They are both finishing the year on a high note. They have made friends, connected with other children through their art. They excelled in their schoolwork. They love their teachers and there is no doubt in my mind that my girls are well liked and cared for by administration, faculty, and students.
In short, the school, my old school, has tended and cared for my girls and been fundamental in the strides they have made.
But on Friday we will begin homeschooling in earnest. No Summer break. No rest for the weary. And no matter how many times I ask my girls if they are sure, they come back with no hesitation...they want hard work. They want to be challenged, to boldly go where no other fourth and sixth graders have gone. They want to study science, to immerse themselves in math, hard math. They want to read the classics, study history, soak in all there is to know. They are self-motivated.
They want time to work on their art, to practice. To excel.
Who am I to say no to that? To not heed what they are rationally, calmly asking for? And have been for awhile now.
This is not a decision made lightly. I know exactly how much effort is involved in keeping these girls on their toes as they keep me on mine. Lily wants quantum mechanics and particle physics under her belt. Heavens help me, but at least I already have the books.
We're fixing to embark on an extended geek camp (what we called our breaks from school) that will last until I can get around the loopholes of minimum ages for college and make sure that all the basics are covered, that their foundations are solidly constructed. And at the same time, we have a lot of work to fill in the gaps, gaps that are chasm-wide and come out of nowhere. We've got life skills training to do. So much work, so much to learn.
This kind of change must be approached with the gravitas and trepidation it warrants. These are bright, shining lights, these girls of mine, and they deserve the best I can offer them and the right to participate actively in their education.
It shouldn't matter that they are young, not when they know what they want and they know how to get it. And especially not when I have the tools to help them realize it and the humility to know just how sacred a trust theirs is of me.