Well, we dipped our toes into the world of homeschooling… My biggest concern was how my daughter would be able to integrate back into traditional school if she wanted to in later years. Though my opinion of the “regular” school model is that it is almost obsolete, I realize my experiences in education and the school system should not foreshadow the opportunities my daughter might want in the future.
The few days were a mix of enjoyable breakthroughs and unpleasant breakdowns. I could see that my daughter craved the structure and we adjusted accordingly.
Through the process, I couldn’t help but feel like I was just a temporary stand-in for her teacher until we found a more sustainable solution.
By the end of the week our concerns about her future in schooling came to a head when I realized she wanted me to just be her dad, not her teacher.
She needed me to teach her how to curse when you hit your hand with a hammer and why I think aliens exist; not turn each day into Dad standing in front of a chalkboard harping on math problems.
It wasn’t going to be fun for either of us and she’s just too smart for us to screw this up, so we needed a solution, and fast.
We couldn’t experiment any longer, the signs were clear. She needed the structure, without the distractions of the traditional classroom.
We found a middle ground in what is known as a virtual school program. Not exactly regular school, not exactly homeschool. In this model she is able to participate in normal curriculum, engage with others and have a schedule, a teacher, and learn accountability in a way that I see the future going: online.
After a week we experienced that homeschool’s most liberal model wouldn’t work for any of us at all. We were selling our daughter short in a way that was not productive and trying to wear all the hats instead of the most important one, just being parents.
Though our limited experience with homeschool may have derailed a bit, it lead us to the perfect solution for us. There’s no shame in dusting yourself off and trying again. There is no “one size fits all” solution to any problem. As a parent, the solution is always to follow your heart.