I am pulling my son out of public school tomorrow. He is really bright with a learning disability. I am confident
this is the right move and have confidence that I will be an improvement over the road he has been down
these past 7 years in school. How do I "get over" the idea that he has to take certain classes, fill
certain requirements, etc.? I think we both need to "decompress" for a while and get a game plan.
I am looking for any words of encouragement and/or suggestions! I am excited. I want to focus on making
my son a decent person with a love of learning rather than pigeon-holing him.
It is a process, the "getting over" your expectations, so be kind to yourself. You've most likely have had these expectations built up over a lifetime. Long after your son has "deschooled", you'll likely still be deschooling yourself as well. I know I am, and I never have sent my kids to school nor wanted to. I have been philosophically in-line-ish with unschooling for about 5 years now, and I still find myself struggling with my own public-schooled expectations.
I'm guessing your son is in middle school? You might have a harder time letting go, because it seems to me to be the age that parents start panicking if anything seems "behind" or resisted or ignored. With younger children, it is easier for a parent with confidence to just kick back and take the long view of things.
Parents of older children probably have better, more specific advice, but I would first take the break that you are looking for . Give yourself that break, too. Maybe even set a date to mentally revisit your expectations and see if they have relaxed. Then, read some books, chat with folks in the community and online, observe your son, and do this while he is still in deschoolng mode. Maybe by the end of your own mental break, those fears and doubts will not be so overwhelming once you've had a chance to see your son outside of the school setting, with no educational expectations. At least you'll get a clearer view and operate less out of panic and more out of understanding.
"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."