They offered me a job working in the kitchen three days a week at Allika's school. It's pretty much the same thing I was doing before on a volunteer basis, but I get paid for it now. I thought that was pretty cool.
I've already been able to be there when she's experienced a difficult situation or had something exciting to show me. That makes me feel good.
She's learning a lot of social lessons that have been very good for her and us both. She's learning how to treat the fat boy in her class that everyone else thinks is full of germs. She's learning how to be friends with the little girl who doesn't have any other friends and sometimes thinks that even Allika doesn't want to be her friend. She's had to set boundaries when some of the kids have been mean to her. She was able to handle a difficult situation by confronting it in a respectful way and getting her teacher involved. She has had to face fears and learn that everything doesn't always turn out as badly as she thinks it will. We have had to work with her and guide her through learning how to handle some of these situations, so I think we have been learning some new parenting skills, as well.
I am so proud of her! I think she is learning so many life lessons that will be extremely valuable to her as she grows up and has to deal with some of the same situations, but on a larger scale and in an uncontrolled environment.
I'm not sure that she would have been provided with the same scenarios by just staying at home with Van and me. She does have neighborhood friends, church friends, and other home-educated friends, but even in those environments, she would not be faced with the same kind of situations as she has been at school. Plus, her contact with those people is much more limited.
There are still so many things I prefer about home-schooling. When I think of going back to it, however, I see that there are a lot of really great things I would be giving up at her school. I am coming to realize that there are pros and cons to each option, but I can't have the best of both worlds. I don't know, maybe there's something out there that does offer that option. That would be ideal.
Until I find it, though, I am slowly coming to terms with this new transition in our lives. It has been good in many ways. We will continue to see how it goes through the summer.