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09 March 2011

home schooling?

(this kid is SO hard to photograph these days)

I'm just gonna come right out and say it... I'm seriously considering homeschooling. I never thought I'd say that, but I am.

When Max was a toddler I was so ready to have a few hours of the day to myself, but now I'm not so sure. Now that he's out of that crazy monster-ish toddler phase I really like spending all day with him. Recently I contacted the school Max will (?) be attending to ask about their Pre-K program (his birthday falls after the cut-off so he won't start Kindergarten until 2012) and they said they'd love to get me that info so just call them. And I panicked. Suddenly this whole school thing became very real and I realized I don't think I'm ready for it. Do I really want for him to be gone all day every day of the week? That would mean no more story time at the library, no going to the park all afternoon, no going to brigade runs with dad, no museum trips. Everything we'll do has to be fit in around a school calendar. Summer vacation would have to end by the end of July, with no trips during the school year 'cause they're sooo strict on attendance here.

And on top of all that, he'd only be learning like 20% of his time there. The rest of it is wasted by teachers having to deal with crap. And I don't think they get recess anymore. And even if they do, they aren't allowed to just play. And I can go on and on and on.

Now I'm sure you're thinking, "Uh, if you feel that strongly about it, why are you waffling with the idea of homeschooling?"

I'll tell you why, it's two things. One, I have no idea what he needs to be learning and when. I'm terrified of him being behind everyone else his age because of me. And two, I don't want him to be one of those socially awkward home schooled kids. Don't lie, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

What do you think?

I did have a great conversation with a "friend" (I put it in quotations because we've only hung out twice, but we get along great) about the whole thing. She is of the same opinion I am, although she is looking into private school instead of home school (something we can't afford right now). And when I voiced my concerns over the whole socialization thing, what she said really struck me:
"Is that REALLY the kind of socializing you want your kid to have?"
And she's right. I don't think it's any secret how immoral our society has become. And how kids are stripped of their innocence SO YOUNG these days. So I am faced with this decision:
"Is it more important for me to have a socially 'with-it' child, or to have a morally sound child?"
I must confess, I'm definitely leaning towards the morally sound child. I definitely want his innocence to stay in place for as long as it possible can. It is my obligation to rear my children in righteousness, and I'm not sure yet if I can do that by sending him off to fend for himself every day in this immoral world. (or am I just being overprotective?)

BUT, if I do home school, I'm clueless. I don't where to start. And if I don't figure it out soon, he's gonna end up right where I don't want him. So do YOU have any advice? A great curriculum I should look into? Especially for the preschool level? Anyone you know I should talk to? Am I the only one contemplating this? And PLEASE let me know if I'm a good mom for even contemplating this. It seems the older my kids get, the harder this whole mom career really is.


  1. If homeschooling is where your heart is, don't over-think the curriculum part of it just yet. There are PLENTY of websites with printouts and homeschool help. It can be as structured or loose as you want it to be. You can also find answers to what your child should be learning at each age. And having been homeschooled for most of my schooling life I definitely know what you mean about the socially backward types. I've seen many of those, but it is SO MUCH better nowadays. And socializing a couple times a week (say church and storytime) is all they really need. And family is the most important socializing unit anyway.

    That being said, the involvement of the parent in the classroom at school makes a world of difference! And if he starts school and it's not the right fit, then drop it.
    Sorry this is SO long, but this is a topic that I have pondered on, lived and debated for years.

  2. Oh Jackie! Kaden is only 9 months ols, and I find myself thinking about this all the time. I definitely don't have the answer, but I know I lady who home schools her children, and she does an excellent job. Her children are very well socialized. I know they do lots of things with other home schooled kids. I can get you info from her.

    I am a teacher! A public school advocate! But becoming a mom changes everything. I think as long as you are involved, you can't really go wrong either way. I'm just glad I don't have to make this decision for a few more years.... :)

    Good luck! And I'll give you that information when I talk to her again.

  3. good luck jackie!! i am still undecided. after homeschooling shaelyn for the last 2 years, i'm sending her to a traditional preschool next year. two reasons: 1) homeschooling is a COMMITMENT and i want a break next year (when it won't really matter in the long scheme of things) and 2) i want shaelyn to learn from someone besides me.

    our personalities (me and shae) clash sometimes, and there are times i think (actually KNOW) she would be a better student for someone else. that said...

    i am a HUGE education advocate and i also know that my kids will get the best education they can if i am their teacher - not bragging, just saying i'll have more resources at my disposal than a traditional teacher will with 25 kids and discipline problems.

    however, there are things a child can learn in a traditional classroom that they can't in a homeschool environment. and again, it is a COMMITMENT. and i'm undecided about whether or not i'm ready/want to make that level of commitment. plus, i really liked traditional school growing up, and i feel bad about denying my kiddos fun opportunities i really enjoyed - school sports, field trips, school plays, etc. yes, these things can be duplicated a lot of times through the community, but it's not the same.

    i go back and forth about this on a DAILY basis. i think having shae in a preschool next year will help me solidify my feelings on it one way or the other. and either way, the important thing is is that you make education important in your home, whether you are your child's teacher or not. and if you homeschool - do a co-op! :)

  4. All of the above comments are great! My SIL homeschools because of their travel in the military. Knowing her point of view and my experience as a school counselor if your moves continue to take your kids out of school in the middle of the year it may be a better option to homeschool. I think about this ALL the time myself and am in heavey conversation with my SIL about her curriculum and what they need to learn and at what point.

    I think you were given some sound advice as far as either trying a pre-school first or even putting in school and seeing how things unfold. My only additional advice is that if you go with it, when they hit high school either put them in public or complete the homeschool program through graduation. I know in NC when a high school student transfers into public school their grades transfer as pass/fail, which basically affects the GPA. So if they do 9th grade homeschool then their GPA will only be calculated with the 3 years they complete at the high school. They will be able to move on to the next course (for example- they get a "P" for Eng 9 with you they can enroll in Eng 10...just no grade awarded for Eng 9 on the school record).

    I hope that makes sense. Bottom line be involved either way you go and I don't think you can go wrong. they have to meet those crazy, corrupt people at some point in life, right:/

    Let me know how things go with this because I am very interested in the topic at the moment. I am setting up my basement as a pre-school this summer and seeing how I like it before I really have to make a decision.

    Erika Holmes

  5. This is SUCH a personal decision, Jackie. But, I'll put in my good word for public education. Brandon's in 4th grade now and Whitney's in 1st and we've found that each year it's a roll of the dice on what teacher you get. Out of the seven teachers we've had, five have been GREAT and have made for wonderful learning experiences for my kids. The other two have been mediocre, but Brandon has learned to make the best of a tough situation during those years.

    I have considered homeschooling, but to be honest, I'm too lazy. To do it right, it will be A TON of work and I'm not up for it.

    While I agree that there is a lot of wasted time during the school day, one of my good friends told me that an important skill for our kids to learn is how to be politely bored. Isn't that true?

    Good luck with your decision. And, like others have said, I would definitely try to find a homeschool co-op if you go that route.

  6. The idea of homeschooling can be overwhelming, but it's very doable! I had friends growing up in Hawaii who were homeschooled. They had a co-op with a bunch of other kids, and different parents taught different subjects. You could look into something like that so that he can get the socialization that he needs without having to be in school. I've been going back and forth on homeschooling myself, but ultimately, I wouldn't have the time to do it with Scarlett and the other two at home. I think there are also at least high schools online that he can use when he gets older that are more of a college prep thing than actual high school.