Helena was up far too late the night before her first day at school as a pupil nervously asking me exactly what would happen… I of course don’t really know so I just guessed a few things. She is in the junior class and is probably the oldest in the class of 8. I have seen research on the benefits of being the oldest, being the one with skills but there is that nagging rhetoric on my shoulder about hoping she is being challenged…. perhaps says the more informed part of my brain I should hope that there is an open environment that allows her freedom, and that this combined with her own interests and strong will will mean she finds ways to challenge herself.
I did get asked by her teacher what spelling sheet thing she was on.. I can’t remember what I mumbled as my heart sank. I know I didn’t say what I thought.
The class I am with had to go into her class for singing and there she was sitting on the mat being a good girl, joining in and everything. This would have been unthinkable until quite recently. Her major fear the night before was about people talking to her and her having to speak. She did okay..
Perhaps the hardest thing about homeschooling is how others in the teaching profession, my colleagues, see the kids. My allowing Helena herself to decide and tell me when she is ready to do stuff is other people’s neglect, a reprimand for me and a belief that Helena isn’t as smart as their class tinged with some belief about my mollycoddled only child… perhaps I am paranoid but I do think people have forgotten someone made up these spelling lists, someone made up the stories about only children. How about we just let people be.
In the class I am following the rules in there was a kid who’d folded a single piece of paper in a way that meant it could support weight, he’d seen it on the internet, something to do with space… I was totally impressed. I wonder if we could do it with plastic but this is not what the current lesson is.