This subject has been a battle in my thoughts. Not a battle of whether or not we are doing the right thing, but I am so aware of the pros and cons. I spoke of many of these last year when I was recording our experiences with our "first transition to Public School".
One of the things I have learned- neither side is more easy! Yet, I have not experienced "no kids at home" during the day and working full time job. I am sure that causes different kinds of stress. It has always been important to our family that my full time job is my home and children.
We took the much needed leap after our crazy road trip/moving summer to enroll our 1st, 3rd, and 5th grader in public elementary school. They attend an all year schedule and are coming up on their first 3 week break tomorrow. Whoo Hoo! I am so happy and proud of them! You have to understand we are not a family that as been getting up for years and being out the door by 7:25 every day. This was a big accomplishment. We set out clothes the night before and I make lunches with everyone in bed by 8:30pm. The weeks have been flying by like crazy leaving little time for the flexibility we once had. We still curl up on the couches on some evenings with popcorn and a movie. :) We do our best to make a fun family outing on the weekends.
Elijah has been in school since the end of August. Unfortunately, his Middle School was not on the same schedule as the Elementary kids. I have heard this will be changing next year, but it is the least of my concern because he nor Lydia will be attending. (Last year Elijah was able to take a half day of Middle School in Oregon. This was the best option for us and I was extremely disappointed that in our fun state of North Carolina this is not aloud till a child is 16.)
Not only has the schedule been a disappointment, but many other things. Let me mention, we talk to our kids everyday after school, go over homework and get the "low down" on how their day went.
Public school was not an option for me to check out do my own thing and not be involved in their lives.
Elijah loved giving us what he called a "play by play" of his day. I appreciate his willingness even at times it was a bit lengthy ;) (wink, wink) It would have been perfect if a he could take just Math and Literature. Some of the other classes proved to be a waste of time. Also unruly children using the "f" word every other sentence during lunch was not his cup of tea either. He came home with many stories of kids physically fighting and disrespecting their teachers. The principle even accommodated him to a new schedule because of these issues, but it was only a matter of time. He was excelling great, even above his class (loved by teachers) but reality set in by this first month. Elijah will learn much more at home. It would be wrong of us to keep him in for our own pride.
Regarding all the kids in school, it does sadden me that I don't have the reading/prayer time I did with them before. I am looking forward to reading more during break.
While it has been good for Hadassah and Mordecai to learn toddler lessons with mom (ie-"we share", "don't hit", "don't tell mommy no" ect.) I miss their interactions with their older siblings. Their needs can be taxing for me to meet! Props to you mommas with small children. I remember how hard it was with 4 kids under the age of 5. My older children are such an asset in training and letting them join in with what they are doing. Unfortunately, the past month I had no older kid help and I can tell I am not 22 anymore! Elijah will be home again and his big brother presence will be a blessing.
Good news, my little Jason has caught up on his reading and doing awesome. Lydia has been given the opportunity to announce the school news every other month live on camera. It is so adorable. Elizabeth (and Jason) both are in gifted advanced classes. I have also been going every Friday afternoon to help with Elizabeth class. I have a few concerns with her friendships, but she is learning how to speak up. She is very sensitive to other peoples feelings.
Every child is different. Every family is different and even every school is different. I appreciate how disciplined and routine their school is... For example, at their school in Oregon they had three recesses a day and now only one. Also, they are not allowed to talk during lunch until everyone is done eating and walking in straight lines in the halls is strictly enforced.
I feel the grade school kids are really at a healthy spot. This break is more than needed for rest and family regrouping. I have no intention on taking them out later this year. I want them to persevere (not like they haven't in so many ways!). I want to see them continuing to work hard.
Granted, if I had a bigger home than 1100 sq ft with a family room or basement I probably would be homeschooling right now and loving every minute, right? lol.
One year at a time.
school and "homeschool" pictures :)
Jason's class community presentation. Sean and him made the library of course!
Jason presented why the library was important when a parent pushed the button he held in his hand.
lydia's dream come true!
While playing at Radio Island she found a Comb/Walnut Jellyfish alive with bioluminescent.
the girls studied this all evening writing in their journals like mad.
unfortunately it did die the next morning. :(
these were taking today after school. she still had energy to make pretzels with her little sister.
were are always finding new creatures. this little guys visits us often in the rain. :)