Back to Homeschooling?
Last fall, still reeling from a particularly harsh assessment of my parenting skills by my eldest, I found myself doubting everything, including homeschooling. And so I enrolled Em in public school, unsure if it would be a catastrophe or a saving grace.
And nearly four months later – it’s more grace than catastrophe.
As I look back over the time she has spent in school, I have come to a few understandings. Here they are, in no particular order:
- Educationally speaking – Em was on track and doing fine. In fact, her assessment tests indicated higher scores than her peers in writing, reading and science.
- Not getting recess or longer lunch breaks (just 20 minutes) sucks and not getting to talk with friends sucks more
- I have really enjoyed the extra time to focus on my writing career
- Our mornings together before school have been lovely
- No homework at her school was a huge boon
- Her teachers, mostly, ROCK. I adore her homeschool room teacher and science teacher especially – they are both fabulous people.
- Em has made even more friends (I truly didn’t think it was possible for one kid to be so popular) and several came to her birthday party
There are a lot of benefits and some drawbacks. But after several talks back and forth, Em said to me last Saturday, “Mama, at the end of the school year, I really want to go back to homeschooling.”
“Why is that, Em?”
“I miss it. I miss co-op, I miss my friends and I don’t like having to ask to go pee or get told I can’t talk during lunch.”
But Not Until Fall
I nodded, “I can understand that!” And in the end, where is asking permission to go pee a skill you will need in life? Or being controlled in your free time by NOT being able to talk during lunch?
Her teachers are wonderful and I have truly enjoyed the past few months, but I love the thought of returning to homeschooling. Now that I have had a basic assessment to tell me what I should have already known – my kid is doing fine.
So we will resume in the fall. My plan is to do a mix of co-ops and homeschool through her 8th-grade year and then enroll her in a community college in 9th grade. Just 2-3 classes per semester (1-2 core classes and one elective) will give her enough credits to graduate with an Associate’s degree by the time her peers are finishing high school. After that, she can make the choice of what she wants to do educationally speaking.
Foster Care Training
I feel as if we have sailed into uncharted waters. It’s scary, intimidating, and heartbreaking as we dive into foster care training. So far we have taken two classes and we have one last Thursday night class and two all day Saturday classes to go to finish up.
The instructor is busy separating the wheat from the chaff by telling us endless horror stories. And after over 18 years of providing foster care to teens on down, she certainly has plenty.
We are sticking with it, though. I am certainly learning a lot about foster care and how broken the system is, as well as why the workers say what they say or do what they do. It can be scary, not just for the child, but for the parents as well.
If all goes well, we should have a new addition to our household in April.