On School

*deep exhale*

I’ve been thinking about school a lot, lately. I knew I would eventually write about this topic, but I’ve been putting it off.

Part of my hesitation in writing this is I just don’t know. I just don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about Theo trotting off to kindergarten this fall (why do we keep saying “fall” when, let’s be real, the kids head to school while it’s still summer).

And, I know schooling is this cauldron of carefully crafted arguments and opinions and theories and, to be honest, I just don’t care. I mean, if you’ve figured out life for yourself and your family, kudos. Seriously. I think that’s awesome. But what you’ve figured out for your family doesn’t really mean much for mine.

Don’t be offended. You feel the same way.

So school.

I just have all this dread about school. I feel like we are on the precipice of a cliff and come August whatever, we are all going to take a collective jump into the abyss of school. Not public education – school.

I hate doing things because someone tells me to.

I hate being on someone else’s schedule.

I hate collective standards for a group made up of individual people with individual needs.

At this point, it may surprise you to know that I was good at school. I was a mostly A student. I was good at learning and forgetting, at falling in line, at “doing school.”

I’m not really an anarchist or a rule breaker. I’m not trying to make myself out to be some sort of difficult person, because honestly, I tend to be more of a people pleaser than anything. And maybe therein lies the rub.

I’ll follow your rules that don’t make sense and have zero intrinsic value or meaning and I’ll make you happy by doing so, but I’ll be miserable.

And that, to me, is school.

There are just all these standards. These expectations. These benchmarks. And, God help me, this pressure to turn out quality little human beings through absolutely ridiculous methods.

Gah.

All of it just overwhelms me. I don’t want to send Theo off to school in the “fall.” I don’t want to homeschool him.

I just want to keep doing what we are doing. Living life together. Playing. Spontaneously learning. Growing. Messing up. Asking for forgiveness. Starting again.

If I hear one more person talk to me about school as just one of those things we all have to do then I really might do something crazy. Like, seriously. Crazy.

The critics’s heads are spinning right now, calling me naive and pursing their lips and muttering she’ll learn, she’ll see.

And maybe I will.

But maybe not.

{A huge shout-out of gratitude to my husband, a kind and capable educator in the public school system. We may not have the same perspective on this one, but we sure have the same goals and values. I’m grateful for our differences. It’s through them, that we’ll forge new paths – together.}

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