We started back to school today. My eldest two boys are taking science classes at the local co-op. They were so excited this morning as they left with their dad. #2 was firmly convinced that this would be the greatest adventure of his life, and #3 was just happy to have something new going on.
I wonder sometimes about my eldest boy. I wonder if he might really do well in a more traditional school setting. He thrives among people (like I do) and there are times when he struggles with feeling isolated here at home. There were earlier years when I knew keeping him learning at my kitchen table was keeping him away from his class clown tendencies, and that I was helping to prevent a lot of character issues by not allowing them to run free.
But this year I wonder. He's grown up so much and has become a wise and moral young man. The distruptive tendencies of his younger years have been replaced by a studious side that enjoys the attention of being the star student.
While I know the opportunities available to him in the near future, the fact remains that his extrovert nature is crying out for people NOW. It's a lot for us to think about in the weeks and months to come. Do we put him in school as he is begging for us to do, or do I redouble my efforts of finding him peers? Do we need to expand his co-op course load next year or is it something we need to address long before next September?
I'm a firm believer in the benefits of teaching our children at home, I just begin to wonder. Are we doing a disservice to him by denying his extrovert nature? Or are we giving him the gift of himself and the self assurance to carry him through? Are those things mutually exclusive? And can they exist at home as well as in the traditional school setting?
The fact remains that my social child needs more people, and somehow I'm going to have to help him find them.