I follow the sound of the clinking spoon and see Emily sitting at the table eating cereal. Simultaneously Craig comes up the stairs and tells me that Sherese has slept in and she wants me to drive her to school. I go downstairs to see if I can avoid this by making her a lunch or breakfast. This is not going to be enough so I concede to drive her.
I return upstairs to see Emily laying on the couch snuggled into her blue robe, eyes heavy. “Other than being tired how do you feel?”
She is silent for a moment and then asks, “How do you mean?”
“How do you feel about your decision?”
Craig walks down the hall, dressed and ready for his day. He leans over me sitting on the couch and gives me a kiss. “Try and convince her to go to school today?” I will do no such thing so I just smile, acknowledging I heard him. He seems to feel he needs some control over this situation and I have no interest in talking with him about it first thing this morning.
He turns to Emily, “Are you going to school this morning?” Emily looks at him and an awkward smile starts to grow on her face. She doesn’t want to give him an honest answer. She is nervous. Not getting an answer from her he says, “You should try it again. One day is not enough.”
He begins to walk to the door but turns and looks at me one more time before leaving. His gives me his squinshed up face with head tilted to the side look that says you know my way is best Dear. Not acknowledging it I say, “Have a good day Dear.” and he is gone for the day.
Sherese follows his departure catching the bus a minute or two later. It is just Em and I. Well Teela is still sleeping. Our first day back at homeschooling. Bring it on.
Later that day …
Craig returns home from work and I am surprised to learn that he has a full-fledged plan for Emily to learn science this year. I had planned during the day that I was going to put my foot down with him this year. I was not going to go through another year of us debating the value of child-led learning. He doesn’t understand it or believe in it and I do with all my heart. It works best for Emily too. Now Sherese, if she drops out and does correspondence well Craig can have science up to his chin with her. She loves structure and wants a Regular Grade Twelve Diploma.
“Dear, you are brilliant, possibly even a genius, but when it comes to knowing how to educate our children you are behind. You are old school. You have a one way thought process. You are too logical and base none of your ideas on intuition.”
Perhaps I didn’t handle this right. I was not very smooth. I was distracted baking brownies with Teela and caught off guard at how determined he was. I thought I could tell him to back off and he just would.
Later that night he shares with me his plan of Emily doing 20 hours a month of science including science experiments and reports. My goodness! I actually laughed at him. I laughed at him for about 30 seconds until I realized his face just dropped. I hadn’t been aware of the amount of enthusiasm he had on his face until my laughter drained it right out of him. He was so excited sharing his well laid out plan, he even said he created a document for it, and I laughed at him. Shame on me.
Over and over again in our discussion he kept saying two things. 1) he doesn’t have a say. So he does want to be involved. and 2) he doesn’t understand. He says we never explain to him how or why Emily left school in the first place. In all honesty he is partially right. Partially. We have tried a few times but sometimes words get squiggle like the tape in a cassette player on the way into his his brain. He can’t actually understand some of the words I say. When you start talking about intuition or using words to describe it he doesn’t understand. Emily is an artist and she thinks differently than him. He doesn’t understand that either. Words used to try to describe the differences get all twisted and blotted out like that wrinkled cassette tape film.
(I once knew this guy in high school who was brilliant. Very smart man. He was dumb enough to let one of my friends pierce his ear though and as we tried over and over again to explain to him how to use a Q-tip and peroxide to disinfect it he could not understand so we just did it for him. This is my husband. Not literally but in his ability to understand something. Give him the Chinese version of a manual to take apart and put back together a car stereo – he can take one look at the diagram, have it memorized and do it. Ask him what his gut intuition is and he has no idea what you are talking about.)
We bickered and battered for some time. All friendly and amiable but in disagreement. He believes everyone love science and I tried to explain to him that not everyone loves science the way he does. I also feel that science is learned or understood differently through an artist’s mind. I see it as art before I see it as something cold, hard and solid like he does. Finally I gave him a post from the author of Free Range Learning. I let him read that and went to collect my brownies from the oven.
I read a few homeschooling blogs and in every case both parents are in agreement with the path taken. Did they start off that way? Are there any homeschooling blogs out there where parents are not in agreement? Please let me know cause I feel like I may be the only one!