I'm starting an affair.
You don't need to hide your shocked faces. It's ok. In the spirit of over-sharing that is the hallmark of this blog, I thought I'd just come clean and let you all know at once.
Mr NilsenLife knows about it, and is incredibly supportive, if a bit worried about how it'll play out. My kids know about it, and as with most things I decide, they figure if Mommy thinks it's smart, they'll go along with the plan. My parents know too. They think it's the right thing for my family.
So: I'm starting an affair - an affair with homeschool.
I flirted heavily with homeschool last year. In fact, I think it's safe to say that homeschool and I got to third base: I bought a full curriculum, notified the school, made lesson plans. But at the last minute, I chickened out.
I couldn't go through with it. It's risky behavior - dare I say transgressive? Maybe not so much anymore. Maybe lots of people are doing it and as usual I'm late to the swingin' party.
When I tell friends about it, the 'holy moly, I thought this girl was sane!' thought bubble pops up momentarily. Then they smile and say "I'm sure you can do it. I'm just not the kind of person who could ever do that." They're not judging; rather, they're worried about me. They're concerned that I don't know what I'm getting into. They worry about what it'll do to my family.
But the allure of homeschool... so seductive. Slow mornings in pajamas, school outside at the picnic table on nice days, allowing time in the schedule for snow storms or beautiful spring afternoons, field trips every week if we want. We will indulge a small scientist's fascination with The Way Things Work, we will examine the Walters Art Gallery at our leisure, away from the weekend crowds, and we will take a tour of the fire station.
Everyone knows affairs have their dark side. Knowing you're flouting conventions, always wondering if you're doing the right thing: all of this will arise I'm sure. Perhaps by missing kindergarten in a classroom, my boy-child may be deprived of the experience of a lifetime. Who knows.
What I do know is that I don't enter into this without thought, without some serious prayer. I am following a mother's heart, and much of what's in my head backs my heart up. I have a little guy who isn't quite ready to sit in circle time and listen. A bright boy who is incredibly curious, incredibly thoughtful, and convinced it is not his right to demand any attention. A small boy, born with a full head of hair and a serious expression - both make him seem more grown up than he is. A boy who's learned to disappear in the noise and stress of a houseful of people - a boy who deserves his moments in the sun with Mom.
He will make his way in the world. He will do beautifully in school when he gets there. But for one short beautiful season in his life, he will be allowed to be just Lars.
I'm getting involved in this thing for my boy.