t get the wrong idea. I have no intentions of controlling Little’s life, and am far from those helicopter parents that make you cringe when you see them hovering over their kids. But I am a strong believer in the value of an excellent education, and have instilled that belief in my child. So when I noticed that Little’s love of learning was beginning to wane, and she would actually cry when I picked her up from school (and NOT because she wanted to stay), I knew something wasn’t quite right, and that train to Stanford was starting to go off the rails.
A Better Option?
After a less-than-ideal 2nd grade year, I started researching our options. Though Little is a straight-A student in her language immersion magnet school, I just did not feel like she was reaching her full potential. I also noticed changes in her behavior, self-esteem, and socialization habits. Apparently, being raised to be kind and respectful didn’t mesh well with peers who solved their problems by name-calling and getting physical. A girl who once loved school now felt bad for being the smart kid. And that’s not okay. Would transferring to a new school help get things back on track? What about private school, which I knew I couldn’t afford? Virtual schools are becoming more popular, and having previously taught at one, I knew what to expect. Then I thought that maybe, just maybe I should go it alone and teach her myself.
Do I Take the Plunge?
So here I am, 3 weeks before the start of a brand new school year, faced with a decision that effects the person who means the most to me in this world. Do I send my child down the expected and accepted path? Should she balance straight A’s with bullies, and bilingualism with low self-confidence? Will these hard knocks help prepare her for adulthood? Or do I trust my gut, take her education into my own hands, and do my best to produce a well-rounded citizen, yet be ready to suffer the possible consequences of failure?
I guess we’ll all have to stay tuned!