For those of you tracking such things, summer vacation is nearly one-third over. I'm keenly aware of the passage of time this summer; I want to have all my ducks in a row to start our homeschooling adventure in the fall and that means lots of reading and internalizing. I also have one order of business to take care of that will formally take us out of the public school system. I'm required to notify the school district of our plans to homeschool. I'm sure nobody really looks at the letter. It probably just gets filed away somewhere and that is that. I'm just not sure how I feel about going so quietly. I want my voice to be heard. I came to the decision to homeschool out of necessity. Nothing the school could or would offer me is satisfactory and I want them to hear that. I want to tell them my thoughts about this experience when I visited the kindergarten classroom where they would have me place Oliver. I want to tell them how it feels to have an SLP who has no understanding of autism working with my son. I want to tell them what I think of a school district that won't support a family systems model of remediation and yet commonly places middle-school aged children like my son in residential facilities.
And yet. ...
I have a good friend here in town who fights the good fight. She knows the law. She has educated herself on how to be a good advocate. If you look under mama bear in the dictionary you'll find her picture. But I also know how emotionally draining it is for her. And in the end, even if she gets everything her heart desires for her son, who is so much like my Oliver -- it wouldn't be anything I'm willing to fight over. An old tin can is still an old tin can, even if you knock all of the dents out of it and put a new label on it.
I won't be happy with anything less than a paradigm shift. And one little letter from me telling the school district how I feel won't even take me a step closer. I've been mulling the idea of writing two letters, one formal, perfunctory letter telling them that we will be homeschooling and another -- sent directly to the superintendent and special ed director -- telling them, well, everything else. But wouldn't it just be wasted energy?
What do think?