Tuesday, September 3, 2013

First Grade Woes

First grade is killing me dead.

Kindergarten was so easy for my kid, so short, such a free extension of preschool.

First grade is school.

And my son hates it. He's exhausted when he gets home from his seven hour day and absolutely devastated over the idea of sitting down to do homework. His school ends at 3:25 so by the time we're home and organized, it's almost 4:00. That leaves relatively little time for homework and dinner and bathing and reading and a Bible story. Next week he'll start playing ball and going to Kid's Club at church--so we'll have even less time to figure everything else out.

He cries.

Every night.

Just at the idea of getting up the next morning and starting all over again.

Last night he asked me if I would please homeschool him. I'm not 100% sure where he even got the idea about homeschool but I've got a very short list of suspects. I'd like to have a word or two with them because my kid's idea of homeschool is FUN FUN FUN AND PLAY PLAY PLAY and, apparently, relatively little instruction. I told him he wouldn't want me to homeschool him. There would be tears--most of them mine. There would be yelling and refusing to do things and THE PLAYROOM WOULD BE GONE BECAUSE IT WOULD BE TURNED INTO A CLASSROOM. I told him as much last night as he sobbed into my arms over the travesty of public education. "That's okay," he said. "The bedroom and the playroom could be the same and the other room would be our classroom. It would be so much better."

Someone misinformed him.

"There are no friends here. No need for a lunchbox. No buying school lunch on occasion. No recess. No iPad."

"But we'd finish so much faster!" he said.

And on that point I couldn't argue. I spent three days in a first grade class last week. I know better than anyone that, one on one, I could do in two hours what took the whole day to do. So there is that.

That's just simply not the only reason we have him in public education. We have him there for friends. We have him there for learning to interact with various different forms of authority. We have him there to be a light and to show the love of Jesus. Our best witnessing opportunities have come from the very fact that he's at a public school. We have him there to understand that most of the world doesn't believe what he does--and to teach him how to interact with that world. Until the Lord calls me to pull him away from all that and teach him at home, we're going to have to power through.

I just hope he adjusts quickly because the tears are hurting my heart.

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