Wednesday, February 20, 2013

on not homeschooling

today was an exciting day in the dean house, because it's official:

kal is going to school! [in august :)]

we have been talking about homeschooling since before our kids came home. we had a lot of reasons why we wanted to do it, and a lot of those reasons still stand (meaning that we haven't ruled out homeschooling for the future).

but right now, we have a kid who has been asking about "going to school" for quite some time now. she's an extrovert (she doesn't get that from me), and the more we've come out of the cocoon we've been living in the last nine months, the more i've seen that the community of a more traditional classroom might be good for her.

it's been hard to make this decision, especially because (for me, at least) pride is involved. from an adoption standpoint, i want to shout, "my child is attached enough to do this! i love her even though i'm sending her to school! she won't think her school is an orphanage, or her teacher is her new mommy!" (and if she does, we will pull her out. duh.) from a we-said-we-were-gonna-homeschool-but-now-we're-not standpoint, i want to shout, "we didn't decide this because homeschooling was too hard! we didn't just 'see the light' and realize homeschooling is crazy! we might still homeschool kal or buma or any future children!"

i just realize how much i care what people think about me, even when i'm still confident in the decision i'm making.

but enough about pride, let me tell you about this awesome school.

it's called the children's center, and i've loved this school since i worked in the daycare there for a summer in 2008. the school primarily serves children from birth to elementary age who have physical and/or developmental disabilities. however, they also have integrated classrooms where typically-developing children learn alongside children with disabilities. recently, the school added a kindergarten class for typically-developing children. because the school is part of the county school system, the curriculum is the same as any other public school kindergarten (thus, kal would be on track if we eventually switch her to a public school). however, because the school serves children with special needs, it gets a lot of unique special programming that the children in the typically-developing kindergarten class also benefit from.

for us, this is perfect. we knew if we were going to choose something other than homeschooling, it would have to be a little off the beaten path. we love that kal will go to school with lots of kids who don't look like her, kids who she can learn from and vice versa. diversity (not just racially, but in other ways) is important to us. it also seems perfect for our family, as disability is part of our family's identity (since jamie is blind). we want kal to see disability in positive ways. but we also love that while she will get a traditional education in some ways, she will be exposed to a lot of different "specialities" that she may not get in a traditional public school.

there are also benefits for our whole family in this. buma is still behind in language development and probably needs more one-on-one time with me, perhaps even some therapy. we have talked seriously about adding to our family sooner rather than later due to the fact that i'm at an increased risk to develop another huge ovarian cyst (and have already lost one ovary). so while i could homeschool with all that going on, i think this (for now) helps every child (even future ones, if there are any) get the most of mommy.

even though this is not what we planned on, we are so excited. i literally got teary-eyed as i walked through the school today because what is happening there is so beautiful, and i can't wait for kal to be part of it.


  1. girl you should feel NO GUILT about doing what is best for your child!!! You and Jamie know her better than anyone else!! No one should judge you for that and you should not have to defend sending Kal to school! And it sounds like an awesome school at that!!!

    1. thank you! i've really felt the most "blah" about all the people who nay-sayed on homeschooling. you know how people like to pat themselves on the back because they said you'd eventually come around. i actually still want to homeschool at some point, and i think buma is definitely my contender for "child who needs homeschooling."