Although we are a committed homeschooling family, we have always been at parishes with schools and have made use of them during all of our children's preschool years. I wish it wasn't called preschool because the fact is we don't send our children to learn--I could fill that need at home--as much as to play and give me a few mornings or afternoons off. Preschool is a luxury, not a necessity, and once our children reach the age of needing more "book" learning they start staying home. With the first two children, now 16 and 13, the transition from preschool to home was nothing. They are both bookwormish introverts anyway, and didn't seem to miss the social aspect of going to school.
My youngest, age 5, is another story. An extrovert to the extreme, he LOVES school and has been known to cry when picked up to go home (not great for the ego, let me tell you). So I have worried that when it comes time to stay home in a few years he may not adjust as well as his sister and brother.
Today, however, I saw a glimmer of hope. Problem is, I shouldn't be happy about it. Because, you see, my 5-year-old lied to avoid going to preschool. This morning we went shopping for a Christmas tree. On the way home Evan informed me that he was sick and couldn't go to school. Since a cold has so far struck two of our number, I took him at his word. He did sound a bit congested this morning, and he has been sneezing. So instead of going from the Christmas tree farm to preschool, we drove straight home. And I couldn't help thinking to myself, "Wow! He actually asked not to go to school! Maybe we'll turn this kid into a homeschooler yet!"
But then the story changed: "I'm sick for going to school but I'm not sick for decorating the tree." Oops.
Boy, they learn young, don't they? So we discussed options. Make him go to school? I just couldn't bring myself to do that. It goes against every fiber of my homeschooling being. Banish him from decorating the tree? Too harsh. So we decided that for the rest of the afternoon--the time he would have been in school--he would not be allowed to see the tree but would have to stay in a different part of the house. When school time is up, so is his punishment. Of course, we also had a serious talk with him about lying and the 8th commandment.
(But I still think it's cool that he didn't want to go to school.)