Give it a try! • Probiere es!

We had an interview with TING-Schule yesterday and signed up all three kids, school starts in a week. The school identifies itself with a Sudbury aesthetic, which gives the kids the freedom to do whatever they want. What does that mean? Some kids play video games all day, others sign themselves out and go to the park across the street, or they can buy food at the Penny market nearby. Kids can propose a field trip, file the paperwork, set out a sign-up sheet and go, with or without chaperones, depending on the permissions set by their parents. There is a beautiful library with paper cranes hanging from the ceiling and they can read books all day, or romp around in a room with mats and a rock climbing wall. There are plentiful art supplies, a room kitted out for a band and sewing machines next door to a science lab, plus a kindergarten-style space for little ones. The kids were at the interview with us and were vibrating with excitement by the end of it, ready to start school that day, whereas Justin was feeling sick at the thought of propelling our kids into even spongier no man’s land. We pulled our kids out of their school in Portland at that end of 2015, and tried out unschooling in conjunction with tutoring sessions, outdoor school, a community center play and piano lessons. Apart from feeling isolated from our community, we did alright in the first half of 2016. It’s hard to say when rogue parenting is the right or wrong decision, I wish I could sit here and confidently type that we have everything under control and I have full faith in continuing our rogue streak. I can’t do that, but I am taking great solace in the fact that Otto woke up this morning asking to go to school; it feels good knowing that the school is largely made up of girls Olive’s age and boys Oscar’s age and that friends are on the horizon. I know that the kids are going to learn German in an immersive environment and have the opportunity to explore this amazing city in a way that will make them confident world travelers…which is really why we are here in the first place. Beyond paying tuition and getting them to school everyday, Justin and I will have nothing to do with it, which is the most humbling parenting experience of all. Trusting that our kids have everything they need to make a fulfilling life for themselves, even if there isn’t a report card to tape to the refrigerator proving it. Letting my kids find the way to their own happiness in this foreign land feels as good as gold at the moment, I’m going to follow their lead.

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