My daughter has announced, via sign language, that she will not be going back to school in April.  She is going to stay home with me, she signs, and I am going to teach her English.

I am not sure how this all came about.  Last we asked, she liked school, especially math and art.  She really got into the story about Suho and the white horse that she covered in Japanese class.  She still talks, er, signs, about wearing a Mongolian costume and playing the batokin.

Maybe she got this idea about homeschooling because she saw me for the first time as a teacher.  At the end of the school year, I baked apple pie with the first and second graders and told them about Johnny Appleseed.  I wrote some English words on the white board at the teachers’ request.  The kids were mostly interested in the pie, but Lilia’s teachers commented on how she wasn’t clinging to me as they expected, and that she’d seen me as something other than her mom.  

I had a brief fantasy about homeschooling when I was writing an article on the subject, but I know myself and my relationship with my children well enough to know that it’s not for me.   But for the next week or so, I will happily teach Lilia how to write the alphabet and a few words.  And maybe we’ll write another picture book together like we did yesterday.

6 thoughts on “Homeschooling?!

  1. I just read this blog and then the one before, as I check your site about once a week or so… and it reads differently when you combine the two…. as she becomes increasingly more consciously aware of her situation and abilities/disabilities vis a vis all others, from family to kids in her school to kids in ‘regular’ school.

    That classic looking in the mirror and dealing with our truth. The acceptance of oneself as one is and learning how best to move on with this understanding. Parameters are always set up by society and it is up to each of us to see how far we can stretch the boundaries that limit us.

    Just a thought… as my father is dealing with his own situation just now… learning to accept the new limitations whether or not he likes it, within the general game of ‘waking up’ to recognize our part in the common play of life.

  2. Sue! Lilia is really growing up, isn’t she? She really seems to be wanting more independence and control. Kudos to her. If you teach enough english she may persuade you to move back to the States!

  3. Hey Suzanne, Your daughter is a work of art in progress. My daughter flunked math in elementary school and majored in it in college. Her 2nd grade teacher called me up to (gently) let me know she was the only one in the class who hadn’t memorized her multiplication tables. It became an after-dinner project for a while.

    If your daughter is understanding that she is behind the others, that to me says she is plenty smart. Give me a cyber whop on the head if I am out of place (I know how hard the mothers at our local deaf school work with their kids), but maybe there are home-school aspects you can do with her, like after-dinner study sessions. Or take her out of school early occasionally for “field trips” or when you go on some of your speaking engagements (contrary to popular notion, lightening will not strike you if you take your kid out of Japanese school for some casual reason!)

    I agree with Greg: Parameters are always set up by society and it is up to each of us to see how far we can stretch the boundaries that limit us.

    That girl is going to surprise you!

  4. Another thought–we’ve had our share of (mental) health problems in our family. Although my daughter was inclined not to go to school and I have a longstanding guilt complex over all of that, I can also see that special needs children require more and not less participation from outside parties. The help we have received from teachers, counselors, doctors, and other people who had nothing but love to offer kept us ALL afloat, especially at times when we were in danger in circling the wagon train and going for isolation.

  5. A long time ago, I decided that if my children didn’t want to go to school, I’d investigate other options, such as homeschooling. But like you, Deborah, I realize that I can’t educate or raise Lilia on my own.

    I’m not sure why she doesn’t want to go to school, but I do know that she seems happy there.

    I haven’t been making her do homework during this spring vacation, but I did help her write the text for her pciture book version of a mermaid movie we watched together, and I got her an easy workbook for learning to write the ABCs. Oh, and she’s gotten a little math practice from playing the “Pirates of the Caribbean” Life game. And yesterday, all on her own, she made a sign, using kanji, prohibiting her brother from entering the tatami room.

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