It's been a steep learning curve for Bean and Fish this year at Plumfield School. We knew it would be. As their homeschool teacher, I knew they had some major deficiencies because there were just some things I either couldn't do with them or they wouldn't do for me at home. Taking notes, taking quizzes, studying for tests and taking them, writing papers... these were things that I knew they needed help with. Lots of help.
Plumfield has transformed these boys of mine. It has been hard for them, but they have worked hard. Amazing things are happening. I am continually astounded by the growth I see. Here are two small examples.
Bean recently took a driver's ed class. A day or two after his classroom experience, I was going through some piles of papers. I found notes that he had taken at driver's ed. NOTES. They gave him a study guide to fill out and he did that, but in addition, entirely on his own volition, he took five pages-- front and back-- of his own notes. Organized, legible notes. I just stared at them in shock and awe. BEAN. TOOK. NOTES. After having a front row seat to all Bean's struggles with written language, this was a miracle.
Recently, the kids and I were at a museum. One display had a brain teaser where you had to put certain numbers in a grid so that they added up a certain way. A challenge, to be sure. Fish took it. He sat there thinking and reasoning and trying different possibilities for a long time. Finally, he solved it. He was so thrilled! So was I. Prior to Plumfield, he might have messed with the puzzle for a minute, but he would have quickly given up and said, "oh well, it's too hard." Plumfield has increased his ability to focus and problem-solve. It has also increased his confidence in his ability to do these things.
I am really proud of my boys. Plumfield has not been easy. They do not waste the students' time down there, and then the boys come home with quite a bit of homework. Staying on top of it all has been a challenge. At first they didn't like it very much because it was so hard compared to homeschool. But now they are getting used to it and they love it.
I told the boys at the beginning of the year that Plumfield would be the making of them. I can see that happening already. It's miraculous and beautiful.
As I write this, I can't help but think that if I had read this post six or seven years ago when I was really struggling with honeschooling young Bean and Fish I may have felt some resentment or jealousy towards the author. "Oh, fine. You get to send your boys to an awesome private school... of course they're thriving! But we're not all that lucky." Hang on, there, Birrd-of-days-gone-by. Keep praying, keep trusting, keep believing that God is leading you on this path of raising your children and He will provide what you and they need each step of the way. I am sure of this.