New direction (maybe)

I've been thinking a lot about home schooling again. I think I've said before, I always thought I'd home school my kids. I didn't have a very good public school experience, mainly because in the majority of classes I was bored to tears. I loved the classes where the teacher would put the homework on the board, and while they were teaching I'd go ahead and read the text book, learn it myself, and then complete the homework before class was over. School felt like a big giant waste of time from an academic standpoint.  So much time wasted going from class to class, listening while the teachers tried to keep misbehaving kids in line, going over stuff that I already knew but apparently the rest of the class forgot over the summer.  Yet somehow I got through school and still had a ton of stuff I didn't know how to do. Like make a budget, cook (yeah I took home ec but that was mainly baking and sewing, not actually cooking), and other life skills. I didn't know anything about borrowing money, retained very little about history, science and politics (I remembered it to pass the test, then the information exited my brain) and I had a lot (and still have a lot) to learn about the Bible and God which really everything else pales in comparison to that.

I don't have a problem with anything that the C-monster is learning in school. So far. He's only in kindergarten, and I think we live in an area with pretty good schools.  But who knows how things will change over the next 12-18 years.  I'm frustrated that teachers have to focus so hard on passing standardized tests over certain material, so other things are ignored or rushed over. Not to mention the big bang theory (and who knows what other garbage) being taught as a fact, the absence of learning any Bible.  I'm not saying it's the public school's job to teach these things at all, but they have my children 40+ hours a week and that is a LOT of time with them that I do not have.

There is at least one family at my church that already home schools, and one family that is planning on it (their oldest will be 4 in December).  They both do Classical Conversations, which it seems like everyone I know who is home schooling or planning to uses.

My main concern with home schooling has been my personal sanity. But it struck me over the past week that really, I'm thinking about things incorrectly.  If this is really something God wants us to do, then I have to assume that He will provide patience, and sanity, and hopefully maybe a break for me.

So, we are thinking and praying about this decision. I think right now IF we decide to do it we would just let C finish up the year in public school, then start him at home in the late summer/fall for 1st grade and Y will be in Kindergarten. D will most likely stay in public schools.  For now I'm working with Y and M at home during Ben's morning nap. We just do crafts and we are learning letters and sounds, and we learned about Thanksgiving, I haven't been very structured with it. We'll do some stuff for Christmas too.  And reading books, which I have heard is really the most important thing at this age anyway.  The kids call it "playing school" which I guess it kind of is but I know they are at least learning something! :)

I know there will be some push back. I anticipate bio mom would not be happy with this decision. Even when I took Miss M to her 3 year check up the doctor asked if we are going to start her in pre-school.  Like being at home isn't good enough or something.  Thankfully I don't go to the doctor for parenting advice, just medical advice. :)  There is just such a thought process of kids needing to be "socialized" and that home education is somehow inferior because there aren't 20 or 30 other kids in the class. But let's face it, we have enough little kids that it would kind of be like an old-fashioned one room school house. I can see some pretty nice advantages in mixing young kids with the older.  There would also be some challenges too of course.

I've spent some time looking online and there are SO many programs and things for home schooled kids in our city, so that is exciting. I know there will be lots of opportunities for us to get out of the house and interact with other kids. Especially when Ben isn't taking a morning nap anymore, I feel like that will give us a lot more freedom.  In reading about other parents home schooling K and 1st graders, it sounds like 2-3 hours a day is about what they spend on school total. And it might be broken up (half in the morning, half in the afternoon) and take Fridays off from official schooling and just do fun stuff that day.

So I plan on talking to people who already home school, and just looking into stuff. There is a lot of time before we have to make an official decision. We will see I guess! :)


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