Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Homeschool/Public School-A Mom's Heart Part 2

If you have read the first post for this you need to do so here.

Sweet Pea loved it!  Life got even better for me when Baby Girl was given a spot (for various reasons) by the PreK teacher.  I had my afternoons all to myself.  Awesome right?  Not so much.  Addielce's excitement lasted about two weeks.  Then she started complaining of being sick, hating school, wanting to stay home.  Lots and lots of tears (by both of us).  Her teacher and Tony and I tried what we could to pull her out of it, but it never really got better.  She hated it.  I was a devastated momma who felt like a failure again.

But God did one thing in those moments....he answered the question we had asked:  Please make it clear one way or another if she should be in this program next year.

So where are we this school year:

*Public School:  Big Brother, Little Man, and Baby Girl all attend public school (BB for a whole day, the other two for a half).  They have wonderful teachers, an amazing staff, a school disctrict that cares for them deeply.  They also get the high structure they need and are able to work on socialization skills (something they all struggle with in varing ways) in a way they can't at home.

Again, this is required, but even if it wasn't.  This would still be our choice.

*Homeschool:  Sweet Pea is home with me.  I still hear complaints (can't I just build a block tower) and sometimes wishes of going to the other kids school (I really want to play on the playground again).  She still runs to hug her old teachers (isn't it amazing she has that relationship with them) and she misses her friends.  However, homeschool is going fantastic.  Our relationship is deepening.  She is bubbling with joy.  And I am enjoying teaching her.  I can't describe the smile it brings to my face, every day.  I keep repeating to Tony how much fun we are having, he's gotten to the "uh-huh" stage of listening to that statement.

And where will we be in the future:

Well, the three in public (if we adopt them) will probably stay there, as long as we are in this district.  I couldn't ask for a better environment for them.  If we were to a move to a new district I would be ok pulling them home if I needed to.  However there are some that I would pull home before others.

Sweet Pea will be a year by year decision.  Right now I would like to keep her home next year, but we will need to do a lot of praying first.  The kindergarten teachers are just top knotch, so that makes the decision so much harder.  But she is doing so well in the home environment, that I can't imagine pulling her out of it at this point. 

My hearts in both places.  My kids are in the best places they could be right now, for themselves.  They are all thriving in their current environments but probably wouldn't be in another environment.  I'm thankful that we can do what is best for all of them.

What is your schooling choice?  Why?  Is there anything that has changed your mind throughout the years?

I did not mention private school because 1. we couldn't afford that at this time and 2. we really don't have any experience with it.  We have a great private school close, but right now that isn't an option for us.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Homeschool/Public Shool-A Mom's Heart

Please note that this post is NOT meant to argue one side or the other.  It's simple to talk about our journey to our current school situation and our thoughts for the future.

We did fine in the public schools, so our kids will do just fine.  '

That was our thinking when we got married.  In fact at one point Tony was completely against homeschooling all together.  Our parents had their reasons for sending both us and our sibs to public school.  They were great reasons, and we completely agreed with them.

Then I was pregnant or had just had Sweet Pea (I think pregnant) and I spent an evening at a godly couples house working on a project for Orphan Sunday.  She talked about her choices for school for her three girls, how her thoughts had been the same as ours.  She shared how her oldest went to Kindergarten and suddenly their world changed, they didn't like what their child was learning at school.  Their children experienced a number of different schooling options, and now they are amazing young ladies on fire for the Lord.  I wanted my kids to be like them!  The  more I read for homeschooling families, the more I liked many of the common themes (a togetherness as family, a control of teaching, more time home and less time being "busy" at school)

Fast forward to the summer before Sweet Pea would traditionally enter a Preschool (and by traditionally I mean by today's standards, the rates at which our kids go to Preschool are incredibly high compared to what they were when I was a kiddo).  We had ordered a homeschool material and were thrilled.  Soon we got a call to take in three kiddos, two would be home while I was trying to teach Sweet Pea.  This didn't phase us and we pushed forward with our plan to homeschool.

The school year rolled around and I was more then ready.  The five (turned six) year old we had taken into our home....well, he needed more structure then our everyday environment could give him.  Suddenly this homeschooling convert was begging for the school system to take her child.  PLEASE!  I felt like a complete failure.  

Side Note: We are required to send our foster kids to the public school, we have no choice.  We are also STRONGLY encouraged to send preschoolers to some sort of schooling or structured daycare.  However, even if I could have homeschooled I wouldn't have...I NEEDED him to go. 

In October Little Man entered the ECSE (Early Childhood Special Ed) program with an IEP.  In March we got asked a question I never expected: "Sweet Pea is next on our list to start PreK, talk and pray about it, let us know."  Hard question.  See in the months that had passed homeschooling was not what I expected.  Having a three year old that is all artsy, a curriculum that was so NOT, and a high needs little girl who was emotionally not handling things had pretty much become a night mare.  I knew that the PreK program was creative based ant the teachers....well, let's just say we couldn't of found better ones if we have searched for them ourselves.  They were incredible!

So we said yes.  Good bye homeschooling.....find out the rest of the story next week.