As they grow ....

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One of the reasons my blog is in witness protection, is that my daughters may well be going to school next year. Now in homeschool circles that's a hanging offence, and in christian homeschool circles, it's a burning offence! And I simply don't feel that way.
Saturday was a very special day for me. I watched my 10 year old daughter (who we think may have Aspergers Syndrome, though we do not know, we are hoping to get her priavately diagnosed, but there is a hold up, and this may turn out to be of the Lord, because I am now wondering if it really is as bad as we thought) grow up a step, and was privileged to hold her hand and help her along.
Firstly, we went out hacking, and I had to have her younger sister on the lead rein, as she is going through a nervous phase, and I watched as H happily and competently cantered on ahead of us, negotiated gates and bridges (she does all the getting off and on, on our rides, LOL) and set off across open country, leaving us behind, trotting sedately up the field margin, watching her plait swing in time with her pony's bustling chestnut bottom, cantering off into autumn mist and freedom. It was quite a tear jerker.
We then had a long and deep conversation about life, friends and school. H was taken out of school at 6, a jibbering wreck, frightened, confused, and we thought, damaged for life. We have homeschooled ever since, and worked with her to try to learn how to be her, without being afraid. She has of late realised that she would really like ot have friends. So we worked through how her ideal outcome would be that she would stay homeschooled, and have a ton of friends, but that outcome did not seem terribly likely. We have tried with making friends, but it doesn't seem to work for us with homeschool groups, and fellow christian homeschoolers. Partly, I have to tell you, there are some very strange homeschoolers out there, and partly, because, you know, it just isn't the same? Friends at school are different.
We have a christian school about 30-40 minutes from us, and thus far, the main stumbling block for me, has been the length of journey, I feel like this journey, twice daily, aside from the effect on our carbon footprint! robs us of a day a week! The cost is not too astronomic, and would have to be offset by my making more of a contribution to the family budget in the time when I would have been homeschooling. But can we give that time? It remains to be seen. H really desperately wants to go to another school, an all girls, private school a similar distance away, but that really is financially out of the question. I also don't think she would cope - not at first anyway, it's a lot bigger. But I truly believe that if my brave girl can seize the day, and try at least to get back to school, albeit in a small, protected, christian environment, it will be for the best.
I have noticed that when I am seized with the desire to say 'no, we can't do it, not after all we've been through' it is for me that I am feeling fear, doubt, failure, not her.
Finally, on Saturday, she said that if it came down to school and friends, or homeschool and no friends, she would like to go to school. I am so incredibly proud of her, unless you know the child, you can't know the courage it's taken. We have decided at the moment to see this school year out at home, and aim for admission in next September, but it does mean we will have to arrange to see the head soon, and it may be that it will be better for her to go in the summer term, and have one term in the junior school before she hits seniors in the autumn. We will see.
As for Boo, the younger - it is likely that she will opt to go along too, as she has always craved society (!) but we have decided that if she digs in her heels and wants to stay at home for a term or more, just to make the point that she too can have choices, that will be fine by us.

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