Recently, I sent the Sugar Babies to a regular public school. They've been in publicly funded charter schools this whole time, except for one year when we had the little lady in private Kindergarten. She missed the cutoff to enter school by two weeks, but was smarter than some first and second graders we knew. Granted, their parents weren't the sharpest tools in the shed... Anyway, I suppose I could say that I'm sending them back. Sort of.
They are now in a typical grammar school situation. I drop them off every morning and pick them up every afternoon. Once a week, they spend the night at their dad's and walk to school with him, since he lives just around the corner. They line up for lunch at a cafeteria. They play on playgrounds until bells ring. They have backpacks stuffed with crumpled papers and permission slips.
It's all very average... but not really.
Upon entering school, the teachers have already singled out both of the Sugar Babies as being above average. My son was awarded some kind of good student award in his class the first week and has been powering through his work with little or no direction. He even taught his teacher and class a trick to remember the directions on a compass rose: Reading clockwise, Never Eat Soggy Waffles = N E S W. My daughter came home on Valentine's Day, two and a half weeks into school, to tell me that she was being awarded Student of the Month. Her teacher was impressed by how easily she jumped into the lessons and how quickly she made friends with all of her classmates. She now leaves her class every afternoon to join a smaller, advanced reading and language arts group.
Yeah, I'm pretty damn proud of my little Sugar Babies.
Someone commented that this must make me feel better about sending them to a regular public school. I had to laugh. I felt good about sending them back, but not for the reason she might have thought.
The reason I had to send them back was because I was getting far too busy working and meeting with prosepctive clients, as well as traveling to meet with companies that I'm working with. With all of that, it was nearly impossible for me to keep up with teaching them. Even with so many interruptions in our teaching schedule, they managed to stay at an advanced learning level. Why? Because they have learned to LOVE LEARNING!
It was always my intention to send the Sugar Babies to a school full time once I felt that we had done what we could on our own. In the first seven years of a child's life, their personalities are formed. I wanted to make sure that in those seven years, they learned not only the basics, but that they felt confident about their abilities and that they would be comfortable working on their own. So to the woman who said that I must feel good about sending them to school, I had to kindly reply that, actually, I felt good about keeping them home all this time.
There is ONE thing I'm not thrilled about. For that, you'll have to go check out my post at Aiming Low. When you get there, you'll see that I "liked" my own post. Hey... SOMEbody had to!