Monday, November 24, 2008

Well, now I've done it...

...I've quit my day job as of the end of this year so I can stay home full-time with the Boy and begin planning to - perhaps - homeschool the 11 y/o.

(Remember my prayer request several weeks back?)

No, I have not lost my mind. I will continue to teach an evening class or two each semester, and will take on some "contract work" (i.e., research and drafting for other lawyers) here and there as needed and as may come my way.

My partner in crime and punishment at work is crushed but 100% behind me. Especially because not paying my salary just made his spike!

My mother is freaked. I am officially a "failure" (she equates six-figure incomes with personal success in her children) and apparently I have gone off the "Radical Conservative/Catholic Deep End."

My friends, many of whom thought I was nuts enough for having a baby at 39, are horrified. The last of them just returned to work, all have kids in school and none have kids as young as mine. It's like I've gone in reverse while they are moving forward. I've fallen off a lot of invite lists this past year.

My Beloved has his resolute face on - he will be picking up some of the slack and taking a new, more lucrative job.

My kids are thrilled, especially Little Therese. Since starting middle school this fall, she of the 99 overall average has been called "retarded" (because she gets a 15 minute Aspie respite in a special ed room each day), taught recreational drug vernacular, and propositioned for sex - twice now - in the hallways by 8th grade repeaters, and the special ed handling of her "Aspie social deficit" consists of twice-weekly sessions where she is told to tutor and speak to a severely learning-disabled, behaviorally challenged scatalogically-fixated boy, who she describes as a "human swear word dictionary."

I've had enough. She is too good and pure to be subjected to this crap. So I'm putting an end to it...and to a lot of things my career has allowed us to do, see, purchase, and experience.

Please keep our family in your prayers as we make the adjustment. This was a long, difficult decision making process.

15 comments:

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Kit: I'm glad for one that you're doing this. For family sacrifice must always be made...The benefits from homeschooling will not be measurable by a dollar amount...(hmmmm, maybe a shortening of time in purgatory ;))...I'm resigning at my position at RSNNPC (Really Small no name public school) as of next semester. (More detail on my blog at a later date)

I already know I'm homeschooling any kids that I may have. No public brainwashing for any of my kids. They deserve better than that, (me brainwashing them with the Faith, and what they really need to know instead ;))

To avoid the near occasion of sin....:)

Kit said...

Thanks Joe - I'm working the phones today to see what outside and private resources we can put in place for the Aspergers piece of the puzzle. We are fortunate that she's so high-functioning and so academically gifted and focused. The big change has to come from me - I have never been a structured or scheduled person. (Unless I have to be in court, of course) That's going to require some self-discipline...a new trick for this ol' dog.

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Self-discipline...I've found the easiest way to make it work is to make what you need it for liken to the other things that you're good at. It's how I'm able to pray on a regular basis, I make everything like I'm teaching manages to work out.

Kasia said...

No, I have not lost my mind.

No, I don't think you have, irrespective of what your mother and your friends might think.

Speaking as someone who aspires to be a teacher, what I think a lot of people miss when the rubber meets the road: each child is different. And the unfortunate thing about the public school system is that it needs to accommodate a hugely varied student population. By definition, they need to find the one size that they hope will fit most, and hope that the kids who aren't fit will make it through. And while the intentions behind No Child Left Behind were certainly admirable, I think one of the effects of it is that there is even less opportunity (and incentive) to customize lessons for your students and really teach, because you have these benchmarks that NEED to be hit.

I know quite a lot (compared to most people) of homeschooled children. I see absolutely no evidence that homeschooling is intrinsically a bad thing. In fact, all the evidence I've seen has been quite the opposite; but I recognize that I haven't done any kind of credibly objective study of the matter. At the worst, it seems, it depends on the teacher.

The biggest blessing of homeschooling (apart from shielding your child from 'human swear word dictionaries' and propositions in middle school - I was propositioned for the first time in seventh grade, by a boy who should've known better - I should've told his mother) - sorry, lost my place! the blessing is being able to tailor lessons to your child's particular needs and strengths. You know Little Therese better than just about anyone in the world knows her, you're intelligent and well-educated yourself, and you're conscientious enough that you're going to make darned sure you do a good job of it (as evidenced by your already-begun efforts on the Aspergers front).

I know you don't know any of us blog people from Adam, but we're (at least I'm) behind you 100%. And I will definitely be praying for you all.

I was just wondering the other day how her school experience was going...remembered you'd said she was going to make an effort to not be so "clammish" and was wondering how that was going. :-(

Hugs and love,
Kasia

ignorant redneck said...

Kit---

You realize, of course, that this makes you a Hero to real men, anathema to fake women, and just groovey as all hell to my daughters, who like this sort of thing.

heck, one of them even took to wearing achapel veil, to the NO Mass!

Kasia said...

Oh, and as for this:

My mother is freaked. I am officially a "failure" (she equates six-figure incomes with personal success in her children) and apparently I have gone off the "Radical Conservative/Catholic Deep End."

#1 - isn't it nice to know that six-figure incomes are not God's criteria for personal success? :-p

and

#2 - I don't think so. You haven't joined an SSPX (or more extreme!) chapel, and I don't think you're wrapping yourself up in a burqua and cloistering yourself in your home to avoid the evil gazes of men (are you?).

You're making a carefully considered decision, in tandem with your husband, to do what you both deem best for your children. Sounds eminently reasonable to me. If anything, it sounds like the school is off the deep end...and your mother is either not looking at the evidence or is a victim of the slowly-heating water. I can't imagine she would think that any of that is good for Little Therese, so there must be something else driving her fear that you're "off the deep end". (Maybe it's the Cath-mish strain in the Beloved's family that's got her worried?)

Tara said...

Wow, just think of the message you are sending your children--"I love you--you are more important to me than working and money." I am so very proud of you--excellent choice!

Angela M. said...

Ya done good!

Smiley said...

Hey
Congrats on standing up for your daughter and son. Your mom is wrong you are more successful than all her other kids who make 6 figure salaries.
Shall pray for you and your kids.

The Digital Hairshirt said...

Yes, you have gone and done it - "it" being "the right thing."

I am envious . . .

Kit said...

Thanks so much to all of you - it really helps to know you're pulling for us!

A few specifics - the Beloved and I worked out out schedules in advance of the Boy to ensure he'd never have to go to daycare. One of us is always home during the day, which has been wonderful and I think will prove to have been instrumental in making the transition with our Little Flower.

And no, Kasia, you're right, I have not gone "Cath-mish" (LOL that you remembered that!), but my mother (who arrives tomorrow...my wise Beloved is going to the likker store this afternoon to get me my medicine...) definitely thinks I'm headed in that direction. After all these years, she still doesn't get how much I dislike that particular branch of the family tree - not for what they believe and how they've chosen to raise their kids, but how they treat others. So much derision and elitism. So much dramatic sighing, eyerolling, and room-clearing if the tv reveals too much.

We are not like that. And I like wearing tailored clothing, expensive perfume, and carrying ridiculously soft leather handbags and briefcases that could probably feed a mid-size African village. Not something to be proud of, but I admit I am a creature who likes certain highly selective worldly comforts. That's the change that I have to make from within. I need nothing more than I have, but knowing that I'll have to cut back and put more thought into the family economy is not what I expected at this stage of the game.

As for our little potential Saint, she actually IS enjoying school, just not the other kids. She's a sponge for all the information she's learning. They've started in on Mesopotamia and Egypt, and she's enthralled by it. That's going to be a joy to teach her at home, because we will be able to go so much deeper than she can with classmates holding her back. BUT the interaction with the classmates is also something she needs to learn to deal with.

So, I am giving myself some time to work out the conundrum and a curriculum that will make up for the drawbacks before I dive in.

mum6kids said...

Kit-good for you. As a bog-standard Catholic homeschool mum I don't think you've gone mad either.
I know what it's like homeschooling children with very different ages; 14 yr old and 5 yr old so email me if you like.
Don't worry what others think- your children with flourish. I saw a real change in mine once they were out of school.
God bless-lots more prayer coming as you make the transition.

PS One thing you will find for your daughter is that homeschooling will allow you to mix a curriculum and method that suits her.

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

Well, welcome to the deep end. The water's just fiiiiiiine here!

Much prayers coming your way for strength!

Kelly said...

Kit-

Know that you are doing the right thing. You prayed about it and you and your husband made the decision together. Your mother has it twisted and you won't miss those few material goods. God Bless.

the Mom said...

Kit,
God bless you for making this decision! I homeschool my own 11 year old daughter. If you need to pick my brain, email me at shovedtothem@yahoo.com