Thursday, August 20, 2009

Homeschooling, Again.

Aghhh. I can't get this off of my mind. I just feel like sending my little one to school is the wrong idea. The wrong choice.

I am looking for opinions. Any opinions. For or against. Homeschooling or public school? I am not so weak that I need others to make my decisions. I know what I want to do. Or do I?

This is driving me so nuts. Only a week or so away.

She wants to go to school. I want to have some free time.
I home schooled my older 3 children, for a time, way back when.

I am older now. More tired.

Wiser? For certain.

My instinct tells me to keep her home.

My old tired 44 year old self who has been there and done that says to send her off to school.

My husband says to home school if I want to.

But do I?

Should I?

Dare I?


Kaivalya said...

Much of the value of kindergarten is in socializing with the other children. Why not compromise? When she's home with you, teach her some of the basics to reinforce what she's learning at school. This way, she can still have the experience of being in a classroom with other children. Come Grade 1, you'll have a better idea of what environment she'll thrive in.

Dawn said...

I don't want to tell you what to do. ;) I certainly sympathize though. If I had a great alternative to homeschooling, believe me, I'd be thinking about it. If you do keep her home though, maybe she could get the socializing through other avenues such as dance class, clubs, etc...I wish you all the best as you work through this tough decision. And remember, it doesn't have to be permanent; you can always change your mind.

Anonymous said...

Send her to school. You can always take her out if the days are too long. Kindergarten would be the best to try homeschooling if school doesn't work out this year.

Melissa E. said...

I am an elementary school teacher, so perhaps my input is valuable. (Or not, but I figured I'd offer it.) During the last ten years, I have worked with multiple students who were homeschooled, with varying results.
I have seen homeschooling strengthen the bond between mom and child (or dad and child) and result in excellent outcomes for both. However, I've also had cases where students would've benefited from being in school. The answer depends on a lot of factors:
1. Parent's level of education (and not necessarily formal education, either.) If you have successfully homeschooled before, you probably know what you are doing.
2. Your child’s teacher. I am sorry to say this, but if your child gets a teacher who is not up to par, she might be better off at home with you. Most teachers are excellent, but there are a few bad apples in every bushel.
3. The amount of conflict between parent and child. Sometimes a child won’t learn as well from a parent, even if that parent is a great teacher. I tutor for many children of teachers, who do not want to tutor their own child; it is so much harder to make good professional decisions when you are also a parent. Not impossible, just harder.
4. The needs and desires of the child. If there are any, I repeat any, deficits in learning, schools have all kinds of specialists who know what to do. If the child genuinely wants to go to school, I would not take that away from him/her.
5. Are you a person who frequently allows your child to question the way the world works? Some parents who homeschool their child end up creating little people who have no opinions of their own and lack the analytical skills to make judgments for themselves. I am not suggesting that this is your problem. I just want to make sure you can let your child question your authority in different areas. One thing (most) American schools are good at is encouraging creative thinking, and if you are a “this is the way things are” kind of person, I think you might be raising your child at a disadvantage.

Know, though, that the fact you are weighing this decision so carefully speaks to your abilities as a parent. This is a decision with huge implications for your child, and it deserves the kind of careful consideration you are using. I’m sure you will make the right decision for your child. If you do start to homeschool, though, I would suggest enrolling your daughter in some sort of formal enrichment classes, so that she gets used to the way a regular classroom works. Additionally, I would regularly assess her progress to ensure that she is keeping up with the rest of the students. If you later change your mind and enroll her in school, you want her to be ready to succeed. Whatever you choose, best of luck to you and your daughter.