September should see you start ‘big’ school and leave everyday from 9-3. But I don’t think you’re ready for that; and I don’t see the need for us to force you. The world is there to absorb and baby you do that fabulously. You may not be reading or writing or pro-actively learning maths, but my goodness are you using that brain. Each science lesson in nursery your teachers are amazed by your knowledge, a God-given ability to absorb snippets of time, you store information picked up through play and translate it when needed into facts. Forest School days you come home brimming with glee having been able to show your teachers and classmates what goose grass is, or explain how you start a fire using sticks.
Whereas I once believed that education in a formal sense was the best gift you could give to your children, I’ve come to believe that freeing you to learn could be the better gift to give. I want you to enjoy exploring the sounds of new words as you look at your lips in a mirror, to understand maths intuitively after dropping beans into tubs over and over; I want you to be wet when you learn about floating and sinking, and to learn language through laughter and play. The idea of sending you into an environment where these experiences could be turned into desk jobs with you feeling pressure to succeed or understanding failure before you can spell it is something I cant reconcile with being your mum. Why would I risk you loosing faith in yourself instead of learning aside you a little longer?
Whatever my failings as your Mum, there’s one thing I’m 100% sure of; no-one knows you better than me.
When I look back at photos and videos of the little boy who left Turkey, I see a boy who has bloomed in six months. From starting nursery again in a different language this time round, to mastering the playgrounds on a different level field, the courage with which you’ve faced the changes astounds me. Our sensitive soul, you feel change with the whole of your being so that even eggs cooked wrong can bring tears yet you bounded into life here with curiosity and excitement, not letting your trepidation hold you back from exploring. In Mighty Marbles today, you were awarded a sticker for being Helper of the Day and you beamed with pride in having your thoughtfulness recognised. You like it there, you’re settling in well and are a much liked member of the class. And yet, I see you analyse snippets from your days in nursery over and over, waking in the night to ask me what a conversation had meant and returning weeks later to events I hadn’t been aware had occurred. Navigating daily interactions isn’t something you dislike, yet for a soul as emphatic as yours and a heart that yearns for clarity, simple life can be confusing at times. And next year, in a new school environment, with nobody you’ve ever met before, you’d be overwhelmed and, though you would certainly come out swimming eventually, I don’t see why we have to risk you treading water first. There are many who’d say to throw you in there head first, that you’ll toughen up over time, that the experience is real life you need to learn. But if you’ll excuse my language, I call bullshit on that. The world will try to swallow you up soon enough. Just not on my watch, MK.
It was at my side you learnt to write numbers one to ten and I am so excited to be the one who’ll be there to keep witnessing those firsts, seeing first-hand how you catch facts to imprint in your mind for later. I’ve got folders and files and pinned boards and print-lists and sooooooooooo much I plan for us to do. I’m looking forward to spending time getting to learn how you learn, and being awed as you connect the dots. I’m not scared you won’t read because you will when you’re ready. I’m not scared you won’t add because you already make a great pancake solo. I’m not scared you won’t understand that science is important because you already explain what the vegetables you’ve planted need to grow. But for all I’m not scared of what you won’t learn, I’m terrified. Because you, biggest one, are the project that I don’t get to do over. And, if you’ve followed me this far, that’s why I’m so certain homeschooling is the right choice. There’s no resit option on your childhood. If in 12 months time you’re still happy and heart healthy, you’ll have learnt everything you needed in that short time. I hope. Inshallah.