Here I am again, back to the question that I thought I was going to solve by putting my daughter in a private Christian school.
What is the best way to educate a gifted only child?
I am concerned about the slow pace of instruction at her school. I know that she is capable of so much more, and I fear that she will lose interest in academics if she spends too much time doing tasks that are way below her instructional level.
So I'm back to the same solution I once thought I might use. Homeschooling. Maybe.
I asked her tonight what she would think of having Mom teach her next year at home, instead of going to school.
To my shock, she said: "That would be good." I repeatedly asked her questions about whether she would be OK staying home with me, instead of being with a bunch of kids. She seemed convinced that she would prefer homeschooling.
I was floored. I had assumed that if I ever tried to homeschool her, I would have to convince her of its benefits. So with her unexpected response, one major obstacle to homeschooling fell by the wayside.
The second major challenge is the only-child situation. I think that I could work around it through lessons and support groups.
The final challenge would be figuring out how to handle her academic needs. I can't just order a first grade DVD program, for example, because most of it will be far too easy. (In fact, she's already been through some of the workbooks in one first-grade program.) At the same time, I worry about skipping key concepts if I take her straight to grade two.
I'm going to look at my friend's Sonlight curriculum this week. I like the World History program they use for first and second graders. She would love that. And I agree with the Sonlight philosophy that we need to educate children culturally if we want advanced readers to understand the things they read.
There is no question that homeschooling will make my life more challenging in certain ways. It will be harder to set a writing schedule, for example. I may have to revert to the old school method I used to write my dissertation: getting up two hours before everyone else. Ugh.
But my daughter's education is worth lost sleep and lifestyle changes. It's not that I want her to be a hothoused supergenius. I just want her to discover the immense rewards of learning. I don't want her curiosity to be shut down by boredom.
I am aware of quite a few successful writer-moms who homeschool. Some of them even homeschool four or five children.
On a personal level, I'm touched by the fact that she thinks staying home with me for school would be OK. I must have done something right.