what to do, what to do…
This past year we’ve been doing an homeschooling experiement. My daughter, who is 4, has been working on a K-4 curriculum. In addition, we jumped in to a homeschool co-op that meets once a week. When we began this adventure, Matt and I agreed that it would be on a year-by-year basis. The reasoning was that we didn’t want to continue something just because that’s what we had “always done”. Now that we are almost to the half-way mark in the year, I think it’s time for the mid-year assessment. I’m hoping that the logic (well, what I hope is logic…) presented will help us to decide what to do next year; continue homeschooling, or pursue a private school.
I will start with the “pros”.
* responsibility. I am responsible for my child’s education. I am the one who decides what she will/will not do. I don’t have to worry about her being exposed to ideas/concepts that I think a 4/5 year old is not ready for.
* peers. We basically get to choose her peers for her. Although she is in a class at co-op with her peers that we have not specifically chosen, it is a Christian homeschool group, so we know that the kids are being raised with the same values that we instill in our children.
* curriculum. Already I have seen the pros to this. We were not doing well with the math curriculum we were using, so, we switched. We both now love the curriuculum we are using. If she was in a school and the curriuculum was not working with her, it wouldn’t matter, she would still be stuck with it.
* freedom!!! Today, we did school while I was still in my pajamas. Don’t always do it, but every now and then, why not? 🙂 There is never an alarm clock telling us when we have to get started, or end. There is no one saying we can’t go to the zoo if we want, or on a field trip to reinforce what we’ve been doing or talking about.
Now, on to the “con’s”.
* responsibility! I am responsible for my child’s education! That can be and is a little overwhelming at times. While everything is going exactly as it should, I have a hard time just thinking about this year, and our progress. I get caught up thinking about the future, and what that will look like, which is a little intimidating.
* balance. I have found it difficult to find a balance that works on a regular basis for us. There will be weeks that are great, and weeks that are not. Finding a way to take care of the house, and my other responsibilities as well as find time for school is tricky. This is especially true as baby Brady gets older (he’s now 9 1/2 months old) and in to more trouble.
* boredom. Although we are in a co-op (which Rachel LOVES), and we do gymnastics one morning a week, there is still a lot of time at home. I have not yet gotten to the point where taking the three kids out is easy. I’m not sure that point will be reached until Brady is out of diapers! It’s just a lot of work to get everything ready for 3 kids ages 4 and under. The consequence is that we are at home a LOT. I fear that there are times that Rachel gets bored. I know she is social, and would love to be around kids more often, I just struggle with finding ways to do playdates, especially as her peer group is in preschool a few days a week, and is about to be in kindergarten full time.
So, there’s a short list. I could probably think of more, but these are the major things that pop up in my mind.