Ok, I'm on about 2 hours of sleep because I could not sleep last night for fretting over what we're going to do about Man-Cub's education come September.
Since I'm tired beyond measure I am going to try to be concise. But since I'm tired I may just be even worse at concise than I usually am. And that's bad.
We decided private school is the only option. We even found a school that has quite impressive academic standards. It offers its students a classical education. Like such as teaching them Latin, Greek, Geography, actual History (good-bye "social studies" whatever that is supposed to mean), actual Literature (ditto "reading" class) and other exciting things like Persuasive Writing, Debating and many other wonders I simply cannot remember because I'm trying not to fall asleep.
They cover American History in Kindergarten and First Grade, Ancient History in Second Grade, and Medieval History and Literature in Fourth Grade, including reading The Hobbit and Beowulf, works they would have to wait until high school to read in the public school, just to name some examples. Their required reading list blew me away.
The problem (and this is going to sound strange)? It's a Christian school. You may be confused. Aren't we Christians? Why, yes, yes we are. But, unfortunately, we have both had such negative experiences with Christian schools and the people/churches who run them that we more than a little prejudiced against them. I'm not saying it's right, just that that's the way it is.
And I think God may be trying to do some work on me in that area.
I had always said I would only put my kids in Christian school if there was absolutely no other option for them. I always meant that to show how strongly I felt against it. But, apparently, God took me at my word and took it very, very seriously. I now find myself in exactly the position of having no other option and the irony is killing me.
I've been working and re-working my resume and looking for jobs and applying so we can work out the financial obstacles. And we know God will provide if it is His will for Man-Cub to go to that school.
But the obstacle of our pride and prejudices (hey, that sounds like a book I'm kind of fond of) has actually been harder to overcome and God has had to, once again, use one of my children to get through my thick skull and hardened heart.
We assumed, based on what we know of his temperament, that Man-Cub would be absolutely horror-stricken at the idea of being pulled out of his school and put into a new one where he knows no one, has to get up earlier and has to wear a uniform complete with a tie! For that reason we decided we wouldn't breathe a word of our nefarious plans until it was a done deal. We've been skulking around here very cloak-and-dagger for weeks now, keeping it all from him!
Well, the other day he and The Viking got to talking. They were talking about school. Man-Cub began sharing his deepest, darkest secrets with his dad and told him just how much he hates school and why. By the end of the conversation our poor boy was begging his father to please let him be home-schooled. The Viking was pretty knocked sideways by that.
The next day, I brought it up with Man-Cub. I told him Dad had told me about the home-schooling request. And so we talked about it a little more. Man-Cub wouldn't get very specific with me (he confides in his dad more than he does me, which is exactly as it should be) but he did turn huge, moist, earnest eyes to me and plead with me not to send him back to that school!
I have been feeling a sense of urgency and desperation concerning getting Man-Cub out of that school for over a year now. But I was completely unprepared for seeing those same feelings mirrored in my sweet boy's eyes!
So I began sharing with him the things we've been mulling over. I got out the information on the school we'd like to send him to and showed it to him. As we talked, instead of getting more and more freaked out like we had expected, Man-Cub got more and more excited and animated! It was near miraculous!
I told him about Medieval History in Fourth Grade. He was ecstatic. I told him about them offering fencing as an extracurricular activity. He was amazed. I told him about more frequent field trips, more challenging assignments and smaller classes. His eyes lit up and he said, "You mean, I may actually get to share facts?!" His current class size makes student participation rather difficult.
Then I told him that they would also teach him Bible. And that's when God spoke through the mouth of my babe. I thought he might screw up his mouth and roll his eyes (after all, he gives me enough of a hard time about sitting through church on Sundays). But he slapped his hands down on the table, looked up at the ceiling and then closed his eyes and said, "I NEED. To go. To this school."
I was floored. And said so. And he explained, "Every time I say something about God at school, I have all these people getting on my case, saying, 'No, that's not true!' I HATE that!"
Before I could regain my power of speech, he came up with another burning question, "Will I get picked on by Eighth Graders?" Surprised again, I answered that I seriously doubted it. And that's when he brought me to tears.
He slumped back in his chair with a grin of relief and sighed, "Oh! Then I'll be able to take off my armor!"
His armor? My nine-year-old son goes to school every day wearing imaginary armor? I spluttered some more and he explained further, speaking very slowly as I was having way more difficulty understanding this than I should.
"Mom, I can't go to school without my armor. I can't be the same there as I am here. I'd get beat up!"
WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON AT THAT SCHOOL???
I mean, I was desperate enough to get him out of there after what Redheaded Snippet went through--I don't think it would be wise to go into details because there were minors involved, but I can say that our daughter was victimized and we had to go so far as to press charges and go to court and STILL the school would do NOTHING--but NOW, now that he's dropped these hints I can't imagine what is going on that I don't even know about and there is no longer any question that he must not return there!
Prejudices and bruised pride are no match for the safety and well-being of my child! So people will think I'm one of "those people" who sends my kids to Christian school, so what? So I have to get a job for the first time in 16 years to be able to pay for it, so what? I can't believe I am so proud and stubborn that I kept myself up all night last night fretting about this when it is painfully obvious to a child what needs to be done.
So now we just wait to see how God moves and how He chooses to provide.