This past week was, well, intense. Let's call it that. We were saddened by the sudden and unexpected death of our friend Fran, and we just returned from a most beautiful, faithful funeral, attended by most of the Catholic homeschool group, friends, and their large family.
A very sorrowful week. The weather was the gloomiest, and Number Seven was teary, very teary. Growing up is hard to do. She has been gradually expressing her unhappiness with school life. We had family meetings: she talked of the unnatural environment school is. She does her work, she doesn't have trouble getting up by herself and ready daily, and her grades are good--these aren't the problem. She now sees the advantages of homeschooling as she has never seen before, and talked at length about them.
Ironically, the fact that school doesn't really allow any time for socializing and forming friendships is one of her strongest complaints. At the parish and in the home-school life, kids are allowed to meet and spend significant and meaningful social time. She is saddened to realize that much of school discipline and rules is geared towards the kids who would abuse the rights. It is sad, and I remember feeling like that at school when I was young... guess it hasn't changed much. Indeed, it seems that because of the fear of cliques being formed, and "bullying", free interaction between students is all but non-existent. This fact was confirmed by the assistant principal with whom we met yesterday.
Husband and I don't really have specific complaints, we knew it was a public school and our expectations were realistic. The people there were always polite and helpful. The school just adopted Common Core so many teachers were also adjusting to something they didn't choose. (Common Core is a separate topic, all I will say now is that anytime so much power is concentrated in the hands of very few, we should be skeptical. Very skeptical.)
In the meeting with the principal--who was, we must say, very helpful and positive about our choice--it was decided that she will go in twice weekly for Choir and Art. This way she will see her favorite teachers and enjoy her well-loved subjects.
Which brings me to announce her good news: she has made it to SD Jr. Honor Choir, an honor indeed!
So she has started back at her home-based studies, on All Saints' Eve, with History: I'm printing for her my new "beta" workbook chapters for the latest edition of All Ye Lands from Catholic Textbook Project. As she has always done at home, she drew. She was allowed time to draw, and seeing a little drawing by her schoolwork made me realize how much I've missed her at home. (I also have her Math ready, and planning her English & Writing this weekend.) She also spent part of All Saints' Day with a fellow home school friend working on paper saints and I love her Saint Juan Diego! Her artist hands also created a card for the B. family: showing the four sisters, complete with newborn baby.
She is smiling again. She's comfortable, grown up, and grateful. As one can imagine this week's decision-making wasn't without some prayer time... and I again wonder at how God's plans. They are consistently the better ones.