We’ve had a lot going on these past couple weeks. It all started when my husband and I finally went on a long overdue date, thanks to our wonderfully gracious Mothers who offered to watch the kids for a few hours. We were able to talk through many things that have been looming over our heads during the summer months. One topic in particular was the topic of this year’s homeschooling curriculum. I had been asking him for weeks to help me get things set in stone for our 7 year old to start 3rd Grade Math and 2nd Grade Reading, Writing, Science, and so on. We had gone through most of her 2nd Grade workbooks last year, but we were interrupted by my husband’s new job and our newborn baby boy, Timmy.
My husband had been able to help with homeschooling up until March of this year when he started his job as a web developer for a new company and was no longer able to work from home twice a week. I had especially been needing help since our baby boy, Timmy, was born in December of last year. Plus, I’m not always on top of things when he’s not there cheering us on. So, needless to say, we were feeling a bit overwhelmed by the upcoming 2012-2013 school year. Our heads just weren’t in the game like they should be.
Our conversation began over a couple of mocha shakes around 7pm. We knew it was going to be a long night, so coffee sounded like a good choice at the time. We began talking about what our schedules were going to look like for the Fall Season. My husband talked about his desire to improve his health and activity level and I expressed the same desire. We talked about the time we would need to focus on that and added that into the schedule. Then, we began discussing our spiritual health. We both would be signing up for our separate small groups in addition to our Sunday morning meetings with another couple at our church. These things were all added to the schedule. Add in the date nights and grocery shopping trips every week and we had a full schedule to say the least. Plus, my husband decided then and there that he would be signing up for a History course at our area technical college! Well, that would mean that he would be maxed out for time.
After taking a few good sips of our mocha shakes, we came to the topic of education for our children. Since being married, we had always thought that homeschooling would be a great adventure and superior to any public school education.
Some things we thought homeschooling would offer:
- Flexibility with schedule and curriculum
- A closer relationship with our children
- A faith-based alternative to public school curriculum
- The ability to advance our children as we see fit
- Giving our children one-on-one teaching
- Allowing our children to take part in daily activities and chores
- A superior education and learning experience
What we’ve now discovered that homeschooling offers (in addition to those listed above):
- An often stressful environment for parents with many small children
- Distractions are everywhere!
- Organization is a MUST!
- Learning can take place at any time, not just during the day
- Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Having Mom in your face every day doesn’t.
- “… with many advisors they succeed” Proverbs 15:22. Having more than one teacher is a good thing!
- A superior education and learning experience may be hindered at home
After discussing our findings from the previous homeschooling year, we trudged on to our options for the upcoming school year. It was already mid-August! What could be done? We reflected on our public school experience and the statistics for the schools in our area. We knew that our children would be in good hands if we were to enroll them in the public elementary school close to our home. Our county schools are known for educational excellence. If we were living in the city, we would not even have considered enrolling them in a public school. But, we love the county we live in and know many of the people in it.
Our conclusion? Add “start 2nd grade at the local elementary school” on to the schedule for our 7 yr old and call it a night!
The weeks following our date night were busy to say the least. My days have been filled with paper work, e-mails, and phone calls to the school. I was able to get my 7 yr old, Abigail, enrolled in 2nd grade and couldn’t be happier about our decision. Everyone at the school has been very helpful and Abigail is super duper excited to start school next week! I will still be homeschooling my soon-to-be 5 yr old (on Sept. 7th) since I couldn’t get her enrolled in Kindergarten for this year. She is sad, but I know she will work extra hard this year to prepare for Kindergarten next year. She may even be able to skip right to 1st grade! Not sure she’ll want to, though.
We’re all excited for Fall and look forward to a year filled with learning and growing!