This week was the first of three Back To School Nights for The Gang. The Boss and I went to Li'l Empress' kindergarten class, sat in her little chair, wrote her a love note, and learned all about the exciting things she'll get to do this year. I couldn't help but feel The Twinge as I sat there, remembering all the years I got to teach kindergarten to the older kids. Sigh.
I really loved home-schooling in the early years - watching my kids blossom as their confidence and love for learning took root. I know that the public school setting is the best choice for our girl. The services and therapies that are available to her in that setting are invaluable toward setting her on the best path possible for developing a love for learning and meeting her needs in light of her hearing loss.
I know all that, yet I still feel a teensy bit of mourning that I have to share that place in Li'l Empress' first experience with school and learning with her teacher. I am terribly grateful for this teacher - she is so in love with her kids, you can just see it. She has a true teacher's heart. I know that Li'l Empress will bloom under her care and teaching. And our hearing and speech support team is amazing. I can't wait to see what progress they make together. But I still feel The Twinge.
After our kindergarten session, we headed upstairs to the 5th grade class for Baby BlueEyes' session. Already, I can tell that this kid is going to have a phenomenal year. His teacher is so keen on getting to know each kid as unique and respected individuals. In fact, she had each parent fill out a little survey asking us particular questions about our student's strengths, weaknesses, fears, skills, hobbies and so on. She talked a lot about personal responsibility, giving the kids a voice and letting them learn in their own creative ways. And get this! She's known in the building for NOT giving a lot of homework and for NOT giving standard end of the unit tests!
As she was talking, I felt The Twinge again. Sheesh, I've never home-schooled for 5th grade but all the excitement that she was sharing and the creative ideas that she has for helping kids really know the material were just getting me all tingly. I don't even really WANT to home-school, let alone home-school for 5th grade, which requires a much higher level of math than I would ever feel comfortable doing, let alone teaching. But there it was. The Twinge.
I should be well familiar with The Twinge by now.... As I was telling a friend the other day, I seriously spend much of August every.single.year. questioning the plans that The Boss and I have previously agreed upon (usually around March or April during my "yearly evaluation" of the coming year) regarding The Gang's educational plans for the coming school year. Seriously. The Twinge almost ruins my August almost every year. If we didn't have a ton of family birthdays, a pool, and a bottomless iced tea jug, it WOULD ruin my August. (Yes, it really IS that easy to redeem my summer. I'm a simple gal, what can I say?)
But then I came home. All The Gang members were already settling in to bed, backpacks were lined up neatly in the laundry room and lunchboxes were stacked on the counter. Laundry was humming along. Dr. D was overseeing the night-time routine from the couch and the house was hunkering down for a quiet night. I started my To Do list for Friday - big yard sale on the agenda, followed by laundry and dinner planning.
And The Twinge was gone. Just like that.
The peace of knowing that this year's plan is the right plan for us blankets The Twinge once again, settling any twitching and twinging with its weight. Its rightness.
Until about March. When I begin the examining and observing and analyzing of educational plans for The Gang all over again. And then? Well, then The Boss starts The Twitch. But that's a whole different post, isn't it?