Ben's classmates threw a going-away party for him (organized by two of the moms and Ms. M). There were cupcakes, testimonials from the kids about how much they loved Ben, a card, reading books, Ben being in charge for the day and many, MANY tears. I forgot my camera. I cried. It was emotionally overwhelming. Ben hugged Ms. M; she cried; he cried as we drove home.
So I took them to the park. And they played with neighbors. And Ben looked glum. When we got home we sat on the couch and I said, "It's not too late. Are you sure you don't want to change your mind?" He said, "No, no, no! I want to do school at home. I am just feeling sad right now."
So tonight we are going to eat tortellini with meatballs on the side, make a BIG bowl of popcorn, and watch the movie one of the kids gave him as a going-away present. Then the boys will go to bed early -- and I will clean the house and prepare the classroom so when Ben wakes up tomorrow our study magically becomes his new 'school.'
The lessons are planned, the worksheets are printed out, the last couple of books arrived, and tomorrow we start the morning with short-vowel bingo, the story of the discontent 9, and a poem by Shel Silverstein to memorize.