Sometimes the road you think you're on takes you places you never expected to go.
When I had kids; I expected to send them off to school and go back to work...get a degree and do something "meaningful" in that time they were safely ensconced in learning. But one way or another, that didn't quite happen.
Slowly I pushed my aspirations back. I could go back to school; or get a good job, once they reached jr high...a stage where my presence would not be requested for parties or volunteer work; and where most kids are finding their own ways home or at least carpooling.
But some things don't work out the way you expect. 'The best laid plans' and all that jazz. Sometimes you find yourself living life backwards.
I never set out to be a homeschooler. I have great respect for homeschoolers. I loved the thought of homeschooling young kids. But, we had a phenomenal elementary school. A good middle school. A decent high school. We live in a fairly safe neighborhood. Test scores are great, and our kids are above average. Gifted, even.
There was no need to homeschool.
Until there was. And then there was no more debate, no more options. We tried everything, we ran into a lot of brick walls, and finally...clarity. Give up. Homeschool.
If I'd ever considered myself a homeschooler, I would have seen myself sending the kids back to school at the middle or high school level. Instead, I find myself scrambling to find lesson plans that meet both the state standards and unique needs.
I never meant to be a homeschooler. But here I am.
And it's paying off. I fear for the education my daughter is getting, but only because I feel inadequate in the face of her potential. And that fear is far outweighed by the shadows left by the public school system. It's not that I don't trust them...it's just that they were woefully unprepared for the beautiful disaster that is my child.
High test scores contrasted by emotional outbursts. Mature outlooks balanced by immature attitudes. The independence countered by tearful clinging long after her peers had let go. It didn't add up, it doesn't add up...it doesn't need to add up any more.
She simply is.
And I never imagined that by walking away from what should be, from the traditional road, would we finally start to find things that do make sense. Truths that were shrouded from us before as we were searching for answers.
Gifted kids are quirky. It's not a problem, or a question, or even a concern. It's just a fact.
The only question left is...why didn't anyone clue us in sooner? We'd have saved so much heartbreak and sleepless nights if we knew that these were normal aspects of gifted kids.
Gifted sometimes doesn't feel like a gift. But understanding is.