The Straw That Broke the Camel’s Back

When Madison went to public school I saved all of her papers. Every single one. It’s a good thing she only attended Kinder and First Grade. 😉

I went though all of these papers recently to throw away the ones that I didn’t want to keep. As I did this many thoughts and emotions emerged. I had no idea something so simple would illicit such feelings, but it did.

It was fun to see her creativity in her drawings. I kept all of those. As I looked at each of the worksheets I felt awful. They were dull, boring and redundant. The memories of her coming home crying because school was so boring and awful all came flooding back. I feel horrible that I made her go through that and I wish I could take it back. At least I can be grateful she didn’t have to endure any more than she did. The learning at public school versus homeschooling was a night and day difference. That is why I feel so guilty now.

Here is the stack I recycled:

And here is the stack that I kept:

Worksheets just cannot replace hands on learning. It’s not the same. Especially in First Grade. 😢 But, this wasn’t what made me feel the worst.

As I went through her papers I found the one that broke the camel’s back. The one that solidified my decision to homeschool after much advocating. The squirrel math sheet.

If only I had known it was going to be so much more than me being mad about this one worksheet that was worth 5 or 6 objectives on the grade card…..

As you can see…Madison had to represent the equation by drawing pictures. She got this one wrong because even though In her mind the squirrel at the bottom of the tree is ‘running up’ because his feet are on the tree, but she was counted wrong because the squirrel’s rear is on the ground.

What did that mean? It means Madison did not know what 12-4 was. 🙄 Along with 5 other objectives on the grade card. All based on this worksheet. I found that to be insane.

Little did I know…because she was required to draw pictures, write words, make tallies, AND draw either a number line or the circle chart as you see above, as well as write the equation, this would prove to become a huge issue. When she started homeschooling she didn’t think she could solve a problem WITHOUT doing these. 😳😳😳😳

There were major tears for a long time. And apparently she wasn’t the only one. I heard it was the same for a couple of other kids that were pulled to homeschool at the same age.

As I was sorting through her papers, I looked back on this time in her life and felt guilty. I tried to advocate for her best interest and failed, and had a lot of bitterness and resentment towards those who chose not to help. When I started homeschooling I felt Madison was missing out on those special activites her former classmates got to participate in. But now…..I realize this was all a blessing in disguise.

Madison didn’t miss out at all and I am grateful my advocating failed. If it hadn’t, she would have missed out on SO much more. She is a happy kid. She definitely was miserable in school and I know it would have gotten worse. I got my kid back before I lost her forever. Her creativity, outside the box thinking, everything that makes her, her is still there. She was not molded to fit inside the box. She has the freedom to do what she wants, when she wants and how she wants. Don’t get me wrong, she still has teachers, assignments and due dates, but now she loves her teachers and her assignments. She loves her online classes as well as working in groups with classmates from across the country.  She’s even had opportunities to meet many of the teachers and classmates in person.

Madison has always known what is best for her and what she wants to do. I couldn’t be more proud of her.

From that day forward she chose the destiny of the squirrels. 😉

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