One size does not fit all

I went to private school until 4th grade, then attended public school from 5th grade until high school graduation. I would consider myself an average student who excels in verbal communication and has a passion for writing. I worked hard for almost every grade I got – even the C’s. I attended a commuter college, The University of Texas at San Antonio. For the most part, I enjoyed school. School was a socially stimulating environment that happened to require some academic attention. It served it’s purpose. I graduated. I went to college. I got a job.

That’s what you are supposed to do.

The Tortoise attended private school from kindergarten until 4th grade. She has now attended public school from 5th thru 8th grade and is excited about being a freshman next year. There were a couple of rough school years that I worried. She struggled to strengthen social skills, develop organizational skills and learn how to motivate herself. We have seen her fail as many times as she has succeeded, helping to build strong character and insight into what her strengths and weaknesses are. I am so relieved to see a more confident, articulate and happy teenager now.

The Hare attended private kindergarten but spent 1st thru 4th in the same public school system as her sister. In the beginning, I thought she loved school. I realize now that she doesn’t love school, she just loves learning. She qualified for a Gifted and Talented program in 2nd grade, which we tried. It wasn’t an environment conducive to her learning style and she was miserable. Third and fourth grade has been spent back in the regular classroom.

She is just as miserable.

My heart cracked like an egg dropped on the kitchen floor a few nights ago.

“I hate my life,” she cried, “I wish I could sleep forever…or until school is over.”

I am familiar with hormones and preteen drama. I understand bad days. But I am not prepared to watch the light of curiosity and passion fade from my daughter’s eyes. I am not prepared to keep watching my daughter scramble to keep her emotions in check or force her to fit my idea of what life is supposed to look like.

That’s why, as a family, we have made the decision to keep her home next year.

She is relieved and happy.

I am relieved and scared.

One person’s Humpty Dumpty is another person’s omelet. In 400 words or less, write about a time when something was irrecoverably broken and the ensuing scramble.

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About My Pajama Days

I am Emily Okaty Wilson, freelance writer, blogger and public speaker. It sounds better than saying I stay in my pajamas all day eating salt and vinegar chips. I claim to be a wife, a mother, a homeschool teacher and a musician. Sometimes I'm funny.
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11 Responses to One size does not fit all

  1. Miriam Joy says:

    I think, from what you said, it’s probably the right decision to have made. And with the internet there are so many courses you can do with homeschooling! (So many times I’ve wished that I could stay home, but alas, my parents will not allow it and it’s rather too late now…)

    And if it all goes mentally wrong… well, at least you’ve got blog readers to sympathise with you, right? :)

  2. Coming East says:

    I know it’s scary to do something so drastically different, but it’s scarier to not do anything when you know the situation is only going to get worse if you don’t change course. Now is the time to put all those fears away and celebrate the great decision you’ve made. This is exciting!

  3. lexy3587 says:

    That’s such a sad thing for a little girl to say, regardless of the overdramatics of every girl at that age. Sounds like you guys are making the right choice for her happiness, i wish you all the best in it :)

  4. You’ve come to a decision then? It’s amazing how those who love learning still may not love school and the school environment, doesn’t quite seem right. One size definitely doesn’t fit or work for all, so true. :)

  5. I applaud you so much for making a decision that’s right for her and for your family. I imagine it’s terrifying, but you can absolutely do it. And if it’s not right for you, you’ll figure that out, too.

  6. Poor thing. I’m so sorry for you all. But happy you guys have made a decision to help her. And good luck–I bet it’s one of the best years of your life! And hers too.

  7. As my kids get older I’m starting to understand what it must have felt like for my mother to see me in much the same position as The Hare. I understand now as a mom how the hurts of your children tear a huge hole in your own heart.

    I hope that home schooling will be just the thing for all of you. It’s wonderful that you’re doing what’s best for your child, even if it’s not the easiest thing.

  8. janine says:

    Wow. U are such an amazing mama to not only honor and acknowledge your kids’ needs, but to move heaven and earth to do right by them. Thank u for being the soulfyl person u are Emily. Xo

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