"Mama, I want to go to kindergarten," Lucy said today, on the way home from the park. We were walking leisurely through our neighborhood under sunny skies, after having just played in the sandbox, bounced on the teeter totter, and slid down windy slides.
I paused. We have had this conversation before. "What exactly are you hoping to do at kindergarten?"
"Well, learn to read and write. And have recess. That's when I'd get to play with my friends."
If satisfying her need for kindergarten was so easy, I'd jump for joy. "If we sat down in the morning with some writing books, and learned to read and write, then you went outside for recess afterwards, could we do kindergarten at home?"
"Yeah! And could I have a desk? With a drawer for pencils? Or maybe Dada could make me one?"
"Sure!" Please, let Ikea have one.
I'm hoping her need for school is satisfied with these techniques. It could work. If it doesn't, I've been looking into local charter schools for a hybrid program. I'm not thrilled about doing a charter (someone looking over my shoulder, "work" I have to supervise and hand in on someone else's schedule, up to four days of my daughters not being together the whole day, and standards tests that I don't really see the value of, not to mention some of the issues with letting the state coopt homeschooling) but I'd rather do that, I think, then a full-day public school with less room for homeschooling. I'm hoping if we do enroll her someplace, it will be a positive experience, that she will be motivated to let me guide her because that's part of the bargain of being in the school, and that listening to her and honoring her desire for more structure will build trust and maybe lead to more homeschooling in the future.
But. We will see.