How’s Public School Going?

Seems like everyone I talk to lately asks, “How’s school going for Lindsey?” We’re not even a month into it, so it’s a little early in the journey to write a post about life as a homeschool/public-school mom, but I can tell you how it’s going so far. It’s not all good, but it’s not all bad either.

schoolLindsey is loving it — but I expected that. While the social aspect of school is not at all why we sent her, it does have a couple of benefits, including the fact that it’s making her more invested in her life here, rather than longing for her old school and her old friends. This, I hope, will help anchor her here, and help her continue to feel more and more at home. One of Lindsey’s friends who was adopted as a teen recently left her adoptive family and went back “home” as soon as she turned eighteen — even though she was not yet out of high school. I do not want a repeat of this story with Lindsey; I want her to release those ideas long-ingrained from her time in foster care. (This story will have to be a whole ‘nother blog post.)

Being on a more structured schedule seems to be good for Lindsey. She is sleeping better, for one thing, which has long been an issue for her. Participating in more physical activities is contributing to that; she is genuinely tired in a good way, so sleepless nights and bad dreams rarely plague her now. This is a blessing. When it was just me trying to get her on a schedule, she was resentful and grumpy; now it’s out of my hands, so she’s doing it without these negative feelings towards me.

Finding family time is harder now. Kathryn has a couple of new commitments (to be explained in another blog post soon) that conflict with the few times when Lindsey is at home, so it’s very challenging. We definitely have to be much more intentional about prioritizing what little family time we do have, and trying to make it fun/meaningful.

However, on the flip side, because Lindsey had idealized/idolized public school, there often seemed to be an undercurrent of resentment because she felt we were keeping her from doing the ONE thing she wanted to do. That seems to have mostly disappeared, so in general (though there are exceptions!) the times we are together have felt a little more warm and fuzzy — but just entirely too infrequent. We need to find a balance.

So far Lindsey hasn’t had any major tests, assignments, or projects. I doubt there would be much that could change her love of the social side of school, but she’s going to have to actually do the hard work of getting the grades she needs, too. When the workload gets heavier, I’ll be interested to see how she feels about it all then. The few times she’s complained, I’ve not been very sensitive about it; I’ve reminded her that this is her choice. She told us she couldn’t learn any other way but sitting in a classroom with a “real” teacher, so we expect her to prove this with her grades.

My biggest rant (so far) is the un-helpfulness of the staff I’ve dealt with at the school. I hope for the sake of my friends who have kids in public school, that their schools are more cooperative and parent-friendly! I’ve been unable to get any clear answers from Lindsey’s guidance counselor about credits and things like that. I thought possibly that was just due to a little anti-homeschool sentiment, so I tried to be extra nice. But even the times I’ve been in the office or had to call the school with a question, I’ve felt like I’ve been totally given the runaround, and that’s even when they don’t knowing who I am or that I’m a homeschooler. I don’t deal well with illogical policies or less-than-helpful people who don’t seem equipped to answer my questions or even willing to make the effort to find the answers.

So — that’s my rather long answer to the question everyone has been asking. I will, of course, keep sharing about our journey as we go along!