Friday, August 04, 2006

Notice of Intent to Homeschool

I wrote my official "notice of intent to homeschool," stapled it to a copy of my college diploma, and I'm ready to become official.

My real Notice of Intent (or NOI) starts like this:

I am providing notice of my intention to provide home instruction for the child listed below as provided for by 22.1-254.1 of the Code of Virginia (1950) as amended, in lieu of having him attend school.

Then I have to attach my diploma and say what my curriculum is going to be, and I have to give the name and age of Benny and other useful information.

What I'd really like to say is something like this:

Dear Superintendent,

I really have no problem with your schools and I'm sure the first grade teachers in your district are fantastic. I'm happy to keep paying you with our taxes, and I appreciate you educating all those kids to the best of your ability. However, I won't be sending Benny to you this year. We just don't have the time.

We want to play the violin, go swimming, ride bikes, do karate, play in the backyard, pretend to be fish, go to the beach, the zoo, the museums, and the circus, visit Ecuador, Disney World, our grandparents, and France. When it's nice outside, we want to go outside. When it's raining or cold, we want to dive into projects that take three days, we want to spend a whole afternoon making playdoh fossils and we can't be bothered to wake up at 7, because I'm afraid we stayed up until 11 reading. We don't want Benny answering to bells, closing books before he's finished or staring at them long after he's lost interest, waiting to eat and use the bathroom, waiting for Tuesdays to do art, waiting for Thursdays to do music, we want to do music all day every day and art whenever we feel like it, and we want to wake up and decide each morning exactly what we want to do that day, and play with our friends a lot, and not have to pack everything cool into the hours between school and dinner. We don't want Benny to do any homework. And I have to be honest with you -- sometimes we just want to play Playstation for 4 hours or watch TV or just lie around. We also want him to help teach his sister the alphabet, and take long baths at strange times, and stay in the pool as long as he wants and sing at the top of his lungs while he's doing his math, and we want him to pick books at the library that are way too hard for him, or way too easy, and spend a long time drawing things we can't figure out, and play with the dog, and go out on the boat, and jump on trampolines, and...

Well, you can see that with all this stuff that we want to do, there's no way we can give you our child from 8:25 in the morning until 2:45 in the afternoon, so while I appreciate everything that our Norfolk Public School has to offer, I will be keeping my child with his family this year, and we'll let you know next year how it all turned out.


Speaking of flexible schedules, we're going to South Carolina for a month. We *will* be back for the first day of school, but I think we'll sleep in that day, then maybe go to the playground.

1 comment:

  1. Well met! I've just come across your site while I was searching for winter things on the internet. You see, my 3 year old and I are delving into everything cold and icy about the winter season right now (It's June in South Africa and the cold has just started to get a bit more serious).

    I really enjoyed reading your blogs on homeschooling tonight and in many ways you kind of make me think of myself.

    Thank you for the most beautiful "explanation of homeschooling" that I've come across yet in your Notice of Intent to Homeschool blog.

    This makes me excited again for doing what I'm doing and while I'm still stumbling along (I only "officially" started homeschooling this year in January), my daughter is having great fun and loves everything we do together. She's so eager to absorb and is so curious about everything.

    I find it too precious to be able to share directly in her exploring the world and how it works - whether it is by swinging and sliding at the playground, running around with her friends, paging through a book or counting the snowflakes we hung on our home-painted winter tree :)

    And boy - do I learn a lot too!