I made a breakthrough today about Piper’s education.
South Carolina requires children to be in school from the age of five, and we’ve elected to homeschool. We considered other options, but we are choosing to keep her at home so that she can work at her own pace, as our five-year-old operates on an eight-year-old level in many areas. Also, we want to continue building our relationship with her in this capacity before we put her in a place where she may learn to respect others more than her parents.
That said, I’ve been dreading this. Fully, all-out, body-aching, stress-making DREADING it. Parenting is frightening enough on its own – adding education to the mix has all my internal voices going with the “you’re not enough” and the “holy wow, this is too much.” Thirteen years of my own education have been piling up in my brain, a jumble of facts and figures and symbols and absolute crazy.
Pete has been more level-headed, researching our homeschooling options and thinking practically about how we can schedule 180 days of education for our girl around his work, my work, and the rest of our lives. His diligence is what led to my breakthrough today, when he was signing us up for a local group and discovered that we needed a name for our home school.
It’s one of our hobbies, thinking of names we like. We gave each of our kids three names (Piper Joelle Rhiannon and Peter Bredon Michaelson) because we love names. We have two names picked out for another baby (no, I am not telling – or expecting, but I dream of twins!!), and this was a perfect opportunity for us to engage our creativity.
We knew we wanted to keep Sauer OUT of our school name; we wanted something creative and original. We talked about French names (E’Cole de Artiste, Quatre Coins Salle), played with place names (Four Corners, June Street School), and names with personal meanings (Canaan Corners, P & B Academy), but everything was falling flat. I opened up my design program and started playing. I googled school names and noticed that some schools are named after people, but I couldn’t justify just naming our school after some person I didn’t know.
Finally, much like it happened when we named Piper (who was going to be Maddie or Norah before we saw her ultrasound), the right name just happened. We had named our son after Lord Peter Wimsey’s son, Bredon, and I thought perhaps a “Dorothy Sayers” might work well somewhere in the name. It didn’t. Dead end. Then, on a whim, I typed something into my worksheet, and I knew we had it. My world started moving again.
It was perfect. Exactly the right amount of literary, erudite, and fun to stop my dread in its tracks.
As I waited for Pete to see and love the name (which he did!), I played with logos and focus and design, and I realized that I don’t have to be the plan-booking homeschool mama my mother was. I don’t have to leave myself and the way I would do things at the schoolhouse door. I can bring my own creativity to this gig. I can even make a homeschooling “blog” to plan and track our schedule, scan and photograph our paper files, and invite my kids into my world at the same time I’m engaging with theirs.
So. I am pleased and proud and happy to announce that today the Sauers have established Wimsey School for the formal education of our kids. I suddenly think this year might could be fun!