Thursday, August 18, 2011

School Options

It's so hard for me to believe that my itty bitty baby who was just born last week will be three years old in a few weeks! It honestly goes so fast. Since Aubrey is getting older, David and I have been thinking a lot about school for her recently. Our children's schooling is actually something that we've talked about since before we even had kids.

David went to private schools and had a really good experience. I went to a private school through 6th grade and then homeschooled (that might be something you didn't know about me?). I had a really good experience, too. Neither one of us is at all opposed to public school. So, we have plenty of options and lots to discuss.

Even though I had a great experience homeschooling, it's not something I ever felt like I would do with my own kids. The reasons might not be what you would assume. I actually had plenty of friends throughout highschool while I homeschooled. I never felt like I didn't have a social life, and I think I turned out pretty normal? At least, I like to think I did! ;) My family was never that stereotypical homeschool family, and I can tell you that there are a LOT of homeschoolers who don't fit that stereotype. I also was (and am) really close to my family, and I think homeschooling contributed a lot to that for me. BUT I still never thought I would homeschool. I just didn't feel like I'm disciplined enough to do it well, and if I did it, I would definitely want to do it well. I was worried that I would have no accountability, and that I would totally be doing my children a disservice. I'm NOT a Type A personality at all, and I was worried that that would negatively impact my children's education.

But, I also haven't felt a peace when we've talked about other options. For some reason, I just don't feel good about the schools we've talked about. Granted, we haven't researched any school extensively at this point, but I guess I just didn't feel at peace about the idea of school in general. We were actually never planning on sending Aubrey to preschool. While I think preschool is great and I know some kids thrive in preschool, I don't think it's necessary. I think really what it boils down to is that I just want my child with me as much as possible! :)

So that lead me to start thinking about homeschooling again. The idea was more appealing the more I thought about it, but I was still worried about the discipline part of it for me. Then we heard about a school for homeschool families that's only 2 days a week but offers classes and enrichment programs. They help you pick curriculum, hold you accountable on your homeschooling, and teach your child stuff that you might not feel comfortable teaching them at home (like Latin and music). David and I went to a meeting to get more information, and we were both impressed. I think it might be the best of both worlds for us. Our children would be able to go to "school" and get the experience of having teachers and peers, but they would still spend the great majority of their time at home with their parents. Also, I would have a lot of structure to the way we would do school. I wouldn't feel like my child's education and preparation for college rested solely on my shoulders, which I think would be a good thing for me!

The big question would be when to send Aubrey. They do have a 3 year old program, but David and I have mixed feeling about sending her so soon. I think there are some really good pros and cons to going ahead and getting her started. It's something we're praying and talking about. And of course, nothing has been decided at this point. The Lord may have another plan for our children's schooling and totally change our hearts. We are excited to have this option, though.

Picking a school for your child is such a huge responsibility. It can be overwhelming. That's one reason I wanted to blog about this. I want our kids to know that we take every aspect of raising them (including their education) very seriously. I can't believe that I'm actually considering becoming a homeschooling Mama!


Paige said...

Coming from a kindergarten teacher, my feelings are that once they start school they have about 16 years left of it if they go to college. If you are a family that reads to your kids, talks to them, and gives them healthy experiences and interactions you are preparing them just fine for kindergarten. If she wants or need social interaction there are severalnother options available. Just my two cents! Tbey are only little once and I want to be responsible for molding that little heart- not someone else!

Nathalie said...

Sending Emily off to school scares me to death (because of her anxiety and lack of sociability), but everyone I know would probably think we were crazy if we considered homeschooling. I, for one, don't think you're crazy and am very interested to hear/see what you decide! I feel the exact same way as you for reasons not to do it (not feeling disciplined enough but wanting to do it well, having no accountability, etc), but I also want my children with me as much as possible (and I know Steve does too). Anyways, wishing you all the best with your research and decision-making on the topic!

The Niemeyer Nest said...

I have a friend that is teaching at a homeschool co-op similar to what you are thinking about. She loves teaching there! I was a teacher but do not want to be responsible for teaching Evie everything. It seems so daunting. Best of luck as you make your decision. It is an important decision.