Hi, my name is Jennifer and I’m a super control freak.

This is where they’ll say, “Welcome, Jennifer! Join us. Here is our schedule of events and the required reading list. Everyone is required to yadda yadda yadda…”  And then I’ll try really hard not to turn and run screaming “I won’t surrender!” No really, I’m almost that bad. Really the only thing that keeps me from actually screaming and running is my locked vault of introverted emotions.  But if backed into a corner, I can totally climb a wall.

We began homeschooling for the freedom. It was now our schedule, our curriculum choice, our private field trips. We’ll read what we want, sleep till 11am, vacation when others are back in school and rub it in. We can do school at midnight on our backs in the driveway if that’s when the planets are lined up right. Heck, we’ll eat Elmer’s glue if we want too. So, I was not even slightly interested in joining a co-op or homeschool group of any kind that would take away our freedom.

Flash forward to now, starting our 4th year homeschooling and after a move halfway across the big and wonderful state of Texas, we are actually relinquishing a bit of our freedom and my hard-headedness and will be starting a co-op in September.  I know. What was I thinking, right?  It was a momentary weakness in my armor against any infiltration of our perfect homeschool.

Alright, fine. For my second truth admission I will concede that “perfect homeschool” is a bit of a stretch. Okay. Okay, fine. It’s a down right lie.  Our homeschool is, of course, awesome though.  And we have been rocking right along just fine these past few years. But the Ds are getting older and don’t get all their kicks and grins from watching me perform kitchen show tunes like they did when I was still cutting grapes in half for safety (and because I had nothing better to do while singing “One Singular Sensation” while high kicking around a booster chair.)  If you read my earlier post, Yes, My Kids Have Asked to go to School then you remember how D2 almost had to go and find a new momma just wants to know what all the hype is about middle school.  And I just want him to be brilliant and emerge with his confidence and personality intact.

We both raced to the white flag of truce in the end.  He gave in because 8 hours a day and 6am just sounded like a horror film. And I let it go because, well, I could use peer pressure and the aid of like-minded parents as a shiny new curriculum or disciplinary weapon.  A one day a week co-op seemed the middle ground for both our needs. So, we scrambled to get enrolled in whatever classes were left in this apparently blockbuster co-op.  I’ve since learned from the seasoned members that it is customary to set alarms and crawl out of bed in the wee hours of morning to register. Basically its Black Friday for homeschool moms.  I wonder if I can pull a Martha Stewart next semester and get the inside tips? Maybe there’s a scratch off or line jumper coupon code?!

Next month we are supposed to attend the family meeting required for all clueless newbies.  Yup, that’d be us.  Because apparently I am supposed to earn points for our family to be allowed to remain in good standing. I think I must set-up something, clean something, teach something, take-down something, or at the very least wipe noses and butts in the nursery every Monday? Ya, that was the box I accidently on purpose forgot to check.  I did my time, and got out for good behavior with the disposal of the last pull-up 5 years ago, thank you very much.  I’d much rather teach Commas; A Billion And One Uses than work in the nursery.  I gave them my credentials and college earned initials, so maybe I’ll get to help in a science or health class.  Yet, I fear there is some nasty job worse than the nursery they save to break-in the new co-op moms, sort of like a sorority initiation. Its probably shoe tying, cursive writing, and cutting with scissors and they hand you a class full of lefties. Bring it on, ladies! I am a lefty. Hear me whine.

Now the Ds are all in some pretty strange courses thanks to my delayed decision to join, but I think being forced to take what was left might prove interesting in the long run. They’ll be those adults you meet that seem just like any other ordinary business man in a suit, and all of a sudden your left with your mouth hanging open when you see them in “Hells Kitchen” on the Food Channel. For instance the twins (6th grade) are each in a different high school level courses, because, well, high school seemed better than pre-K art?  So D1 will be our new resident pastry chef just in time for Christimas, and D2 will be learning the secrets of the human body and how they relate to Genesis in the Bible, and will be applying to Harvard Medical in the spring of his 8th grade year.  Maybe probably.

They did get in a few classes they wanted such as computer science (because 2,000 hours of minecraft a week isn’t enough) and weather experiments. D3 is taking a course on puzzles, strategies, and logic.  These skills could be used to run the country or to enhance a life of crime.  Same difference really. Either way, he’s a born enigmatologist and is psyched!

If I get stuck with goldfish and Capri-Sun duty, clearly they’ll be having way more fun than me. But I’ll alphabetize animal crackers by genus and species if it means getting my boys the right kind of socialization they are looking for and some new friends here in our new place.

But, I’m not doing diapers.



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