Sunday, March 30, 2014

Wanting school

I read a great story today about a homeschool mom whose kids asked to go to school. She took the time to find out what they felt they were missing and let them try it out. She made sure her kids got to feel like they had a choice in what happened to them. What a great mom.

That was not my experience. When I was twelve or thirteen year old homeschooled kid, I told my mom I wanted to go to boarding school.

It seems likely that my inspiration came from British fiction, but also boarding school seemed like the only option because my parents always talked about how the local public school wasn't academically challenging. Come to think of it, most of the things I wasn't allowed to have were described as "not good enough," including friends. And we lived an hour away from any reasonable private school.

My mom was immediately angry and responded that "Boarding school is where people send kids that they don't want."

And I just stared at her and wondered how not being wanted felt any different from my experience of being ignored and isolated and dismissed every day, until she walked off in a huff. And we never talked about it again.

There was no curiosity about what I might be feeling (insane loneliness for one thing), no concept that I had any stake in my education and daily experience, no discussion of why they made this choice, just angry silence.

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