Well, I did it. Yesterday I took the plunge and registered my oldest for kindergarten. Ohmygosh, how did we get here so fast? I try hard not to be one of those weepy moms who gets overly emotional at silly stuff, but this made me a little emotional. It does go by fast doesn't it?
I thought I'd write a little post about the options for schooling and get some feedback from the rest of you. I have really gone back and forth on this schooling thing the last couple of months. We registered Sloan for public school, which had been the plan all along, but I started to have some reservations about two months ago and it took quite a bit of praying and soul searching (on my part - Lee has been cool with this option from day one) to get me to that school yesterday.
I'll be honest, private school has not really been on the table. While I'm not against private school I do have some reservations that have held me back from pursuing it as an option (my husband shares the same reservations). I know there are some good private schools in our area, but I just don't feel like that is for us, at least not right now. We are very blessed to be in a good school district and the elementary school our kids will go to is smaller and is a great school. So, between private and public, public won out.
Until about a year ago, I always said that I would never, ever, under any circumstances whatsoever, homeschool my children. I, like so many people, had misconceptions that those who choose homeschooling are granola lovers with 15 kids who all wear homemade clothes and sing old hymns accapella at night under the stars. But then, out of the blue, I got a little stirring. Maybe it wasn't so bad. Maybe I should give it a try. Suddenly, I found that I really liked the idea of homeschooling. And who cares if I can't sew a button onto a shirt? I could make it work! Oh, and guess what - homeschoolers are normal! I now realize that my misconceptions were way off and that most people who choose to homeschool are just like the rest of us - they're just trying to do what they feel is best for their children.
I have to say, I like the freedom that homeschooling presents us as a family. I like the control it gives me over my kids education and I like the fact that it presents so many other options for the kids. There are amazing homschool co-ops in the St. Louis area. I had no idea how organized homeschoolers are. Which is probably a red flag given that I'm not known for my organizational capabilities.
But, after much prayer, I realized my motives were not right - at least not all of them. Part of me wanted to homeschool because I wanted to be able to say I did it. Of the three schooling options, homeschooling is definately the most challenging and I wanted to take on the challenge. Not a very fair reason to keep my kids at home. Also, I was so taken by several women who I know, either personally or through the cyber world, who homeschool and do such neat things with their kids that I wanted to be a part of that group. You can check them out here, here, here and here. Again, though, it's not a great reason to choose to keep my kids home. Mostly, I think I just wanted to keep control of our family schedule. I am not looking forward to the craziness of trying to get everyone where they need to be next year. I have had minor panic attacks wondering how on earth I'm going to get Tia picked up and get home in time to meet Sloan's bus. It may not be as bad as I'm thinking, but right now it seems daunting. Homeschooling just seems easier in that regard.
I finally decided that, for now, our best option is to stick with the public school, which I'm totally comfortable with. When I signed Sloan up yesterday, I walked through the halls and got a little misty-eyed thinking about my elementary school years and what lies ahead of him. Sloan is such a magnetic kid - so people oriented and motivated by a crowd. He's going to do great in school. I'm excited for him and he's beyond elated that he's going to big kid school next year. The fact that he gets to ride the school bus makes him jump around like an electric chihuahua. He'll be fine...and so will I.
I did, however, pass on the Adventure Club and full day options. I want to keep him home as long as I possibly can. He's got the rest of his life to go to school. He can stay close to his mama for one more year.
So, this soul searching process has been good in one regard; it's let me know that I am open to anything and that, I think, is a good place to be. If I have a child that would benefit from homeschooling, I'm all over it. If we have one that would thrive in private school, we'll do that. But for now, I think we are going to be a public school family. What about you guys? How did you decide what school to send your kids to?