It’s been two weeks.
Red Riding Hood is taking strain at school. She says she hates going, and every morning is an anxiety filled knot. It builds in her like yeast in dough. She’s had a melt down at school and another one last night. Her arm hurts from writing. The noise overwhelms and distracts her. She can’t concentrate, and she is anxious. She is moody and withdrawn all the time.
She IS learning, and she’s slightly ahead of her age in terms of speed and cognitive skills. But the school is everything I didn’t want for them: regimented, noisy, overwhelming. They can only eat or drink during their breaks, something we very specifically did NOT institute in our “home school” as it was too restrictive and, in my view, unhealthy and unnatural. There’s a little bit of room for self-study and following rabbit trails of personal interest, but for the most part it’s very literally by-the-book.
They’re learning to write poetry, though. That’s gotta be a good thing.
Intriguingly, Goldilocks LOVES school. She’s battling to concentrate more than ever before, but she loves the learning and the routine. She’s a year behind where she would have been if she’d been in “regular” school, but she’s coping very well. Her writing, as ever, is legendary – at least in terms of content. The technical bits, obviously, need a lot of work. But less than before, so that’s good.
The thought of trying to do it myself again just overwhelms me. I am exhausted as it is, and when I see how much effort their new teacher invests, I know I don’t have the personal resources. In fact, I don’t have the personal resources for anything right now.
The great irony and awfulness is that I am actually considering putting Red on anti-anxiety meds to cope with the stress of school. Can you believe that?! It’s mental. It goes against everything I believe: regimented learning, controlled by a syllabus. Cattle-pen classes forcing kids together for extended periods without food or water. It’s a bright and happy and free place, but it sounds like Auschwitz.
And now I’m actually considering drugs.
Good grief. What have I become?
I sincerely hope my children survive their childhood relatively in tact.