Whether or not to finish out a school year is a topic that comes up frequently; especially with the little ones who aren’t old enough to have a complicated conversation about the options.
One thing that I think is really important when making the decision on whether or not to continue the school year is this: If the person who I am five years from now looked back at me today, what would she advise me to do? At the age of 6, will a child really remember the “lesson” that she learned by finishing out the school year? Or will it be completely irrelevant in time? Will the things that she has to endure in school for the upcoming weeks be something that will make a difference in her future, in the family’s future, or will it be irrelevant over time?
Then, barring any obvious choice, the best thing to do is look at right this moment – what will make the child’s life and the family’s life a better place to be alive? Does school make things better? Or does homeschooling make things better? It is really a toss up? If it’s a toss up, then the choice doesn’t matter. Just pick and roll with it.
There’s a thing in business called “paralysis by analysis”. It’s a term to refer to people, or workgroups, or teams who want to continue to gather more information in lieu of taking action. In life, sometimes there is just never enough solid information to know which choice is better, or when a “good time” to do something is. We just gotta do it. What is the worst that could possibly happen if we make the wrong choice? The worst thing that will happen is we make a mistake.
Now, what happens after we make the mistake is the important thing. When we take responsibility for our mistakes and then pick ourselves up again to move on to the next choice, learning from what we’ve done, then it’s not scary to take a chance. Being afraid of making mistakes is what keeps us from making decisions, and from going for what we want.
So, to me, parents making a choice to either pull a child out of school or not, no matter what happens, is the first of many lessons to the child (by modeling) to be responsible for our own lives and to be responsible for the consequences – whatever they are. Children learn from parents who are not afraid to make choices, and not afraid to make mistakes. And from parents who LEARN from their mistakes, by being honest about what they did wrong, and how they will change in the future.
Ok, now, I feel like going out and bungee jumping or something. Who’s in?