Friday, August 26, 2011

School: Now or Later?

I mentioned last week that David and I had gone to a prospective parents meeting for a school that we're considering for Aubrey. We were very impressed with the school itself and loved that it would allow me to homeschool (something that I'm really starting to feel is the right decision for our family), but also provide plenty of structure and accountability. The big question was when to start.

I mentioned in that post that we had never planned to send Aubrey to preschool. The truth is, I LOVE having her home with me. (Not that mothers who send their children to preschool don't. Ha!) Aubrey is perfectly happy at home, she gets plenty of time around other children, and I felt like I could teach her most of what she would be learning in preschool anyway. So, those were our reasons for not sending her. The only reason we were thinking about reconsidering that decision was that I really want a "trial year" with this homeschool program before she starts kindergarten. I want to make sure it's something that I can do and that works well for our family before she is actually in "real school." Plus, after we went to the meeting, I just got kind of excited about the whole concept and was thinking, "maybe we should just go ahead and get started!" So, we decided to make an appointment with the lady in charge of the school to have Aubrey "evaluated."

We went to our meeting on Monday, and it went well. Before we got started, the lady prayed that we would all have wisdom in making the BEST decision for Aubrey. We appreciated that. Aubrey was pretty shy and quiet at first. The lady asked her several things that I knew she knew, but she wouldn't answer at first. It was hard for me not to step in and try to prompt Aubrey! It was important for us to keep quiet, because even if Aubrey knows something, if she won't verbalize it to other people yet, she may need some more time. She did warm up as the meeting went on, and she got more talkative. The lady said that Aubrey was "very bright" and was ahead on a few things and just average for her age on others. It was so interesting to hear an outside, unbiased opinion of your child. At the end of the meeting, we were all feeling a little torn about what to do. The lady said that she was worried that Aubrey wouldn't be ready to sit still and learn for 10 minutes at a time like she would need to if she enrolled. Ha! We all agreed that we did NOT want Aubrey to be the child who was running wild around the room while the other children were sitting still trying to learn! That wouldn't be fair to the teacher, the other children, OR Aubrey. We don't want it to seem like she has a behavior problem because we're trying to push things and start her too early. The other children in the class would be well over three, and Aubrey doesn't even turn three for several more weeks. The lady did notice and comment on the fact that Aubrey is very Type A. Haha! She's her Daddy's daughter :) She said sometimes those type of children do better in a group setting early on. They don't get as set in their ways that way. Ha! The lady ended up telling us that we could have a trial week if we wanted to. We could put her in for the two days of the first week, and then they would give us their honest opinion about whether or not she's ready.

David and I decided to just pray, think, and talk about it. At the end of the day when he got home, we said we both were leaning a certain direction. I was really praying that we'd be leaning the same direction! It turns out we were, and we both think we should keep her home for another year. We both though, "Why rush it?" Aubrey loves being home, I love having her home, and there is PLENTY of time for school in the future. These days of having my babies home full time are so short, and I plan to enjoy them and make the most of them. I'm pretty positive that I won't look back and regret having Aubrey home full time another year, but I very well could regret sending her to school too soon. So, she will be home for another year, and I have so much peace about that decision :)

The lady did tell me several things I can work on at home. She said teaching Aubrey the correct way to hold a pencil should be top priority. She said so many children don't hold them correctly (including Aubrey right now), and the longer they go holding them incorrectly, the harder it is to correct when they're older. She also said tracing and cutting things out is great at this age. So, she recommended some books that we're going to get to work on those things. She told us to read, read, read to Aubrey! Thankfully, we already do that, and Aubrey loves reading :) I'm excited about working with Aubrey at home this year and seeing how that goes.

So, that's our school decision for this year! Glad to have that decision behind us for now. We will revisit this topic again later :)

1 comment:

Whitney said...

I love this post. Avery will turn 3 next July, and I wonder if she will be ready for a 3-year-old program. I know only time will tell, but I like to have all my ducks in a row! I know Aubrey will have a great year with you. And as a teacher, yes to the pencil positioning!