Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Choosing School, Part 2

I have been busy trying to think through the logistics of having a school-child in an unschooling family. The speed at which Tombliboo walks (or rather "makes stops") will practically make it so that by the time we get home from walkign J-Man to school, it will be time to start wakling back!

Well, not quite...but it isn't a very thrilling prospect. I can see me suggesting he takes his bike fairly quickly, though I doubt it would be safe.

So, I tried to phone the Ministry of Education to let them know I have a child who wants to try school...and I got struck by how silly it is that this isntitution has any say at all in what my son can and can't, should and shouldn't do.

I could only speak to three different people's asnwering machines, so decided to wait until tomorrow to try again. Meanwhile the dental nurse from the closest primary school phoned about appointments for the kids, and I was able to discover from her when school goes back, and that they open the Friday before for enrolments.

Meanwhile J-Man was happily plaing with his cousin M11. When his mum arrived to collect him, I asked if M had mentioned J-Man was going to try school. She said "no", and did J know what time school started? (lol)

I was really surprised that in all their time together J-Man hadn't told his cousin about this momentous step.

He said, "Yeah, about that.."

"I've been rignign aroudn and finding out when school starts, and what we need to do to enrol you adn so on," I said.

"Yeah...I don't think so Mum- I don;t really want to go now", he replied.

"But you said you did...I thought you wanted to, so Im organising it for you."

"Yeah, but I've been thinking about it...and I think I might lsoe my best friends if I started school."

"Why? You'd never lose J12, no way", I insisted.

"Well maybe not- we're going to be Friends for Life you know...but you know, Mum, that everyone changes when they go to school, adn not in a good way...I just don't want to take that chance."

"I can understand that," I said, "But most kids start school when they're 5. You'll be 10- don't you think who you are is a bit more stable?"

"I just don't want to go...I might in the future, but for now I'm happy as I am".
Can I do my happy dance now?

I was sure J-Man would go to school, and enjoy the experience, but realise quickly he would rather be his own bod. I didn't want to influence him in any way, feeling reasonably certain he would not go if he thoguth I didn't want him to...but what would be the use in that? I kind of still think he *should* go, just so he knows, and his curiosity cna be alleviated once and for all...but for now, I'm happy :0)


Cally said...

Well, we talked about it at the time, but just wanted you to know that I'm doing a little happy dance for you :)

Johanna Knox said...

Cool Lishelle - very cool.

Noix_coco said...

We thought about that lately as Anouk said she wanted t go to school at 5. I think at this age she might like it so I willdo everything to avoid even a trial, but at 10 you're right it is different.

Kiwi_Mama said...

If he does decide to go in the future they can attend school for up to 6 weeks without you having to notify the MoE. Some of the schools near here will let the kids do a trial day or week without expecting a commitment from us so maybe your local schools would consider doing the same.

Ruth said...

Just caught up with your news...happy dance!