Forced Our Hand

10/26/10 at 7:47 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

I’ve been avoiding this post, as it has some painful elements to it, but I may as well preserve it for posterity. Eight days ago Josh decided he didn’t like something and he blew up in front of his mom and brother/sister during a homeschool day. He had been struggling to get the work done during the week, as we have him enrolled in a Challenge Classic Curriculum and since school started he’s been either opposing his mom or whining through the day about how hard everything is. I knew it would be difficult for him but Kristal thought he could do it.

Anyhow, he snapped over something that seemed trivial, banged the walls and screamed at everyone, followed by his taking a “walkabout” in the neighborhood. I got home later and tried to talk through the situation. Kristal wanted to enroll him in public school the next day, but I asked her to take a day to think things through. We had talked to Josh in the last few weeks about public school and what would be involved with that decision. I had hoped to have a little cleaner transition than the middle of the semester, like the end of 8th grade, but Josh forced our hand.

The following day we got the information we needed to enroll him, and last Wednesday he became a pupil of the local middle school (6-7-8th grade, he’s 7th). The school was out on a field trip (attend a basketball game in Charlotte), so his first official day was Thursday. He seems to have fit in and has not had any problems, besides doing homework after school. I suppose that’s a problem for quite a few families.

At first Kristal cried a good deal, and she rarely cries. I know her heart was broken and she felt like a failure. She had poured her life into teaching him from day 1, and now she had to deal with the rejection. I can tell her relationship with him and the way she treats him now has changed. I’m trying to look at this as an opportunity for her to strengthen her relationship with Joey and Sandy since she’ll have more time for them. We are worried about possible psychological problems with Josh, and Sandy as well. They both show bipolar tendencies. It breaks my heart to even type that, as we want our children to be perfect and beautiful and good and loving. God gives us this hand to play, and we can only do our best with the hand we’ve been dealt.

We tried to convince him that he would get a far better education at home, even without the Classical Conversations, but his mind was set for public school and seeing his friends. I didn’t want to force him to stay in homeschool, so we let him go. He will occasionally say things that make it sound like he wants to keep the door open for homeschooling next year but I doubt we could trust him, unless he makes a big change in his attitude. For now he’s the typical wanna-be teenager, thinking he knows everything and that he’s smart enough to bluff through things he does not know but won’t admit. It’s the usual parent-child evolution: teenagers can’t believe how dumb their parents are, then when they get in their 20’s-30’s they realize how smart the parents actually are. The process is accelerated when they get kids of their own and find out “things” for themselves.

Well, by God’s grace we will get through all of this and I pray we will nurture these children to end up as Jesus-lovers and contributing members of society. Not much to ask, eh?

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