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Monday, July 1, 2013

On homeschooling.

When my daughter was born eight years ago, believe me, it was love at first sight. She didn't have to do much. I loved her madly. I enjoyed every bit of her and wanted to be with her every minute of every day. It didn't matter that no one else woke up in the middle of the night to feed the very prompt baby who was hungry exactly every 2 hours. Actually, if someone did offer to take that job, I would have said: No, thank you.

[Jasmine at 3 months.]

And yet, if someone had asked me if I'd consider homeschooling in the future, I would have scrunched my face and said: Huh? No way!

So it is with life, I guess. Never say never.

Because guess what, God gave me a jumping bean for a daughter.
Before she turned 4, she started the developmental program in gymnastics. It started out easy, she was only going to a part time preschool. And although her little brother screamed  "no!!!" every time we turned into the gymnastics parking lot, I had no other problems taking her.

Every year, however, the school hours and the gymnastics hours increased. When she was 6, I told myself: when she makes team, I will have to homeschool. First it was more like a joke, but as she acquired more and more loves (theater, piano, reading, story writing, just to name a few) and the time for "dinner-homework-bath-get ready for sleep" got shorter and shorter, the urge to homeschool became more serious.

[Jasmine, 7, demoing at the Olympic trials]

Fast forward to last May, she made team!
Truly, I didn't want to homeschool. I was dragging my feet. I love my girlie girl, but I need to be honest, she is active, curious, talk active, crazy - in every sense! Both in a good way and well, the not so good way. She can drive me crazy. Sometimes I ask her: do you ever stop? She always says: no.

Lucky that there was only a month of school left. Twice a week, she went to school and then to gymnastics straight after. It was 7:30pm when she was home to have dinner. Good thing she is academically strong and could finish all her homework on Monday. But just one week of that, and I felt that I was doing something wrong. How could I have an 8 year old and barely see her twice a week?

I was tempted to let her drop out from team. I often wonder if it is really worth taking her to a sport where she has little chance of doing anything with it. The chances for a college scholarship are slim to none. It has such a short life span; gymnasts are pretty much done by their early twenties. Also unlike skiing or hockey or tennis, it's not a social sport that you can enjoy with friends.

[My jumping bean.]

Then again, even if she only did it for 2 or 3 years, there must be benefits to it, right? She is extremely fit. It seems she learns a lot about commitment, persistence and team spirit. Most importantly, she loves going to her gymnastics classes.

So here I am.
My mind says: No, no, no, what am I doing to myself?
My heart says: Yes, yes, yes, this will be good for us.

Just last week I withdrew her from her school and told a few fellow parents.
It's funny how saying something out loud makes it the truth. It just hit me now.

Oh my goodness, we will be homeschooling!

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