Four years ago (almost five) I walked into a small library in a small town. I was wearing a baby bjorn, and in that baby bjorn was my two week old daughter. My first. We already had our little patterns, and one of them was to walk the two blocks to that library and try to find books with which to fill my days. (I was new to the stay-at-home-mom thing, and going out of my mind with all the time on my hands. It's not for the faint of heart.)
As I stood, running my fingers over the spines of the books, I came across a small (very small) section about... wait for it... homeschooling. Before I had time to even *think* I had a thought. (How does that happen?) My thought was "I should homeschool."
Quick upon the heels of that thought was this one "You have lost your mind."
Let's talk about homeschoolers.
Homeschoolers are nutso. They come from homes where their parents are too religiously fanatic to trust other people, so they grow up so sheltered and controlled that when they finally leave home they run totally amok and are a menace to society. The first homeschooler I met, in third grade, couldn't handle confrontation with his peers--at.all--so his answer to any disagreement was to punch you in the face. NUTSO. (And I'm really not just making this up--most of the homeschoolers I knew, growing up, really didn't know how to deal with their peers or social pressure of any kind. It was sad.)
But then, why did I have that thought? What was that thought???? An errant whimsy? An idle, fleeting thing that I could ignore? Or was it fate? Destiny? Kismet? WHAT?!?!
Fast forward a year or so, and find me now living across the country, on the east coast. Imagine my suprise when I moved here and it seemed like half the population was homeschooled. Not only were the kids homeschooled, but the kids were generally...cool. Friendly. Capable. Social. Not nutso.
Enter various friends and mentors, who I've chatted with about that moment in the library. They have encouraged. They have been great sounding boards. They haven't judged.
And this baby girl has grown, and has evidenced different delays along the way. She is academically bright, but has other struggles, and so attends the "special ed" preschool at our local elementary. It is a *brilliant* program. We love it. She loves it.
But next year is kindergarten. We're starting to play for real. And I have no idea what to do. I can't get this homeschool thing out of my head (despite the parts of me that still think it's sheer insanity), but I am positively terrified.
So, we're debating.
No child left behind?
I just don't know.
But, in an attempt...
Heaven help us.