Thursday, April 16, 2009

Decisions, decisions....oh how quickly school is coming!

For the last year, Tim and I have been discussing school options for our children, especially since one of them is facing kindergarten next year.  I have spent a lot of time researching different options for us and have been very frustrated at times.  I was in no way a model student growing up and I went to 13 different schools by the time I graduated so I had a significantly varied education.  As I try to collect my thoughts about what to do for my children's education, I realize I must throw my own experience out the window and tread lightly in conversations about schooling b/c school options are often a "sacred cow" for many families!  Tim and I, just like other families, have many issues at play when we begin to contemplate what schooling option is the best fit for our family:  location (we do not have a lot of schooling options near by), our children's readiness for school (especially given that the first one up has only been in our home 1 year), our children's personalities, our priorities and desires for education, our own strengths and weakness in shepherding our children during their schooling experience, etc.  There have been a few times that we have come to a decision only to find that a month or two later we are struggling and wrestling with whether or not we believe that is best.  Many people have said "its only kindergarten" and I know that in some ways they are right but it is my job to take care of my kids, to shepherd them and discern what is best for them and to be an advocate for them and what we do for school is connected with that. 

It seems to have come down to a local charter school that has all day kindergarten or homeschooling!  I have resisted homeschooling because I don't want to do it, I do not think I would be particularly good at it, I don't like the stigma that homeschool kids get, I want my kids to have constant interaction with other kids, with having 4 small kids I have felt like it would be good to separate them a  little, etc.  The reasons I am even considering homeschooling is because I don't like the idea of putting my 5 or 6 year old in school all day, 5 days a week, especially when I am not sure that my child is ready, I recognize that there are so many wonderful curriculum options available to homeschool families, I recognize that there are other avenues to provide socialization opportunities for my little ones and that homeschooling extends the time that parents can have a bigger sphere of influence on their children.  A week ago I knew what we were doing and this week and I am just not sure, but as complicated as I can make all of this in my head, I know that whatever we do doesn't have to be permanent and that if we faithfully submit ourselves to the Lord, he will direct us.

If anyone else out there knows of some great schools or curriculum or other great options, I would love to hear you input!


Amy said...

I'm glad to know I'm not alone in the struggle. I have no input or advice but I know the Demarests have been a huge encouragement so the resource is there if you need it! :)

GreenEggsandSam said...

nice header photo.

my 2 cents...
I totally support your process... the more I teach in the public school system and the more I hear from my friends who teach in the private school system, I think that homeschooling is a very viable option and can assist in the sheperding duties more than 'regular school'. If you want names of some peeps that we know who are now doing homeschool, let me know.
There are some sweet resources out there.
SIDENOTE: I think the stigma is changing. ANd, there are so many avenues of opportunity for social interaction in the homeschool system (sports, co-ops, etc)... it's actually super cool.
Frankly, from my exposure to teaching the last 4 years, I am confident that if i had kids I would lean heavily towards HS. :)

The Vance's said...

I've had to make the same decesion. My daughter will be starting kindergarten next year. We have decided on a charter school. She will only be going for a 1/2 day. Even though it is kindergarten, we wanted her to start out in school that she can go to for a long time and not have to change. Also, the education she will receive is excellent!

Good luck in your decision. I know I don't have the patience for homeschooling. :)

suubi said...

I wish we had a half day option!

Kiki said...

Hmm! Elianna is only 1 and we have been struggling with this ever since I found out I was pregnant. What a difficult decision. While thinking, praying, and looking for ideas I stumbled across this website:
Lately we've been leaning toward homeschooling, but have a few years to think about it. Maybe in the future those who decide to home school in our church can arrange time for the kids to do something together?