All parents want the very best for their children. From the very materialistic of wanting them to have the toys they want to have, and wearing the cutest clothes, to getting the best education that is available to them. Many things are easy to categorize as to whether they are indeed good for your children or not. Some things are a little more difficult to discern. Common sense will tell you that Grand Theft Auto 4 is not appropriate for a 7 year-old (or anyone for that matter), but what about Crash Bandicoot? The occasional indulgence of a piece of candy or some fabulous dessert should be fine, but they don't need to eat a quart of Ben and Jerry's. Moms, feel free to do this for yourself if needed. Those things are simple and really don't matter much in the long run. What about that education though?
This past fall we stopped home schooling out two children. Our daughter wanted to go to school for her senior year. She had applied to a private school run by our church and was accepted. Since she was going to be attending there, we also enrolled our son. He is in first grade. She is doing wonderful and really excelling. Her work ethnic has become more structured, she is part of the school newspaper, singing in the choir, and making great grades. She is flourishing in the classroom but also with her peers. She is enjoying it and I am very happy with how she has grow-up over these past few months. With her, we feel this was absolutely the right decision.
That leaves our son. Not to be partial or to brag, but he is amazingly intelligent so is our daughter). He learned to read when he was 4. It took about two weeks and he was easily reading "Little Critter" books to us with very little help. He is now 7. He has read the entire Little House Series, most Hank the Cowdog books, The Black Stallion series and one of Steven Hawkings's book for kids. My 7 year-old has read Steven Hawkings! When we started home school with him, we started him in 1st grade. He was not quite 5. He knew all the kindergarten material already. The next year we did 1st grade again. This time is was just a more structured curriculum than it had been the year before. He excelled. I didn't want to move him along to much, I'm not one of those who wants her child graduating college before they hit puberty, but I didn't hold back either. When we enrolled him at school, we were told that they felt it was best to stay with his age group, than to allow him to go on into second grade, so for a third year in a row, he is working first grade material. Now it is December, and I am second guessing myself. It seems our son's greatest ambition is to be the class clown. This past week has been a very trying week. After trouble earlier in the year with someone in his class bullying him, and him not standing for it, twice, playing to rough, and being too silly in class, he has decided it is his duty to make people laugh. We were called to the school for the incidents with the bully. We let him know that if we were called back to the school for any reason, he was finished and we would again home school him. Well, this week it happened. We took him out. What started out with silliness, became disobedience. That we won't tolerate. The school asked that we at least let him finish the semester. After 2 1/2 days at home, we sent him back. The next two days he was again in trouble. Now what? There is a week until winter break. If he messes up again before then, it is ours and the school's decision that he won't go back after the break. What really bothers me it that it is stupid little things he's doing. Making faces at people, sticking a pencil up his nose, throwing a Ziploc baggie of celery at his friend (who threw it back). He's been labeled an instigator (He didn't start the bullying incidents). Now every little thing he does may be grounds for expulsion, but it will definitely get him back home. I really only want the very best for him and right now I just don't know what that is.