Monday, May 25, 2009

To Homeschool or Not to Homeschool - THAT is the question! ;)

Since we learned that we didn't qualify for any financial assistance for Christopher to continue his education at FBA, we've been exploring our options. Actually, we've had our options on the back burner of our minds since we enrolled him in PK4 at FBA. However, we were always hopeful that we would qualify for some financial assistance, especially with the loss of my teaching job this time last year. But, that was not to be.

I have also thought off and on about home-schooling Christopher since we brought him home from the hospital. But, it's always been a distant though - something I didn't think I'd do until he was closer to Middle School age. But, this turn of events has brought it to the forefront of our decision making.

As with almost any decision making, there are pros and cons to consider. The pros are that I have taught every grade from PK4-5th Grade, so I have some idea of where he should be academically. I can also take him at his own pace, which can be a very good thing for him - he tends to get in trouble at school when he gets board. His one year at FBA has proved that he also tends to gravitate toward those children who get in trouble (thankfully, trouble at FBA is nowhere near what it takes to get in trouble in the public school)! So, home school also has the added benefit of keeping him from too many temptations that would get him in trouble.

The cons to consider are that he is an only child and would not have as much socialization as kids in the public school - this could also be considered a pro, as he'd be better able to focus on his studies. He most likely would not have a Kindergarten graduation, which led me to pick the picture above. ;) This is something I personally am grieving about him not attending FBA for Kindergarten. The only other con I can think of now is that he would be with me all the time, which would make it a little more challenging to set up appointments with new recruits. Again, a selfish issue. ;)

Christoher is excited about the prospect of me teaching him at home. He's a bit of a home-body, likes to sleep in, and enjoys doing "school-work" - so this is right up his alley, so to speak. When I asked him today what he most wanted to learn when I taught him at home, he very quickly told me, "To read and to write!"

Now, some have asked me about putting him in public school. While that is certainly an option, it is NOT high on our priority list. While I never thought I'd feel this way, having received all my education through public schools and having taught in them myself, I just can't bring myself to place my precious gift from God in such a morally bankrupt environment! Over the years that I've taught in public school, I've learned that stealing is to be rewarded and profanity is not a discipline issue. Yes, you read that right. At the very school where my child is zoned to attend, I had a 3rd grader who repeatedly stole from teachers and students - when I wrote a referral, he received a jackpot of school supplies. I was also informed that I was writing too many office referrals (mind you, the only time I wrote one was when the child stole something). The following year, I had 3 first grade students using profanity so foul that if used in a movie would automatically qualify it for an R rating. When a parent complained about the minor infraction (a form sent home to the parents to alert them of the incident) I'd written (by the way, this was the very same parent who was unmoved by the incident when I'd called the day it happened), I was infomed by my principal (in front of said child and parent) that it was not a discipline issue! Now, if I'm not going to allow my child to watch an R-rated movie, why would I allow him the opportunity to experience the same kind of language in his classroom? I just can't bring myself to do it.

Having said that, I don't want to imply that all public schools are bad - they are not. It really has a lot to do with the administration, not only at the very top, but also at each school level. For those who feel led to send their children o public school, I think no less of them. I just don't think it's right for my child at this point in time.

So...what are we going to do? I really can't tell you for sure. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to voice them in the comments section. I'm always willing to listen to others ideas! :)


Kella B said...

Just do it. I'd like to homeschool my 7 year old, however my husband and i are not on the same page, yet ;).

Amanda said...

LOL I think it sounds pretty clear what you at least want to do! And oddly enough, Christopher seems like he'd do well, which I think is kind of unusual for boys in home school. Lots of our friends home school, so you know you'll have lots of support and help. And...if it makes you feel any better, I never had a kindergarten graduation. And though I never memorized the 23rd Psalm and I never wore a cap and gown till I was 18, I feel all right about it. I bet Christopher would be totally fine with a Happy Meal and a certificate...or something a 5 year old boy would like.

Christine said...

A GREAT read for anyone considering Classical education or Homeschooling (and doing a good job)...A Well Trained will convince you that YOU are indeed the best teacher for Christopher! and I have no doubts about it! you may even wonder why you didn't start sooner. oh yeah....and as a former kinder teacher....i'll buy the happy meal! graduation isn't everything :)