To say I was anxious to see TJ Thursday afternoon would be an understatement. I was dying! I had gotten a call from TJ at 11:30am, but didn't hear it ring. He didn't sound happy, so I knew he had at least had a tough morning.
When the kids came piling out of the classroom, TJ walked past me, faking a smile, and quickly blurted, "Let's go to the car...now."
The teacher said he had been very anxious a couple of times during the day, but calmed himself down just fine. I didn't get the chance to visit with her beyond that.
TJ instantly let us know he had no desire to go back ever again. He liked the other kids. He loved music class and social studies. He hated the food, which he had been excited about when he first saw the menu, and just about everything else. He said, more than anything, he wanted to be home with us.
That evening, TJ helped Ken install a ceiling fan in Ken's office. They talked about public school, homeschool, and the expectations we have for TJ this year. After talking about it, Ken and I both agreed that public school was not the answer for TJ.
Much of my struggle with TJ and frankly, all three of my older kids, is following through with discipline and routine. There are some behavior and character issues that need to be addressed and chiseled. Those issues are parenting issues that won't be solved by sending one or all of them to public school. Whether TJ is in Scouts, co-op, Sunday school, or just with neighborhood friends, he excels. He's a leader. Adults pull me aside to tell me how well-behaved he is, how sweet he is to other kids, or how helpful he is. At times, I don't know whether to laugh with pride or cry of shame, because he can be downright rotten at home! He tests me and pushes me to my limits. I figured putting him under the instruction of another teacher might solve the problem, but that was not the answer.
I still don't have all the answers. I've spent much of the past two days preparing to pull in the reigns, batten down the hatches, and put together a solid plan for the kids this year. The burden is on me, as their mom and teacher, to do the tough work that I expect them to do in return. I'm trusting God that this will be a good year for all three kids and their schooling. We'll hopefully be joining a co-op soon, getting involved with homeschool soccer and park days, and feeling like we have "started school." The adventure continues!