The Decision to go Virtual
If you had asked me a couple of years ago if I would pull my child from the public school system I would have laughed in your face!
You see I’m old school, pun intended, and believe in the University of Life and the School of Hard Knocks. While my school life was a mixture of learning, socializing and general mayhem, (not necessarily in that order) other than a few years when I landed in the English Public School System fresh from a tiny school in Zimbabwe, I ran with the ‘in crowd’ or what I believe in American Parlance to be the ‘popular kids’.
I was different to the English kids I realized as I stepped boldly from my African Time Machine that had catapulted me into 1980’s England from the land that time forgot, and was taunted for it. But because of my personality that did not bother me.
If I am really honest about my reaction it’s deeper than it not bothering me, in truth, I did not give a flying **** what anyone thought about me, my accent or my life in Africa. When they realized that I did not care and was not scared of them or much else, I was accepted without even wanting it or trying.
And there you have it, in one sentence, the glaring difference between my daughter and me.
She wants it, it upsets her, she is scared of them and she really really gives a ****.
So after years of telling her to ‘suck it up’, ‘just ignore them’ and ‘you have to learn to deal with people’ I had a heart to heart with her about her plummeting grades.
When a 13 year old hits you with, ‘It would be so nice to go to school and just learn and not have to worry about what you were wearing, what your hair looked like and if you were going to get pushed into the lockers that day’, you have to take a step back and really ask yourself if the sucking it up, the ignoring and dealing with these people is leaving enough time for someone to actually learn?
On talking to my husband about pulling Nally from school, his primary concern was that she would not learn to socialize and deal with difficult people. After pointing out to him that she wasn’t learning that in school either we agreed to apply to the Florida Virtual School and for Nally to manage her own learning from home.
We gave her one school year to prove to us it will work for her and her grades otherwise she would not only go back to public school but have to repeat a grade when she got there.
This series will look at that year; over the coming weeks and months Waving Goodbye to a Brick & Mortar School will feature interviews with my daughter, the virtual school enrollment process, the first day of virtual school, and life enrolled at a virtual school. The highs and the lows will be here for anyone else thinking of taking the plunge or to be able to talk to the parents of your students perhaps considering a break from the norm.
I hope you will join us for her adventure!
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