Saturday, September 12, 2009

My thoughts on school

It seemed as if I was the only one in the bloggy world that I knew of that was deciding NOT to homeschool my children. I have since found those that aren't as well. Ever since starting this blog and reading others, I have given homeschool more thought. Even after doing this though it does not feel right for me to homeschool. The thing is I still have 2 years until M&M is old enough to go to Kindergarten. But I do have her in two preschools right now for a total of 3 mornings a week. One of them is at a local church 1 day a week where she knows no one. The other is at somebody's home that I go to church with where she is with kids that she knows from nursery class on Sunday.

With this decision in mind I am still going to evaluate our situation again and again to make sure I am doing the right thing. It is nice to know that I have an alternative if things go really sour in school. (or I don't like the school schedule in the district we are in like where we are now. They have elementary kids starting school at 8:00 a.m. and high school kids starting at 9. The high school kids don't get out until like 4:00 in the afternoon. I think this is ludicris. Is this normal for across the country now or is it just where we live? Where I grew up elementary started at 9 and high school started at 8. In high school we got out at 2:30 p.m. Enough time to do extracurricular activities and still be home to help make dinner or whatever.) Sorry a little tangent there, I could go on with that, but I won't.

I know the reasons that some people homeschool or don't have to do with religious, social and even personal reasons. I know of some people that really like to have their kids home. But I don't believe I love my child any less because I am sending her off to school. I do worry sometimes about the things my children will encounter and learn about in school, but I know that if I teach them correct princples at home that they will be a shining light in the midst of darkness and evil that surrounds them in the world.

I used to be one of those that thought people that were homeschooled were socially awkward, and all of that stigma. But that's what happens when we are young and we don't have all the information for both sides of a situation. I will say though that two of my best friends (sisters) were homeschooled and they are A LOT more social then me, during school years and in college. I am a very reserved person.

I do have to mention some of the things that intrigue me about homeschooling. I like the flexibility that goes along with it. I learned somewhere and I think it's true in most cases that you can get more done in a shorter amount of time because of the one-on-one attention that children get. You don't have to worry about kids missing school if there is a family emergency or you want to take a trip during off-peak seasons.

I think I have found a new hobby in looking for and implementing new activities for M&M and I to do together in Tot School. I've learned SO much. I'm in the process of putting together a binder of all the activities that I've found so that I can use these ideas for future children like Bubba and any more that come along in later years. I look forward to being home when my kids get home, having a snack ready for them and helping them with their homework or doing an art project with them. This time will be dedicated to them because I will have hopefully had enough time during the day to do anything I need to do for myself or around the house.

So as with everything I write it this is just my opinion and I love that we can all write our own opinions and learn from one another through these blogs.


  1. I do not plan on homeschooling either at this time. Emily still has 3 years till kindergarten though. Emily and Juliette will actually go to the same school that I went to and the same Elementary school that I taught at. I have to admit that after starting my blog and seeing the great things that homeschoolers get to do it is in the back of my mind as an option. I do like knowing that if I don't like the way something is going in the public school I can homeschool.

  2. Interesting post today! I, like you, often feel like I am the only mom NOT homeschooling.

    As a graduate of parochial school, elementary educator in public schools and now a stay-at-home mom, I feel like I've had lots of different examples to work from. At this time, it is our decision to send Mary Catherine to public school next year for kidnergarten. While I would love to send her to Catholic school, the tuition is just not affordable as long as I stay at home. Now if I should return to teaching, parochial education might be an possibility.

    I say, keep your options open, do what feels right for your family and child, and don't be swayed by public opinion. Sometimes what is in fashion, doesn't justify its correctness.

    Now, as far as the elementary versus high school bell times...brain-based studies show that teenagers actually BENEFIT from a later start time. By their chemical/physical make-up, teenagers need to sleep later in the morning and are "night owls" in the evening. It's not that they are trying to be difficult, they truly are wired that way.

    Elementary children, on the other hand, have a different brain-based chemical make-up which is why they can rise out of bed at 6:30 in the morning after staying up waaaay past their bedtime. Of course there are all sorts of exceptions to this rule; the teenager who gets up early, the toddler who sleeps in late, but biologically speaking, the norm is the reverse.

    Unfortunately, most school districts do not employ the 9 AM start time for high schoolers b/c of the very reason you sited....extracurricular activities. Also, 2-parent working families are often opposed to earlier start times for their little ones b/c they are unable to pick-up for earlier dismissal, especially if they have an inflexible employer. Mostly though, the coaches are the biggest opponent to later start times for teenagers.

    If you study school days around the world, you will find that only in America do we have such a concentrated school day without a significant middle of they day break. While students in Europe or Asia may start their days earlier and end their days later, they allow for downtime during the day.

    Something to think about!

  3. B is 2.5 and I'm trying to find a preschool a couple of half days a week for when he turns 3. I'm not planning on home schooling.....Just a couple of random comments. =)

  4. I don't, at this moment in time, plan on homeschooling Maddie either. I LOVE teaching her, but am hoping to do that even IF she's in school. Our biggest thing is that I do NOT want her to attend her neighborhood school (it's a great area but not enough neighborhood children so they have to bus kids in and that brings a whole slew of issues...). Anyway, there's a great little Catholic school, but again, the issue there is financially.

    I think it's such a family-based choice but at this time, I really think Maddie's personality is leading me toward SENDING her to school. I don't know. She's only two, so she's not in preschool yet, and since we do so much at home, I'm not that worried. Agh, I'm rambling! Sorry!!

  5. Hey, I just wanted to comment on your tangent. I think it is a little crazy that the high schoolers get out late in your district. Our high schools start at 7:30 and get out at 2:30, so its not everywhere. Thanks for your opinion on the homeschooling debate. I am planning on sending my little one to school one day but I know that will not stop the learning that we will embark on together :)

  6. Homeschooling isn't for everyone. Luckily, there are many choices out there for schooling, whether it be public school, private school, homeschooling, etc. Whatever works for your family is what is best!

    As far as the schedule goes, around here the public grade school bus drops off the kids at 4 p.m.! I think they start at 8:30. That's way too long to me.

  7. I agree with what April just said. By sending your child to public school doesn't mean you have to stop teaching her. We all do a little homeschooling. When they help you cook, you teach them math. When you go for walks, you teach them science. When you let them make their own choices, you teach them about democracy. You teach them about how traditions, sharing, citizenship, honesty, responsibility, etc. are really important. You get the picture.
    You know what works best for your family, so don't sweat it. I, myself, am a teacher who is now a SAHM and I plan to just homeschool my 3 yr old for preschool and then he will be off to public school for K, just like my other two.

  8. Good for you for following your heart! I am a homeschooling mom, but it's not the best path for everyone. Based only on your blog posts, I'd say you'd would make a wonderful homeschooling mom too, but it doesn't mean that it's the only or even the best way for your little ones. Do what you think is right; that's all we as parent's can do anyway, right?

    On another note, as soon as you have a "craft" label up and have what you want from your sidebar stored on your computer, I can make the switch to your new layout if you want. Just let me know when you are ready! :)

  9. As you know, I just wrote my own post on the same topic :) I do like certain things about homeschool that you mentioned - flexibility, 1:1 attention, safety. But I think that there is no need for elementary homeschool where we live. Our elementary school is one of the best in the state, so I feel pretty excited about sending Anna there in 2 years.

  10. I know I've visited you before, but I forgot to mark you in my favorites or follow you...but I did today. I'm your new follower.

    We do not plan to homeschool. Lots of reasons, but the big one is that I value the classroom experience too much! I'm a former elem. teacher.

    Many homeschool moms/dads do a great job! They want a GREAT education for their kids, and frankly, some states/counties/districts don't offer a solid foundation, others do a great job. Our church has a good mix of public/private/Christian/homeschool families. I appreciate there isn't an expectation of any of them.

    Jennifer is fabulous! She designed my other blog, too! is our family blog if you are interested...or just to see what she came up with!



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