4.14.2009

The Process...

aidan's frog

aidan's frog

aidan's frog

aidan's frog

is priceless.

There are probably a few moms out there who are quite relieved that spring break is over and the kids are back to school. I am not one of those moms. I missed my little guy all day today.

I find myself revisiting the same emotions I felt four years ago when we were trying to decide where Avery would go for kindergarten. Parents and teachers were interviewed, schools were visited, fingernails were anxiously chewed. And then one day the real dilemma hit me hard. It wasn't that I was so nervous about where Avery would be going to school the next year, it was that she had to go anywhere. I wanted her home with me. We had a good thing going at home and I didn't want our family to be separated, even for just a few hours a day.

Of course this all happened before I found the courage and confidence to homeschool, and before my kids really started expressing a preference regarding their education. Over the last few years we have gone to two different public schools and have been involved with two different homeschooling programs. Four years, four schools. I'm sure that will look good on their permanent record.

Right now we are straddling an awkward fence, with one at home and one at school. It's difficult to find cohesion and consistency between these two very different schools. When it comes to the education of our children, it seems I still have the same dilemma I had four years ago. The one thing that hasn't changed is my personal preference. I want the kids at home. My courage and confidence to homeschool sometimes wavers, but my heart is always in it.

Thankfully, there are only two months left in this school year. There are options to discuss, possibilities to explore, and decisions to be made for next year. I'm just hoping our heads and hearts will lead us home.

23 comments:

  1. I'm right there with you. I starting "home schooling" my oldest last week- it's just preschool, so we do letters and crafts. Nothing fancy. But I can not BELIEVE the difference it has made in our home. She respects me more, and I respect her more. No more tantrums, no more bored whining for video games and movies. I want to home school, I'm just afraid of her missing out on the playground politics- you learn so much at school, socially. But it's not necessarily good lessons.

    In the end, I just have this stupid blind belief that I can raise better adults than our public schools can.

    What do you think? Do you notice a difference between your public and home children? Is that a fair question?

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  2. oh my! you said exactly what i feel! my heart wants us all at home! my confidence is not at the same level, but i think what i don't know will be answered with determination and work. the toughest thing for me (i think) will be how to measure our progress, and if we are making the progress we need.

    very sweet pics of your boy! he did a good job! :)
    ~Karen

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  3. I've straddled that awkward fence with one child in, one child out. For the past 6 years we've all been on the 'home' side, and yet next year my two oldest will be back in classrooms other than my own and my baby, now 8, will be home with me. More fences, more straddling. The most important thing is to remember the loving. Fences come and go, but love remains.

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  4. We straddle the fence too, as you know. And next year will probably be a new school for the older one. I'd rather have him home, but I also know that he's entering an arts program that I couldn't dream of giving him at home. So, my head rules on that one. Annika can get everything she needs and wants at home, so the heart wins there. Such a delicate balance we all seek.

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  5. There has never been any doubt for me that homeschooling was what we needed as a family. But then when we have to give them tests, and make sure that we are doing enough or beyond what is expected...yes, doubts do crawl back in.

    I do hope that when this is revisited again, you will weigh the pros and cons from both and really decide what it is best for your family.

    blessings,

    Lady M

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  6. Molly, Homeschooling is something that wasn't even in my vocabulary, on my radar, a year ago, much less a possibilty. It still isn't, for most of my kids, and not really for Anna. But I do long to have them home sometimes, and I am missing them this week, after a week of nothing to do, but everything we want to do.
    Our family life is so complicated, but I wish I could sit down with you and talk about Anna's future, and all that you know and feel about the choices you(and all of your comment-leavers, too)have made.
    I am in awe of your confidence. And that is one cute face on that boy of yours.
    Take care, best wishes, Tara

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  7. Me I know my children would not learn from me so public school it is. But I am counting down the days to summer! I can't wait.

    Now talk to me mid-July ... my answer may be completely different!

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  8. we've thought about homeschooling many times. It always turns out that I want it more than they for selfish reasons though meaning that I would stay home if we home schooled. Right now I work to help pay for their Christian school which they adore and have gone to since pre-k. It is tough decision for sure.

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  9. I never could relate to those parents who couldn't wait for summer break to be over and for school to start back up. Although all of our kids "go" to school I love it when school is out. And seeing Aiden's project really makes me miss those days of discovery and learning. Which seems to be really nurtured by those who home school.

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  10. My little guy starts school in August. I have been wavering for months about what to do. Unfortunately, I have to work outside of the home, and therefore homeschooling isn't an option now. I'm hoping that will change in the future, even if only for a year.

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  11. i am very worried about their permanent record. hehe. are you guys still 'round your mama's? i'm feeling pretty idle, but there's really, just a ton to do. saturday we'll be watching the battle of the bands for picnic day, just sitting on a hill & watching college bands outdo eachother. wanna join? or, how's monday?

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  12. Oh yes, the tangled web of indecision. It's not a fun place to be, but it's our lot as parents. No matter what, there are fine adults out there with great educations and are fine upstanding citizens that came from school and from home school - and the opposite is true as well.

    Our jobs Molly is to do everything in our power to make them self sufficient. It's terrible to think when they are only 4-8 years old that they will leave home, but yes, someday they will and it's our job to make sure they have the capabilities to be good parents themselves one day.

    So girl, teach them that flexibility is crucial to managing this life - those that are not flexible just can't make it in this world.

    Gosh, sounds like this is MY BLOG! HA!

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  13. We are beginning the phase of looking at different schools for our son as he will start in January (kids start at 2 and a half here in Belgium). To be honest I am dreading it, I know I will miss him so much, his cheeky smile and even cheekier antics!

    I love the dinosaur your son made, I bet he misses spending the time with you too.

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  14. Sorry I am tired this evening, I realise that it is a frog not a dinosaur, yet my brain is still catching up!

    On homeschooling, it's not something heard of much here, plus me being British, I am not as sure on the ins and outs on that here so much yet.

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  15. I am exactly where you are. Garrett goes to middle school next year, and I am just beside myself. I feel that the longer I hold off, the more impossible the transition back to homeschooling would be.

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  16. Oh girl...you know where we are in the schooling dept. So, I hear you about riding the fences.

    What a great post!

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  17. Yes! My oldest starts kindergarten in the fall and we've chosen to homeschool also, for many reasons. Im fortunate enough to be able to stay home with my children, and as long as it's a possibility and it's working for us, we will homeschool. The only time I start second guessing myself is when a wave of nostalgia overtakes me, because I loved school as a child, but for our family I *know* it's the right thing.

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  18. *sigh*
    he starts the preschool program in two weeks. And I have to say, as much as I want him here with us, I as WAYYYYY out of my league with the hearing aids, ASL, etc. I'm counting heavily on that "magic" we talked about for the little ones in the classroom. I need a dose of it myself.
    Aiden just makes my heart melt. I love that boy. I love how you honor their wishes.
    Whatever the next year holds for both of us and our babes, I'm sure it will be worth a good laugh and a few tears...

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  19. i'm right there with you on this one.

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  20. Easter week was a rough start for us, but by the end we were in a groove. I'm looking forward to summer break!

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  21. Difficult decisions indeed. We have been a homeschooling family from the start, my oldest is in grade 6 equivalent. I've been having a year of love it - leave it, but in reality I do love it - having the kids near and all of that. We just got ourselves distracted for the moment with the endless renovations that (sometimes) come with a different home. This post is a thoughtful reminder to me of why I home educate...thank you for that.

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  22. I'm right there with you, Molly
    It would help to have more support here at home--hopefully you and your husband are on the same page; I can't say I am with mine. That one aspect has been my fumble, because I need that one more tier to hold it all up.

    Today was our first day back into the school grind; both are in school. I've done both HS and school-school and can say that both have their pros and cons, too.

    Hang in there :)

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  23. Such honesty. When we were making the decision about whether to home school or not. (I'm a former public school teacher and daughter of public school parents) It helped me to decide what I didn't want to do. I didn't want to send my child away for 7 hours each day. No one loves my child like I do, no one has my child's best interest in mind like I do. We've been home schooling now for 10 years. Some years have been better than others. I'm guessing that's the same no matter where they are. But with them at home I knew what was going on in their lives. We get PLENTY of socialization...but the good thing is I get to choose it...not leave it up to the masses. For us home schooling has worked. I know it's not the best fit for every family. I know when it comes down to it, you'll know what to do. Sometimes these hard decisions pay off the most. No matter, if you keep your kids home or send them off to school...you're a great mom for conciously making a decision. Your kids are blessed to have you.

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