Sunday, May 31, 2009

To Homeschool or Not

Last year, when I decided to homeschool, I said "it's what's right for our family right now." This turned out to be more true than I could have imagined... with Frank getting sick, needing surgery, and our March vacation extending to help with the death of my Grandmother. Simply stated, Frank likely would have failed Kindergarten just because of the number of days he would have missed being sick. Not to mention we couldn't have helped my Aunt so much or for as long as we did, if we'd had to return for Traditional, Public School.

With all the (necessary) focus on Frank this year, I've seen some behavioral issues shooting up with Jack. Nothing out-of-control, but something I'm aware of and feel like I need to focus more on.

Additionally, when Tom recently hurt his back and possibly needed major back surgery, I was spurred into thinking about returning to school to finish a degree. For myself and for the welfare of my family.

I know I could homeschool Frank and go to college myself, but simply put, I think it will be easier to allow him to go to Public School while I focus on my schooling and time with Jack. In addition, the local College has a great Children's Center. I know Jack will get a lot out of attending it. It has great rates for college students' children. Our town is a Boom Town, which means, in part, that preschool's here have a one year, plus, waiting list. The only way (I've found) for Jack to be able to participate in a preschool program is for me to go back to college.

As I've been researching college, I could go back as a full-time student for one semester and be done with it. Of course, I'd be stressed out beyond belief and the family would suffer. I'm hoping, that by spreading it out over a year, just one or two classes at a time, I can enjoy what I'm doing and learn more. I'll also be setting a good example for the boys of completing a goal and also enjoying learning.

Am I excited about the idea of Frank going to Public School? No.

Frank and Tom are excited though.

Am I excited about the idea of completing my degree? Yes.

Am I excited about spending more time alone with Jack? Yes.

Am I excited about Jack participating in some structured schooling? Yes.

So. This year, for right now, full "Homeschooling" is being shelved. In my mind though, I think of it as "when I Homeschool again", not "if." I have enjoyed homeschooling tremendously. I am sorry not to be doing it again this year. But, I also feel that this will be best for the most people.

As Marie reminded me, I "have choices, it's all about choices." Right now I can choose to send Frank to Public School. In a year, or a month, or a semester, I can change my mind and do something different. For the moment though, I'm thinking he'll go to school and we'll continue to supplement at home.

As another homeschooling Mom told me, it's not like I'm "choosing between Public School and a Concentration Camp; it's just school." He won't be hurt forever by one year in Public School. And who knows, we may find that we all like it tremendously.

Coming to this choice, to enroll Frank in Public School has been a very hard one for me. I've been fretting over it for over three months now. Now that I've turned in the paperwork, I'm feeling better about it, not because of Frank himself, but because what Frank's going there will allow me to accomplish for myself and Jack.

I'm learning that oftentimes there isn't just one "right" choice, there are simply choices in life. We have to commit to one and then go with it. In the end, many paths can lead to the same destination. We must choose the one that feels right at the time and trust our instincts. That's what I'm learning.


marie*jolie said...

You are so right. It's not just about one choice. It's a life full of choices! And not only that, but you get to keep choosing every day, and better STILL is that you always have the right to change your mind. Choice rules!

Tonia said...

that is a tough decision...but like you said, you can change your mind at anytime. Sure I will see you up at the college. Far as I know we will go M/W/F from 1-4 for Nursing, and then labs and other required things. And we may run into each other at the children's center even! :D

Celise said...

There are times that I wish I myelf had been homeschooled. Until I shadowed my niece one day for research for my book. She graduated last year from a charter school and I couldn't help but think, "I would've enjoyed school SO MUCH MORE if charter schools had been in existence." Public school kinda sucked for me.

I hope Frank enjoys it. The boys are getting so big!! I'm glad you're posting pics. Good luck with school. Orientation starts for me at the end of August.