Wednesday, January 29, 2014

School part 2

A few months ago I wrote a post giving reason why we are considering to homeschool our children next year.  My plan had been to do a follow up with reasons we wouldn't homeschool.  Always the procrastinator....even when I don't mean to be.  And though we are pretty sure we have made a decision things can change.  We don't know what the future holds.  So here we go...

First and foremost, it is A LOT of work.  I'm sure rewarding.  But a lot of work.  I feel like I have tons to do now as it is.  And I try to dodge that when I can.  The kids education can't be dodged.  So why not let a professional handle the work of initially teaching the concepts.  Let me be clear, it's not all on the teachers.  We wouldn't be disengaged.  We would follow up on homework, communicate with the teacher if we have a problem, and seek tutors if one of the kids needs extra help.  If we have a problem with a specific teacher that isn't being resolved to will touch base with the administration.  We aren't ones to just assume the teacher is the problem...we would likely give the benefit of the doubt several times before feeling the need to take extra measures. Seriously, we love teachers!

Cost.  Nothing is free.  Public schools are bending over backwards to get money from their state and the federal government.  The curricula we are looking at for our kids is going to cost some money.  With that said, homeschooling is much cheaper than sending them to a private school, but public school would not come directly out of our pockets.  I know taxes and such, we will have to pay that anyway but nothing more.  We are living on an extremely tight budget.  With homeschooling, we would likely spend more money on food too.  My kids like to snack and snack and snack.

Quiet.  I love my children.  And even when they are loud and full of energy, I'm not too bothered.  I love being around my kids.  I realize there are people who truly need a break to recharge so they can be an effective parent for the rest of the day.  I am NOT saying that those people do not love their kids or they don't love being around their kids, but I don't need that recharge quite like others do.  However, I do have days like this!!!   Not to mention, one or two of my kids have been in preschool five days a week for the past two years.  So I might need a daily recharge, and I'm not aware of it.  But I can appreciate my house when it's quiet.  I don't love it for too long, but every so often when I have that rare day that Simon takes his nap while the other two are in school...It is nice.  And I don't feel guilty that I enjoy it.  So sending the kids to school would keep the volume down in the house most of the day.  Big Plus!

Productive.  Let's beat the dead horse a little more, shall we?  I am not a good housekeeper.  When the kids are at school I will have more opportunities to try and keep the house tidy.  I know my kids are in school now, but there is lots of driving involved.  By the time we are home and fed it's time to start putting coat on again.  So attending school there will be no driving because they would ride the bus, and  they have longer days.  Which means more time the kids are out of the house and not destroying it.

Teachers.  I like I said earlier we love teachers.  I have several friends that are teachers.  I believe that most teachers genuinely care for their students and want every last one of them to succeed.  They passionately want to help mold the future generations to be better than our current.  Even with their hands tied, many teachers have adapted and are very creative to try to make a fun learning environment for their students.  The experience we have had so far with the kids' teachers have been wonderful.  Communication has remained open to help sort out any issues that kid needs to over come.  They have been able to help reinforce (emotional management, specifically) within a different environment.  The teachers have been able to recognize behavior that might not arise at home.  They have helped Chris and I to hold the kids accountable for their actions.

Schools have more resources than I do in my home.  Materials could be supplemented, but some might be a little more difficult to have readily available in our home.

Confidence.  I worry about my ability to run a homeschool.  My bad habits will affect the quality of our school if I don't fix them quickly.  I'm afraid the lack of organization and my ability to procrastinate EVERYTHING is pushing pro level and will bite me in the arse causing the kids' education to suffer.  Also, figuring out my teaching style, my kids' learning style, and how to make the two work well together.  I'm not even sure where to begin to determine either one of those things. And how will I know if I'm right?

So far the kids really like school.  So why mess with good thing?

It's a little sad to think of some of the thing I loved that they will miss out on.  Pageants, assemblies, riding a bus, yearbooks, pep rallies, fundraisers, proms, homecoming, band competitions.  Homeschools have supplemented many of these things in some way.  And often you can work with the public school to participate in some extra curricular activities.  But it will be different than what I experienced.

So there are a few reasons we have considered to not homeschool.  For us it isn't homeschool vs. public school vs. private school.  Meaning we can't say one is better than the other.  We have to follow our calling.  We all have different vocations, and we are called to do different things, even in the way we parent and the choices we make as parents.  Kendra is on point! (saying it waaaay better than I ever could!)  Discerning and following God's plan (even if it isn't the plan you want to follow) is what should be done.  It's not always an easy to follow God's plan, but in my 30 years of existence I can say fighting against His plan has wreaked havoc on our lives.

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