First of all, I know I dropped off the face of the earth. I have a lot going on and a lot to say, but I just never find time to get on here anymore.
Well, I am seriously thinking about doing something that I have sworn for my entire life that I would never do. NEVER. …. Homeschooling. *sigh*
Before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, let me explain. I don’t have anything against homeschooling *when it is done right.* But usually it’s not done right and the child suffers… for the rest of their lives. I guess I’ve always been biased this way. My mom is a retired public school teacher. She has her Master’s Degree and a list of qualifications that would make your head spin. Growing up, my parents were definitely against homeschooling. My mom would even say “I wouldn’t even try it and I’m an educator.” Because she has her area of expertise and feels comfortable teaching that, but wouldn’t feel comfortable teaching something else. And I have seen SO MANY examples of homeschooling gone wrong. From children who “graduate” high school and are still basically illiterate, and socially backward, and doomed to the type of life that leads to…. clear up to kids who were home schooled reasonably well and then tried to transition into college life and STRUGGLED in so many ways to catch up, or fit in, or just to “get it.” I have always sworn I would never do that to my children…. And yet, here we are.
I haven’t made any full decision yet, but for the first time in my life, I’m feeling like it might be the best option for us. *gulp*
It’s no secret that public education leaves much to be desired. Nobody agrees on exactly WHAT is missing, but I think everyone agrees that something is missing… that the education system in this country is not able to provide the things that it should, while simultaneously providing many things that it should NOT… I personally blame the politicians. On both sides. But I won’t get into that. The bottom line is that politicians and bureaucracies have smothered our education system.
Also there are issues that I’m worried about… some of which will certainly offend some of you, because they have a strong bearing on politics. I don’t wish to offend or create ill feelings between us, so I won’t get into them. But basically, I want my child to have the best education possible, and that is not currently being provided by our local public school.
But perhaps the biggest thing for me personally was realizing that starting next year (1st grade), my son’s teacher will be spending more time with him that I will be. Let that sink in. I almost threw up when I realized that. Basically someone else will be raising him at that point. I feel like that is just wrong. Deep in my gut, it’s wrong. I’ve spent many long hours at night (when I should be sleeping) pondering and praying and wondering what I can do about it.
So I’ve been doing research. Charter schools? I looked into those in this area, and just didn’t like what they did either. Really they aren’t much different from the public schools, except they don’t provide a bus or a lunch. LOL. That’s pretty much the biggest difference.
Private schools? I have found one! And I LOVE it!!! My cousin even teaches there and she is freaking amazing, and their other teachers are not one stitch behind her. It’s everything I’ve always believed a school should be, and it’s EXCELLENT… with their kids on average being able to pass a GED or similar by the age of 15… which is super early, and I’m not sure what they’d do after that because it’s much too early for college… except maybe community college that’s seriously a 3 minute walk from my house, get those pesky general education classes out of the way early and be able to focus on what they actually want to pursue… Also, the school is only held Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8am to noon. Which leaves ample time for me to still be the one who raises my children. (All those results in so few hours!) The only catch? Well the private school I want to send my kids to is quite a distance to drive every day, and is pretty expensive. I’ve been crunching numbers for a few weeks, and we could probably do it… if we stopped eating. LOL. Okay, I’m joking. It’s not that bad, but it would be a very tight budget with NO room for error or emergency… which I don’t know if I think that’s such a good idea.
But the school I want to send him to… they offer a “remote homeschool” option. It’s half the price, plus text books… (and that’s the price for as many kids as you have, so when baby girl starts school my price won’t increase to include her, I’ll just have to buy more books.) You then can stream the live video feed from class into your home. As the teacher/parent, I would also have trainings on how to teach it so that I could be right there to assist, if there were questions or if something needed more explanation… but the main weight of the teaching wouldn’t actually be on me (phew! or they’d never learn math!!!) because he’d actually be involved in the actual class with an actual teacher, via the internet. They test and track all the kids, even homeschooled, and do testing 3 times per year to make sure that each child is at least up to grade level, and they do field trips and things all the time as well.
Which only leaves socialization…. I’m still working on that one. I have a good friend in my neighborhood who is already signed up to do the homeschooling through this same school, so I know that our kids could do regular play dates, but I don’t feel like that’s quite enough. Hmmmm. I’m working on it. But I guess I’m pretty close to making this decision really. I just have to make sure that I have all my bases covered. I can’t make this decision lightly, or without considering everything involved. I simply won’t do it if I can’t find a way for it to be advantageous for my child in ALL ways. But I’m sure there’s some type of a formalized “play group” for homeschooled kids around here. Lots of people home school, and all of them *should* be trying to socialize their kids. If nobody has organized a consistent play group for them/us, then maybe I should start one.
So, taking a deep breath, I think I’m about to commit to doing homeschool.