Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Homeschooling, What a Decision

I have been thinking a lot about homeschooling lately. All of this time spent with Wyatt teaching him to read has inspired most of it. I'm shocked to discover that a: I have far more patience than I ever thought I did. b: I really enjoy working with him. and c: I think I may actually have the skills to teach him effectively.

I never thought I would be warm to the idea of homeschooling. I was homeschooled, and it wasn't pretty. If you think of all the things that give homeschooling a bad rep, they were what my schooling looked like. I think the only reason I went to college at 18 and graduated with honors is that I am intensely curious and wanted to learn on my own. I did, however, mourn for a long time the things I missed out on by not attending, like doing sports.

I see so much of myself in Wyatt, though, and I know exactly how to reach him most of the time. I was on the teacher-track in college, so I have a lot of teacher training to draw on. I also have not lost my desire to learn, so when he wants to know something, I often find I want to know it, too.

I don't know where this is all heading, though. Our plan is to put him in school this August. The school here is tiny, and I feel comfortable they will address him where he is at, not what his grade level is. Returning to the States, though, is another thing. If we could afford it, we'd be putting him into a Montessori program, but I doubt that will be in our reach, especially since we will have another child needing to go to school at the same time. Public school, though, gives me a big shudder. I've heard far too many stories of people's kids getting lost or having unaddressed problems. With Wyatt, I worry he will be bored after doing school here.

Luckily, this is an evolving issue and doesn't have to be decided right now. I know a lot depends on where we go after here, and what is available to us there. I am going to be sad when he enters school, though. I hate to break up our threesome. That is maybe the hardest thing about sending the kids off to school. I know the day that happens, something we have now ends forever. I'm really glad I have been able to stay home with them. These years have been incredible.

5 sonar pings:

Carrie Stuart said...

We homeschooled for 5 1/2 years (when my oldest was entering middle school in California and we were frightened at the gang and drug infested school which was not only our neighborhood school, but also held the "gifted" program he was supposed to attend). It was a huge blessing to our family. Depending on where you live, there are opportunities outside of school to offer kids extra-curriculars like sports. We picked one a year and did things like soccer, horse-back riding, fencing, gymnastics and piano (at the expense of the state in California). My younger two remained in school for a couple years longer, but joined us at home eventually, too. It was crazy sometimes, but there were SO many benefits. Now that we are overseas, I enrolled all of my kids in the DoDD schools and they've been having a blast. I think with the smaller environment, kids are less likely to fall between the cracks. I miss them during the day, but it's been a great opportunity for them, too. My high-schoolers are especially loving it and do a variety of sports and activities. I think there are pros and cons to both, and we may go back to homeschooling with our younger two when we head back to the States. Good luck in your decision and your journey!

Sues2u2 said...

You might be surprised but especially on the east coast, there are some Montessori schools in the public school system. They are usually lottery based but when one family member gets in, the younger one typically does too.

Good luck w/ all of this.

tressays said...

You know how I feel about homeschooling. :) I would say look at it as a year to year thing. I don't think putting your kids in school and then pulling them out over and over again is a good idea, but there is no reason why you couldn't put your guy in school while you are there, and then decide something different when you get back to the states.

Truthfully, I think homeschooling while we are in the military is a wonderful thing. It is possible that we may have to move during our son's Junior year. While he is not happy about it, I don't think that it will bring about the excruciating pain that he would have if he was in school. You also don't have to worry about state standards and all the changing of cirriculums when you move. Those are some of the positives.

Yes, we have negatives too. My kids can get lonely, so I have to step out of my introvert comfort zone and get them out of the house. It is good for me and for them. I also have to do a lot of the reading that I wouldn't otherwise do. Otherwise,I do love teaching them, and they don't hate it.

When I put my kids in school last year, I lamented to a friend that I would miss the closeness of our family. She told me that we would still have it. We didn't. Maybe others are more lucky than we are, but I missed my kids.

DerrK said...

I am glad I caught this post and read from the other comments. I looked in to the Montessori program and really wanted to get Leighton in to it, but the cost was a bit more than we can handle right now. He enjoys learning and keeps asking, "can i do more preschool?" I get nervous that I am not going to be able to fulfill his wants or needs here at home.

KK said...

http://kids.woot.com/ has a great deal on Thomas the train right now(for today only) didn't know if you had found some already or not.