|Kacy, age 2, with her dad's safety glasses.|
After reading the comments left yesterday, both here and on Facebook (you know who you are and I thank you), and talking to a friend yesterday, I still have one more person's perspective I'd like to hear before I make a decision on what the heck I'm going to do.
And as far as extra/electives/music/art goes, I think EVERYONE can benefit from those things. Unfortunately, being a benefit is not the same as a necessity, and therefore it is a weak argument. Maybe I have a snobby educational attitude, or I'm "high class" in that area... I don't know. (I guarantee I'm high class is no other area! Love, A Redneck.)
I don't think my kids are special or different than anyone elses. Well, that's not entirely true. I've got one who can be a huge weirdo.
And, I also don't think that being "smart" means GATE and MORE WORK. I want my kids to be interested, but not pushed, (but pushed), worked and challenged, but not overburdened with busy work, and honestly, I want them to have time to read a book they want to read, ride a horse they are responsible for, learn to scrub a toilet and clean up after themselves, practice the piano, and still have time to just chill with the fam. I notice that Kacy and Will are gone for 9 hours, and once they get home, we have about 30 minutes of uninterrupted time to just be. Then it's dinner prep, dinner eating, after dinner clean-up, bath time, and then bedtime. And most of the time, I'm telling them what to do, and what not to do. And I'm really busy. I would love to have two or three more hours in the day with the kids. It just so happens that my kids ride a bus for two hours a day. I COULD pick them up and drop them off, saving us an hour a day. But then I think of mileage. That's 45 miles a day, or about 900 miles a month.
Time is an issue, more so than the lack of "fun stuff" at the school. Because if they were home by say 2pm, I'd have a few extra hours to supplement. I do always have Saturdays...but not Sundays because those are filled with church and then extended family time, and it's a day of rest. Everyone needs one day a week to just "be."
Anyway, as of RIGHT NOW, these are my pros and cons about homeschooling (as private school isn't an option for me. The closest one in an hour away.)
*we would have TIME. Time for art, time for music, time for sports, on top of the church stuff we will be doing soon. (This is number ONE!!!)
*my kids will be home more, and see their dad more.(This is number ONE POINT FIVE!!!) Dad has shift work. Shift work is not normally held during school hours. There are no "weekends." This would allow the school age kids to see their dad more than an average of two nights a week and a few hours Saturday morning.
*we could go places. (see above). When your family has no holidays/weekends that line up with everyone else (namely bakers and schools), it makes family stuff near impossible, lest you get the evil eyes and guilt trips for taking the kids out of school for a day or two.
*I don't think smart=more work. My kids are no geniuses, but they do "get it" and move on relatively easily. It would be nice to just keep them moving on. When I heard the fifth grade teacher say that the kids who don't need extra help play Boggle for enrichment activities... I just kind of died inside. I can't explain it. And, there aren't enough kids at the middle school who are at grade level or above to give them a flex time teacher. The low performing students get extra help while the regular performing students get... get this... to do their homework... at school.)
*I have taught school, and I will probably NEVER teach again (hello, California politics!), and I am still fairly stern and no nonsense. Unless we are supposed to be having fun. This could be a strength in how organized I am, spotting problems, finding resources, and in my expectations for proper group behavior. (I am so NOT an un-school person- we all need limits, bounds, and expectations upon us, or we will never rise to the occasion.) I could be the ultimate private tutor- I'm only a whisper away, and I'm FREE! Like an old time governess! Okay, I just thought of Mary Poppins. Not what I was going for.
*My kids' school has declining enrollment and budget cuts, and it was mentioned at the board meeting that there will be lots of combination classes. Not fun for the teachers (because they HAVE to teach both grades independently) and not fun for the kids- how can one teacher (even if there were an aide) be split so much? The ratio of 1:15 or 1:30+ over two grades seems extreme. Know that California's budget crisis plays a small part in this. (Well huge, actually- if they funded schools properly, there could be teachers for the "extras." At this point, there are barely teachers for the basics.)
*when would I wax my eyebrows? Still having two kids at home right now, when do I wax them anyway, right?
*public perception. I remember watching the a news clip of the National Spelling Bee once upon a time, and the winner was homeschooled. And it was painful to watch. I think she may have been kept in a closet, because her reaction was weird and obnoxious, and everything a homeschooling kid is perceived to be. Socially awkward and inept. Since then, I have decided that apple doesn't fall far from the tree, you know what I mean? But I struggle with the idea that my kids might be "one of those" who doesn't function well in public, or can't sit still and listen for periods of time. (But maybe since I know that, I can avoid it?)
*people thinking I'm "one of those people." Because I sometimes still think that myself.
*expense- it could be pricey to do what I want to do with obtaining curriculum and paying for a sport here or there, and oh! the field trips I want to take! So many places.
*how far would I go? Just high school? Through high school?
I will still ponder this subject, and take my time in deciding. (Although, I'm pretty sure where I'm leaning.) I will be registering Ed for Kindergarten next year. But after fall, I have no plans. I may or may not keep them out of our public school. (How would that work with me on the board?)