I've been homeschooling one or more of my children for over a decade. Last year, Declan went to public school for the first time. That transition has been positive and I'm really glad we made the choice. His world has expanded and he's a much happier person than he had been becoming, more well-rounded and social.
When we decided to send him to school, we didn't really feel there was any choice. I mean, he could have continued "homeschooling" but he hadn't really been learning much of anything for quite some time and we just spent all our time arguing. It was unpleasant and stifling for him. I had a lot of fears surrounding sending him to school-fears for his safety, for his ability to adapt (particularly because the school he had to go to, the school we're zoned for, is a weird mixture of urban and rural with a strong ROTC program and on the list of "failing" schools), but also fears about my having homeschooled him, fears that he would not be able to fit in socially or academically because he had been homeschooled and I would be forced to find out I had failed him.
Needless to say, the transition has been good. My fears were mostly unfounded.
I've continued to homeschool Zed. He's 12 and on the cusp of adolescence. I've been noticing a gradual increase in mouthiness from him. He's always been of a pretty sunny disposition but lately, he's been somewhat negative and cynical. The teenage years are looming large. We began doing school work this week. He has never taken criticism well, constructive or otherwise. When a problem or mistake is pointed out which requires correction, he freaks-going off into yelling, muttering, slamming, stomping, etc. He's always been "sensitive" in that way but he seems to be getting worse. I've never found an effective way of communicating with him that circumvents the temper tantrums. A little while ago, one of his assignments needed some correction and he began storming. He did the same yesterday over something.
I don't think I can do this any more. I've been fighting with one child or another on an almost daily basis for 5 years or longer. The problem is that the middle school we are zoned for is another really bad school. It's physical shape is decrepit and it gets really poor scores on the school assessments. Z is different from D. D can hold his own; he is independent to the point of aloofness. Z is a people person and much more sensitive. And he has golden-blond hair, blue eyes and freckles. I'm really afraid that if he goes to that school, he will become a target. I'm probably projecting a lot of my own issue because I was picked on incessantly in junior high and I can't stand the thought of the same thing happening to my sweet child. On the other hand, I can hardly stand the thought of my sweet child and I spending the whole year battling over everything.
I'm not sure what will happen. I've tried talking with Zed, telling him how his behavior is affecting me. I hope he can really hear me and know how difficult this is for all of us. I want to do what is best for him but I really am not at all sure what that is.