My two older kids went to public school for the first few years of their education, but ultimately both were homeschooled. Kid #3 has been homeschooled her whole life. I’m going to make that whole long story short and just say that the decision had nothing to do with religion and everything to do with these individual kids. I’ve always homeschooled through a charter school, so kids #1 and #2 have high school diplomas from an accredited institution.
Now that the family landscape has changed and I need to get a job, kid #3 will be attending a public high school in the Fall. She’s nervous and excited. I’m dreading the anvil of reality on her head — the 7:10 AM start time.
Our home is located between two high schools. Our assigned school is a sprawling new facility that emphasizes extracurricular activities (read: jocks rule). The other school is older and the top-ranked for academics in the district. It’s also a much shorter walk, which is fairly critical if your Mom works and you’ve got to be there at seven-frickin’-o’clock in the morning.
The solution, I was informed, was to go to the district office and fill out a transfer request form. Easy-peasy.
The night before I planned to go to the district office, the lead story on the news was that the teachers in our high school district were picketing that office and threatening a strike.
I went to the office the next morning anyway, because what choice do I have? Kid’s gotta go to school and I’ve gotta get a transfer request done.
I drove past. No picket line. Whew.
No picket line, but two big news vans.
Does high school need even more drama? I parked, walked fast, kept my head down and made it inside the office without being media molested, only to be directed back out past the news reporters to another building. At this point, I lost all pretense of decorum and just jogged over to the right place and got that s**t done.
The woman behind the counter said it would take about a month to hear back from the district, then did a double take.
“Are you sure you want to transfer from Jock Central High to Smarty Pants High?” she asked.
I assured her I emphatically did.
“Most parents are dying to go the other way. Jock Central has a waiting list.” She seemed truly baffled, so I assured her again that I wanted my daughter to attend Smarty Pants High.
Amazingly, I received the transfer approval in the mail the very next day.
Now we have to make an appointment with the Assistant Principal of Smarty Pants High, sign a behavior/attendance/academic success contract (no joke, it’s required) and get kid #3 registered. All while keeping fingers and toes crossed that a strike is either averted or short.
Homeschooling had a lot less required dancing and hoop-jumping.