Tuesday, April 07, 2009

54 Months

The day when Lucas heads off to school for the first time is looming before us and we keep hearing about horrible experiences regarding the state of our current public education establishments. This is leading us to question our plan to send him out into the world. Would it be better to keep him near us (home-school) so that we can guide him with our personal touch? Will we be disappointed with his experience within the public education system?

Both Xtimu and I had fairly mediocre experiences while in school. We both managed to learn that we were advanced enough to dominate the system early and without much effort at all. So, even though we excelled in school, it was an environment that didn't actually help motivate us sufficiently. Now, looking back on it, we both wish that there was someone or something that would have pushed us to use our massive potential rather than just allowing us to get good grades and cruise through the process.

And all of that was twenty, thirty years ago. It seems like the focus on public education has only been whitewashed further into streamlining these kids straight through like cattle. Everything that we read or hear only makes us afraid for our children. We don't want our kids to have a similar experience to the ones that we had and we definitely don't want them to get lost in the shuffle of stamping out cookie-cutter minds so that they can work efficiently in our capitalistic world.

Egad! Now you can see some of the drama that constantly goes on in our heads and since we share a brain on so many topics (definitely on this one), well, it's becoming quite a dilemma. Throw the fact that we are both profound perfectionists when it comes to doing things and that makes me fear the day that Lucas comes home slightly unhappy with his learning environment or has to deal with some ridiculous bureaucratic nightmare. That's when we'll pull him out so quick, like we're throwing him a life preserver or something. Yet, as I contemplate the long-ranging consequences of any action that we might take, I don't know which one will be the most detrimental to Lucas and what will be the most beneficial.

I guess the best thing about all of this is that we care deeply...possibly a bit too much some times, but at least we truly want to be involved in these important decisions. So far it seems to be working. Lucas is a fabulous kid and he just keeps surprising us with his abilities.

Someone I know was asking me about Lucas and school a few months back. This was when we were first checking out the magnet school program here in San Diego. I told this person about what we've found and Lucas' capabilities. Then this person proceeded to tell me about an experience with their step-son who was one year older than Lucas and who should've already been in school. The reason that he wasn't was because he couldn't do any of the basic developmental exercises that most five-year-olds need to do in order to start kindergarten. Everything on the list that this person told me about were things that Lucas could do already and he was barely four-years-old! Now I don't know if this child was developmental disabled or if he just watched way too much teevee but I was both sad and proud at the same time. Sad that a child is so stunted at such a young age and proud of the environment that we've provided for our son.

All I want is to continue along the path that has helped him advance so far ahead. Until now, we've been in complete control of how he travels along that path but every day brings us closer to the day that we relinquish some of that control. I'm not so sure that I'm ready for that.

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