Today I had my last parent-teacher conference for the foreseeable future. It went well; conferences for M2 usually do. During the course of our discussion, M2's teacher mentioned that she'd heard that M2 would be homeschooled next year, and she wanted to find out whether that was true or not before confirming or denying anything to the other kids.
I respect that, and of course I told the teacher the truth that we do plan to bring M2 home. I admitted that I wasn't 100% sure that it was the best decision for her, but it was the best decision for me and probably for M1 as well, because he gets nearly as stressed out with our schedule as I do. I don't know that we'll necessarily slow down when both kids are home, but it might make the days a little easier.
The teacher, in turn, told me that M2 was going to be very much missed by her classmates. I'm sure that's true. M2 will miss them, too. It is one of the drawbacks to bringing her home. Even if we attend the functions that the school holds throughout the year, it still won't be the same for M2 as seeing them every day.
That being said, I think bringing M2 home is still the right choice overall. She's been begging for harder work from the teacher for a while now. She brings home beginner cursive worksheets, and she and one other student have been working ahead in math. (The same other student also goes to second-grade reading/spelling with M2.) When the teacher told me her reading fluency level today, she commented that it was "second grade... actually, above second-grade level." M2 hasn't brought home math homework in weeks because she makes the time to get it done at school. Clearly the child is motivated and needs to be challenged. We've been lucky that this year her teacher is willing to push her; there's no guarantee that will continue to happen. It might. But it also might not.
Actually telling the teacher that we're leaving made it all sort of final. Before now anything that had been said was pure speculation. After we return from Spring Break, it won't take long before M2's classmates - and the rest of the school - are aware that she won't be back, even if it's only a vague thought in their heads. The chairperson of our PTA equivalent sent out the agenda for the April meeting this week and mentioned elections for the committee next fall. I'm currently acting as vice-chair; I'll have to decline any nominations that come my way this time.
A part of me is going to miss going up to the school. I've been up there almost every day since 2007, when M1 started at the preschool. I've been a homeroom mom, substitute teacher, field trip driver, and vice-chair of the school committee. I've seen a lot of these kids grow from itty-bitty teeny-tiny things to the 'big kids' they are now. M1's class will be in fourth grade next year.
It's a new chapter I'm stepping into. I'm not afraid of it, and I'm not going to change my mind (especially once everyone finds out about it, because I'm stubborn like that), but it's definitely going to be different. There are good and bad points to every major decision. I can only hope that the kids will understand some day.