Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The One in Which I Torture My Oldest Child.

Practicing Letters
We are currently undecided on the question of school. I have nothing against public (or private) education. My husband and I are both products of the Florida public school system and, despite all the terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad things you may have heard about it, we turned out just fine. Pretty darn well, in fact.

When we purchased our home, one of the big perks was that it's situated in a hotbed of fantastic! public! schools! No matter how the boundary lines are redrawn, our kids will be okay. Phew. But as we get closer to enrollment time (Casey turns five this year. FIVE!), I find myself not completely committed to the idea of sending our kids to school.

Reason 1: Casey turns five this year. But he misses the cut off for kindergarten because he has a late birthday, which means he will be nearly six before he begins school. To me, this is a wasted year.

Reason 2: Hubsy and I are smart. Not to sound like a brat or anything, but between my law degree and Wesley's engineering degree, I'm pretty sure we can cover all the subjects. And if we need help? My dad is a surgeon and my sister is... a teacher.

Reason 3: We are self employed. As a result, we maintain very unorthodox schedules. So, it would be nice to have the flexibility with our children to take days off in the middle of the week when things happen to be slow. Or as they get older, to vacation and work remotely for long periods without worrying about attendance.

Reason 4: Politics. School curricula are directly influenced by politics. Especially the politics of Texas. Seriously, look it up. Avoiding all that nonsense would be fab.

Reason 5: Efficiency. The amount learned in a seven hour school day can be boiled down to about four hours at home. Why? Because of administration. Completely and totally necessary administration, mind you. But it's there, and it's a timesuck.

Reason 6: Resources. The homeschooling resources available now are incredible. And, I'm not just talking about the internet. I mean the clubs and the groups and the face-to-face, people-to-people, your-kid-will-not-be-socially-awkward resources.

Reason 7: Because I know, personally, several wonderful people who have been, or currently are, part of the homeschooling culture and they are all perfectly well rounded smart and respectable individuals.
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But then, the question remains... do I really want to spend that much time with my kids?


Upstatemamma said...

All of those sound like great reasons to homeschool. Can I make a suggestion? Okay, good. :) Why don't you homeschool kindergarten this fall and see how you like it. If you like it keep doing it and if not then send him to school the following year. He may end up a bit ahead in kindergarten that way but that's not really a bad thing.

Unknown said...

It kinda sounds like you've already made your decision, no? Sounds like a great idea to me!

And his face in that 3rd pic is just too good... :)

SeekerofGrace said...

Totally awesome post - and that is my dilemma as well! I told you my husband wasn't for it before - well, ack, he has started to change his mind! :)

Jenn said...

If I could homeschool my children? I would. In just two years (kindergarten and 1st grade) I've already called the school and cursed them out for incidents that have happened at school (which I wont get into).

BUT, if you homeschool... put your children in lots of activities with children. I say this because they need the interaction with other children other than siblings, I found with Wesley who didnt get that was overwhelmed in kindergarten with all the children.

Tracey said...

TOTALLY HOMESCHOOL! (And, yes, I'm shouting). I have 3 of those wonderful, well-rounded kids of which you speak. I wouldn't give up the flexibility, the closeness and the fun for anything. My last one (16 years old...wow) and I spent today, Thursday, at the Philadelphia Art Museum. No crowds, private tours by the docents (as the museum was pretty empty), and lots of time to talk about the art. How much better is that than her spending the day sitting at a desk while I do errands or whatever? There are so many classes, clubs and play-groups for the younger set, too. Give me a holler if you have any questions, and GO FOR IT!

diane woods said...

i absolutely love, love, love the pictures! the narrative is terrific too!

Krista Neil said...

My little girl has a late birthday too, so we do "homework" with what I've got, and I like doing supplemental things at home like that, but I think you are onto something. I'd be all gung-ho about it at first, then I'd get burnt out and need a break from my kids, and then where would you get it? I like them learning from someone other than me even if the administration isn't so great, and I'll supplement at home, and go figure I got my degree to be a public school teacher.

Meredith R. said...

My husband and I are products of the Florida public schools too - although I have to say his Sarasota education was much better than my Jacksonville education! But I am a HUGE proponent of homeschooling. You can move at the child's pace, you can do units of study as a family and jump on those "teachable moments". You can do so much more than in a classroom setting. I say go for it! If you don't like it, you always have the option of enrolling him in public schools at any time. And since you pay taxes you still have access to all the free services should any of your children require them. You can also opt to have them take the FCAT or any other standardized test your district offers. Oh and I should mention that I taught in public schools for 6 years and was a private school administrator for a year before becoming a SAHM and we are already doing a homeschool preschool curriculum.

Erin said...


HAve you looked into this? I have some students enrolled and they really like it.

I have been keeping my eye on their job postings.

Dad said...

Sorry, didn't read a word you wrote, the pics of Casey were just too cute ad had me distracted.

anymommy said...

Big, big questions. Can't wait to read about your journey.

Dee said...

I think home schooling sounds amazing after reading this. I usually find that my home schooled friends are more well read and knowledgeable about various events and topics!

Unknown said...

Great post, great list and I agree with someone else, try it for K and see how it goes. Are you in Seminole County? Good schools.
I didn't want to be with my kids that much, I have no patience, but I have several friends that have done it through HS and loved it.

Corinne said...

This post was so helpful. I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 1 year old. I know school is not an issue at the moment but we have already been discussing the possibility of homeschool. Are you using any specific curriculum? Any and all info is greatly appreciated :)

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