Before we get too far involved, there’s stuff you should know about me. I’m not going to leave you guessing any longer. I’m going to just spill it, or a lot of it, right now. I hope you still respect me when you finish reading.
No I’m not crazy. Two years ago, I thought maybe I was. I thought I had been driven totally and completely insane by a 14 year old girl and I was never going to be "right" again. I had made the decision to homeschool a child. One of my own children. Michelle, of all children. What the…..???
As I mentioned before, Michelle didn’t start out homeschooled. She wanted to be homeschooled from an early age and I steadfastly and quite wisely (or so I thought) laughed and refused and sent her on her merry way to public school. Michelle was always very bright, very mature and very bored with school. Michelle was very opinionated and very easily frustrated by anyone who didn’t understand her or didn’t accept her or didn’t appreciate her – or her ideas. Michelle also acquired some anger management issues from her father, which we thought she had mastered in the fourth grade.
All of Michelle’s wonderful traits and all of her not so wonderful traits collided in 2002, right about the time we moved to Florida to live in a two mommy home with a lot of children who were not her birth siblings. Michelle struggled with her family, her peers, her school and herself for two years and it simply came to a head in April of 2004. We had to do something, but we didn’t know what.
So Michelle came home from school one afternoon and she didn’t go back. I called her dad and talked to him about all of the options. He suggested boot camp. Totally inappropriate suggestion for this particular child, (my opinion and the opinion of everyone else who knew her, including her teachers), and he was dead set against homeschool – "What about socialization?!" I called my mom, she suggested an outreach camp type program AND homeschooling. I laughed off both suggestions. I surfed the internet. I talked to a friend who was homeschooling. I called private schools and alternative schools. I went to the homeschool store and was evil to the nice woman who worked there because she assumed I was homeschooling. I was definitely NOT homeschooling. I was just getting some materials to keep Michelle working while I figured things out. No, No, NO. I was not homeschooling.
10 days later, I was homeschooling. Terrified that I was making another wrong decision. Terrified that I couldn’t homeschool any high school age child, but Michelle in particular. Oh, and crazy, don’t forget crazy. I was sure that I was crazy.