It's been a weekend, but between giving a few puppies away and going shopping I feel about the same as the rest of the week. Esme and I have had two conversations about her homeschooling - and how it will most likely continue over the next year. She was arguing hard the other day - and we cut her off finally to think over what we said.
Today, I talked to her in town a bit more about it. I know she misses the specific kids she was friends with - even worries about them - but I am trying to have her see that the rest of the environment was just not right for her style of learning. In fact, although she doesn't remember it that way now - it was shutting down all the curiosity and questions in her. We are so glad to see those back - and to answer her questions when she has them (usually, within reason) - that I don't want to see her going back to rocking in her chair, angry at the world and then fighting her to bed and back awake every day of the week for something that just doesn't fit her.
Just sitting there in the car she was full of questions - Why are the gauges dark and showing 'nones' right now? How does the car know when the electricity is on from the key to make the gauges know the gas tank is full or empty? Can she see those wires? Why does the air conditioner button go on or off even if the key wasn't in? etc etc...The other day she saw me sorting some beans out of my collection, and asked why. I told her there was a spot of green mold on this package and I didn't want it getting into anything else - so I was going to throw it out. She asked if we could keep it to 'do science' on it, and see if we could make it grow more mold. So, I've kept it aside in another jar - and we'll try to wet it and put it in a warm window next week to see what happens.
She has all the curiosity we had as kids - which gets her in trouble sometimes, her brain is always moving.... Yet, I know she isn't entirely like we were as kids - too much has changed. There is now 24/7 computer access with internet, games at the touch of a finger, books are 'always here', not often fragile treasures to be discovered and perhaps never seen again... VCRs were just roaring up when I was a kid.. and it was amazing, not 'ordinary' to have things to watch over and over.... but the loneliness and not being around any other kids like you, even sometimes when you were in a swarm of kids... that rings with me. And that feeling of being alone, or worse - singled out - in a crowd, was worse than being alone in reality and having to make everything up in my head. She told me this morning she was still confused by her 'special eyes' that cannot see themselves but can see all the things she saw in the past - if she thinks about them. And the next minute she is discussing what her plans are for building something, or trying a new combination in a game she hadn't tried together - just to see if it does anything. She is just so many ages at once... and our school system isn't about cherishing and nurturing that - it is about stomping it into a mold instead. Maybe I am protecting her from too much there - maybe not.
I want her to grow into her own person and not be forced into a box by the pressures around her... so hard to find a good way to do it. But it is nice to see her 'melt' into crowds in the roller rink, even if she stands out like a fish out of water at the library or park sometimes... she gets along very well with older kids. That is a little scary - but she develops skills and language in a blink of an eye sometimes in those situations... even sometimes just watching a television series, she suddenly tells me I'm not the Tree of Wisdom today, because I didn't know the kids would all disappear an hour after we got somewhere... I'm taken back and amused at the same time...
I tried to remind her again today about all of the reasons we are homeschooling, and the things she DOES get to do now that she couldn't when she spent 10 hours of her day at school and had an early bedtime to boot. She does like being able to do the greenhouse and building and science things - and meeting all the people at different stores and places. We talked about how the cold and wet weather has kept us from doing a lot of the fun things, park, lake, etc.. that were very fun for her last year. And how when it gets a little warmer again we can go to a farm again, make our garden, go to the lake often, run at parks for hours etc... and she will not feel so cooped up and miss her friends (who by the way HAVE grown and are doing their own things) from her class.