Friday, May 22, 2015

going back to homeschool?

oh my goodness.
this year, y'all.
i know i've made mention of a few things that have been hard about public school.

first let me say this: i know public school can be amaaaaaaazing. 
it surely can be. and i know so many teachers are so, so fantastically great that 
i can't even begin to say how truly wonderful they are.
a ton of teachers are honestly difference makers in the lives of children.
probably even the ones who taught my kids this year, 
even though this year has not been super pleasant for us.

and this is just our experience. my son had lots of things stolen from home.
some never returned, some were just "hidden" from him.
he got bullied. he got pushed around, then had it suggested to him it was his very own fault for
letting himself get pushed around. he got humiliated by his teach in front of the whole class
by being called a liar, even though he wasn't lying.
he had "friends" that ended up not really being his friends. his grades fell a couple of times
throughout the year, and i feel it was more emotionally related than anything.

another son, had way too much homework for his age. 
and just did not love going off to school everyday. and i struggled with his teacher,
the lack of organization, the talking down to me because i did homeschool, and the 
fact that a lot of times, it was not clear what we were to do with his "homework/papers" 
in his folder.

and the other son, well, he zoomed through like it ain't no thang. he did well. 
his teachers were awesome, and he seemed to excel in all he did.

but still, i have had these mixed feelings about what to do next year. 
previously, with homeschooling, i kept thinking my kids were not doing enough, 
not learning enough. i wasn't providing enough subjects. it was a trap i fell into.
so our days were hard and grueling and long. ever so long.
and i was just turning into a big bear that hated the entire process.
and that's when we turned to public school. i needed out, and space, and this was just the
answer we needed.

and the evening after we enrolled them, is the evening we found out about our pregnancy.
so honestly, i kind of feel like God had us public school for just a short season because
i have almost literally slept this pregnancy away. my kids would have learned nothing
and would have fallen behind more than they should be.

so even though we have not made a solid decision (we will in the next two weeks), 
i do have plans on how we are going to school the boys. it will be a lot less, pared down.
the big kids will each have a computer based program that will teach them.
and yes, i was wholly against any such program for a long time because i was
worried about too much screen time. but they are older, and honestly, 
it's not like they'll be on netflix all the live long day. 
(although my kids sometimes do have netflix marathon days, because: pregnant. the end.)
so i've totally come to terms with the older boys having a small laptop and doing
their work there. they will still be in the main living space, not locked away in some room in the
house away from the rest of us.

and for first grade, we'll use My Father's World, which should not take up very much of our day.
and preschool, we'll just do Explode the Code for brennen. one page a day, and be done.

i am not going to fall into the whole, i'm not doing enough, thing again. 
and i'm not going to be spending the entire day telling kids to hurry up and work.

so that's our story as of now, i know i had some family and friends curious as to 
why we'd even back to homeschool again.

i have chatted with toby about it, and he has strong feelings against public school for 
our kids right now, too. the year just has not been pleasant. not at all. i mean, tears were 
involved for more than one of us. and also, the standardized testing. it's just.too.much,
and i realize that has nothing to do with the teachers, i do. 
but all the poor kids who get sick with anxiety because there's so much weight put
into how well they test. and testing to pass a grade? that just seems silly.
that basically negates all the actual work the kids put forth throughout the year, 
saying it did not matter because you did not pass this one test.
those are my personal opinions on the matter.

we spent one week, maybe two preparing for the achievement test our school did
and it was mostly just for ranking purposes of the school, not so much to pass or fail us.


but anyways, i digress. 

toby and i are on the same page about our kiddos' education right now, 
and i am so thankful for him and his willingness to be honest and to help 
me make major decisions like this. 

so that's the sitch at the moment. 
also, it's important to remember, i do not care how you choose to school your kids,
this has nothing to do with you personally, or public versus homeschool versus private school and 
which is the "correct" decision. just the fact that i always feel like
i have to make that kind of statement every time i blog about a widely debated issue in the 
mom realm really bugs me. but honestly, i ain't gonna judge your decisions, please
don't judge ours. mommas need to stop shaming each other for making
the choices we feel best for our own children and family.

just grow your kids to be respectful, productive members of society, and i'll do the same,
and we be all good. i mean, that is the end goal, right? for our tiny humans to be big humans
who care for others and are able to make an honest living for themselves and their tiny humans
and so on and so on?

 doesn't really matter so much how we get there, so let's just all be less judgy. 

much love, and thank you for the prayers over our decision.

xoxo

1 comment:

  1. Just curious, have you ever looked into unschooling? I know what the word conjures up, parents lying on the couch while the kids play around the house but that is a complete misrepresentation I assure you. I was in your boat, doubting I was doing enough with my daughter and, now, boys. I felt pressure to keep them up to standard and overworked them and myself. It was around the time that I was becoming tearful that God led me to John Holt and his writings. The unschooling approach puts the child behind the wheel of his own learning believing that this is when the most learning and retention is done. Though the term has many definitions (or misunderstandings and overuses) you'll find correct info here: http://www.johnholtgws.com/frequently-asked-questions-abo/ Take a read if you have time. I think it'll really bless you and your family.

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