The Look of Horror

Today we received a little flyer in the mail with three sheets of pink paper addressed to “Resident”.   As soon as I saw it, I knew exactly what it was because we had received a similar one last year. But out of curiosity or perversity I perused the sheets while the potatoes fried up for dinner.

Then I looked across the room to my oldest daughter, age 5, who was sitting at the computer playing on The Littlest Pet Shop virtual world. I called her name once to get her attention, and then I said, “Do you see these pink papers I’m holding up? They tell me what I would need to do to sign you up to go to kindergarten in the fall.” She got this look of horror on her face and cried out, “But I don’t want to go to school.” I then held the papers high and made a big show of ripping them in half and throwing them in the garbage. She then got this big smile upon her face, heaved a sigh of relief, and went back to her computer game.

Many people may be horrified themselves when they read how I disposed of that information that my local school board sent me.  Never mind that legally a child isn’t required to start receiving an education until age eight in the state of Illinois.  In their eyes, what I did was probably tantamount to throwing away my daughter’s entire future.  I have set her up for years of failure as she will forever be behind in school.

It’s a good thing that we have absolutely no intention of ever putting her in any school.  I must admit there was a certain excitement and feeling of rebellion as I tore those papers up and threw them away.  I can just imagine how strange it will feel on the first day of public school to know that we will then be officially bucking “the system”.  I doubt we’ll be in our pajamas in the driveway waving at the school buses as they go past on that day (like some homeschoolers); after all, one of the perks of homeschooling is that you don’t have to get up that early.  We might have to throw our own private “Not Going to School” party, though…in our pajamas.

Oh, in case you’re wondering, she’s already learning basic addition facts.  She can sound out many three-letter words, and she can sight-read many computer terms.  She’s known how to write her letters since she was two.  Tonight we continued our on-going discussion about political parties and the presidential election.  Yesterday we covered many topics from Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution to the Louvre and the Mona Lisa as we looked at a pictorial tour that our friend sent us of his recent trip to France.  I think if she ever did go to school the biggest thing she would have to catch up on is how the system of school works.  Tomorrow she has gymnastics class where she has consistently received good marks for her listening skills and ability to get along with her peers in addition to her athletic skills.  So obviously the fact that she does not spend several hours a week with other children her exact age hasn’t stunted her social skills, either.

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