Education, Home and Otherwise

So I’ve decided to continue homeschooling next year. I know, I don’t really process through much of our schooling decisions on the blog, but most of that is for the privacy of the girls as anything else. But this has been a year of schooling turmoil for me (us) as I’ve faltered a number of times in my will, desire, and motive for homeschooling them. I also see all the other moms on campus with their morning and afternoon hours dedicated to things other than math, reading, and field tripping. I have to admit, at times I’ve drooled over their “freedom,” if you will.
But here we are at the end of the school year and I’m pleased with where we stand. I’m pleased with the relationship building, with the way I see the girls interacting with other families on campus (they are mostly respectful to other adults, and sweet with babies and toddlers, in addition to playing well with their peers). I’m happy with the academic progress they’ve made and I’m thrilled Mary has caught the reading bug. It has been amazing to personally witness their growth and to have been an intregal part of that.
So earlier this week I placed a Sonlight order and included some new things for Mary and some familiar things for Laura, as well as Carrie, that have previously been done with Mary, and now it’s their turn. When I pulled out certain little books for Carrie, my heart gave a little gasp as I remembered going through them with Mary and how much joy she received in doing them, and the same with Laura. It is exciting to think Carrie will begin that process in earnest this year too.
But it is also a tad daunting to consider adding a third to the homeschooling round up, which is one of the reasons why Carrie will also be going to a local preschool three mornings a week. Before I get silly stringed by a militant homeschooler, let me say that I’m one of those “each year, each kid, at each time” reevaluating kind of homeschooling parents. I may not always be, but for now I am. And this means that we will continually be reevaluating our situation to see if it is still meeting our needs/desires/goals. If it is, we will continue. And that is where preschool fits in.
I once had a friend who tried to convince me preschool was necessary. She would say things like, “Where else are they going to learn to stand in line? And raise their hands? And develop friends?” I had cute little answers to these questions, but those kind of answers have gotten me in trouble recently, so I’ll avoid saying them here. Suffice it to say, I was against preschool for these reasons. And, honestly, I guess I still am. Those aren’t the reasons I let Mary go to preschool, or Laura go, or now am letting Carrie go. I let them go because preschool is fun. And they get to do all those messy crafts and activities that I always want to do with my children, but frankly, rarely ever get around to doing. And now the place Carrie is taking speech therapy is offering us a significantly reduced rate for preschool, so I signed her up. She’s excited.
And I’m excited for her too, but also a little sniffling sad, as attending preschool is one of those little rites of passage for our family and I’m scratching my head wondering when in the world Carrie got old enough to pass through that one. Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future…
At any rate, Carrie’s being otherwise occupied for three mornings a week will hopefully allow me to get a handle on the full-time schooling of my soon-to-be 2nd and 1st graders. And then, when Carrie isn’t in preschool, she will get scheduled in to our at-home school routine to do her Pre-Explode the Code books and begin her Earlybird Math.
It’s exciting to nail down a decision on this. Mary will find the new box of Sonlight books in the morning and will possibly have them read by the end of next week, but that’s okay with me. That’s one of the beauties of doing what we do – not having to wait until the class is on Week 26 to read the books that correspond. I’ll not stifle her in that way, though I may try to steer her a little more gently toward the whole new stack of Hank the Cowdog books I bought specifically for the purpose of redirecting her from the entire stack of new school books – it may work, or it may not. Whatever happens, she’ll be reading and will be loving it. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow…


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