Milo’s getting ready to enter high school. He’s been getting voice messages, asking that he Zoom calls which instruct him about all the rules he’s going to be following. Fortunately, we’ve been getting copied on everything he receives. Or at least my wife has been. Milo doesn’t wake before 2 p.m. these days, and doesn’t like to check messages from anyone but his friends.
As parents, we got to make some choices for our boy. He’ll be doing the hybrid learning path, in school (with remote teachers) several days a week. He’ll be taking the bus (with an option for us to drive him, or to take public transport with his friends if he so chooses). He’ll be able to get pre-packed lunches.
He’s signed up for classes. Fawn’s worried he’ll miss something. I’m not worried that he’ll miss the basic lesson the system wants to teach him this year about conforming to rules, wearing masks, walking in the right direction, and not making fun of the new rules.
Milo was doing fine in public school until he ran up against a former state trooper turned teacher in third grade who didn’t like our kid’s hyper ways. We were forced to create an IEP that uncovered his advanced nature with most subjects, natural sense of humor, and the fact that our district’s special classes were shared with detention.
He then went to a free school where he and his peers ran the roost, played as kids, and grew into the nicest, most empathetic and curious bunch I’ve ever met. He decided to go on to the high school because his older friends have gone there.
Nevertheless, they’re telling him to beware. And we’re realizing we need to continue the path we started in fourth grade, and play to our son’s strengths rather than beat him into obedience through regimentation.
If this emerging world will allow for such travel, we’re planning to head offshore for tenth and twelfth grades to do language and culture immersion. Milo’s not academic, but he enjoys learning new things at his own pace.
This coming month and year will be a challenge. We hope we’ve set him out on a path that will be good for him, as well as good for all of us as a family.
Read more installments of Village Voices by Paul Smart.