Well my oldest child starts kindergarten in the fall. And as that reality draws closer I've been thinking more about homeschool. And with this thinking has come a LOT of reading. I've read most of the homeschool books in our county's library system and am working on the remaining ones. This reading and learning process has been wonderful. What was once something so foreign and out there to me has become familiar and attainable. If you too are considering homeschooling, I recommend reading, So You're Thinking About Homeschooling: Fifteen Families Show How You Can Do It because the author, Lisa Whelchel does a great job showing you how homeschooling can fit every family, lifestyle, and belief system. I also loved reading The Year of Learning Dangerously: Adventures in Homeschooling because it is hilarious and I can relate to the mother's search for direction and homeschooling information!
Ultimately we haven't decided yet our school plan for next year, although we are pretty sure our son won't be attending full day kindergarten in the fall. There are a handful of alternatives: half day private school, half day at the public school then homeschool the other subjects in the afternoon (we have to see if the school district will allow this, and as we are moving this summer to another state we won't have an answer for a few months), homeschool completely, or homeschool and attend "specials" (ie: PE, art, music, etc.) at the public school. (I talked with the principal of the school we'll most likely be zoned for and she said homeschool students can do this, although once again we'll have to verify that after we move.)
People always want to know why. Why would you want to homeschool? I think every one's list would be slightly different, and our decision will boil down to what we feel best about and what we feel Heavenly Father wants us to do with this child right now (I'm not ready to commit to homeschooling all my children forever; we'll take it one year, one child at a time so far.)
But here are some reasons why I am considering homeschooling my oldest child:
-He is already a great reader and quite bright (I know all parents say that about their children, but it's true!) and I don't think kindergarten would be build upon his love for learning, rather I think he would often be waiting for others or spend his time learning how to do things the way his teacher wants them done.
- He gets anxious about new situations. For example, he cried every time I dropped him off at preschool for the first few weeks. Yes, he will get over this eventually, but the idea of pushing him crying onto the bus every morning is not a happy thought for me. Maybe an extra year at home will help him mature a bit in this area.
- We will live in a bus area, which means he rides with the bigger kids. I'm a mom; I worry about that.
- With all day kindergarten and riding a bus my interactions with my child five days a week will be limited to the hurry-and-get-ready-and-out-the-door routine of the morning and the cranky-tired-eat dinner-and-get-ready-for-bed routine in the evenings. I don't want those to be our main interactions! And I know my son. He will be exhausted when he gets home, and he's not fun to be around when he's exhausted.
There are also things I worry about as I contemplate homeschooling. For instance:
- How am I going to get everything done when I have three little kids at home? Right now I try to run errands when my son is at preschool and my oldest daughter is at a friends house so I only have one kid. With all three home that won't be an option.
-Will being together all the time be hard? (Um, that's a no brainer- yes!) But I believe and hope that it will be good for us, helping my children to be good friends and helping me to practice patience because honestly what child is going to listen to their mother try to teach them math if she's just been yelling at them?
-Will we all get tired of being at home?!
As you can tell we still have much to learn and discuss, and much prayer ahead of us, but I'm excited. I'm excited about the possibilities that lie in teaching my child at home. He is a great little boy and I love to see him learn!