The first year I homeschooled Rhino, I had a lot of feelings. I was unhappy to be homeschooling but relieved to have the option. I was angry there weren’t other options and guilty that I wasn’t working to create them rather than retreating into my little world of privilege. I was scared of Rhino’s initial academic meltdown and proud of her volunteer work and personal growth.
I was working through the personal and political repercussions of our family’s choices. What does privilege mean in the context of a child with disabilities? Is taking just two years away from the urban public school system with one of three children such a sin? I found myself pleased that our homeschooling endeavor wasn’t regulated (in part because Rhino was 16 and eligible to drop out if she wanted to), yet I found myself wishing there were lot more regulation of other homeschoolers. I developed a bit of an obsession with fundamentalist Christians.
I had no interest in the homeschooling community. A good friend recommended a book on homeschooling (it’s called Kingdom of Children), and I bought it, only to realize that there are probably 10,000 books I am more interested in reading. I find the whole concept of homeschooling annoying.
And that’s where I am now. I think homeschooling worked out well for Rhino in the particular unique circumstances she and our family faced in a particular moment in our history. I’m glad we were able to homeschool, though sorry we had to do it. I wish there were were some volunteer-internship based public charter school with a college prep curriculum and time for students to dream.
If I were a different kind of person, I would start that school. But I’m not that person.
So here I am, realizing that my opinions of homeschooling are more or less what they were when I started this endeavor—it’s bad for society and people shouldn’t do it. But I’ve made my peace (or as much peace as I’m ever going to make) with homeschooling Rhino anyway.
And even though I actually have half a dozen posts in draft, and thoughts about any number of things I’ve seen about homeschooling in the news, and experiences that I never got around to blogging about, I really don’t want to think/talk/write about homeschooling anymore.
Rhino continues to be her amazing self, and if you like you can follow her adventures at http://ofknightsandcollegiates.tumblr.com/ (she blogs with 4 friends who are all heading to college—guess who the cuttlefish is?)
As for me, I do have things I want to blog about, and when I start a new blog, I will post the url.
Go and support your urban public school system. And if you ever get a chance, you should pet a penguin. They are super-super soft, and forever after just thinking about how great it was will give you an endorphin rush.