Head in the clouds 5 year old doesn’t notice you, playing Keep Away from him, trying to snub him because he wouldn’t go down the Ridiculously Tall Slide (listen, kiddo, I wouldn’ta done it either).
He walks by you and calmly says, “No, I’m not the monster”. He thinks you’re playing your own game, like he plays his own games; intent as he is on showing me how he can go down the Normal Size slides, he doesn’t realize you are teasing him.
Curly-headed with such clear blue eyes, such a powerful inner life, such a stunning mind. He’s protected from you by his own alive world.
How would it be if he were in school? He’d be the one at the edges of the playground, kicking rocks, not noticing you playing Keep Away. He wouldn’t notice, not at first. But years and years of other kids playing Keep Away, how would that affect him? How could my quiet voice and support, my love however strong, how could that offset the hours and hours of his day spent being teased for not going down the Ridiculous Slide, for making up his own games and rules, for holding back from you and you don’t like that. For being told to stop talking, to obey the class rules, to stop getting up from his chair, to keep his mind on his work, no you have to do THIS now and if you finish early, just put your head down on your desk and you can only ask a question, we don’t really care about what’s going on in your head, what you are thinking. If you can’t ask a question, then please keep your hand down.
Hours of his day, day after day, for years.
How could I possibly offset that? What happens to fragile little psyches that have to deal with that torment.
So I will keep him home here with me to learn, to “homeschool” if by “homeschool”, you mean “world school”, where the whole world is his learning resource and the breeze comes through the window and the encyclopedias clutter the floor and table and he is free to do his half-skip/half-gallop with his head cocked to the side for all the world like a frisky young colt dancing in a field for sheer joy of being alive whenever he needs to rush out and feel the sun on his face, where art can occur at the drop of a hat and every day is Music Day and Dancing Day and Gym Class without the awkward lining up and being picked last for the team. And he can join other young friends for a creek stomp and pick up baby crawdads and see the inside of a river mussel or go to the museum, and learn, learn, learn, all the time constantly learning, driven to learn with his insatiable need to know Everything.
And he’s free to be in his inner world and dream dreams and think huge, big, enormous thoughts. And nobody taunts him with Keep Away because of it.