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Is It Right To Make Her Go?

My 6th grader heads to Outdoor School today.  She is less than thrilled.

For those that aren't familiar, Outdoor School (see info/video here) is a program for 6th graders that takes their education out of the class room for 3 to 5 days and puts them in nature, living in cabins, learning about what makes our ecosystem tic.  It's a fantastic opportunity for children whose parents aren't able to venture into our lovely forests, and see what true beauty really is.  And we're are so lucky to have it all around us in the Pacific Northwest.  And it's terrific for those children that spend too much time with the Kindle (Ahem, my Lily).

I know why she's nervous, Lily is really a home-body (much like her mother).  For the past 3 years, when it comes to sleep-overs with her friends, she usually wants them to come here.  When we have the opportunity to go out to dinner she complains that she'd rather eat at home.  (Mom would rather have someone cook and clean FOR her sometimes, thank you very much.)  She's so anxious about Outdoor School and it doesn't seem like anything I say, or her teacher says, or her big sister - who went 3 years ago - is helping.  She's crying, which she hardly ever does.  She talks about all of the bad things that can happen (her imagination is really working overtime).

My oldest, Katie, couldn't wait to go to Outdoor School!  She was so excited and so prepared that I didn't feel any remorse for putting her on that school bus that headed down the road, filled with a loud group of 6th graders and 2 teachers (that I'm sure had some Valium tucked away somewhere).  However this afternoon, I don't know how I'm going to feel.  Her teacher is aware of Lily's anxiety, so I hope Lily will get the reassurance she needs when she's there.  Her teacher has placed Lily's closest friend as her cabin mate, so that's gotta help.

I wish she was happier about this experience.  I don't know how well I'll sleep tonight.

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