I’m hesitant to say the words out loud as it sounds so definite. I’m starting to get a lot of questions, though, now that E will be 5 in the fall. Sooooo….After much prayer and discussion, we’ve settled on homeschooling Elizabeth. Taking it on a year-by-year basis. I have some reservations about doing it, especially during deployments. I’m also confident, though, that if this is meant to be an every year thing, I’ll get through it.
She’s currently in a 3-day a week program. They call it preschool but I would describe it more as a playschool. They do very little that is actually academic, learning is done mostly through play, etc. I wasn’t thrilled with the program when she started it but its gotten better over time, especially after she got moved into a different group with a much better teacher. She enjoys it, it provides her with some distraction from missing Jim that is ever-present in our home and its given me some down time. But come the fall, many of the kids will be moving into Junior Kindergarten at the public schools and she’ll be outgrowing the program. So we plan to pull her out sometime next fall. We may be moving a year sooner than we expected, so the timing would work out well.
We have some curriculum that we’re currently doing. She loves math and wants to do it at least once a day. We tried phonics in the fall and it was a disaster. I pulled it out a few days ago and she has soaked it up. We’ve worked through one handwriting book and will start the next one next week. We are going to the Big Island in April, so I’m prepping a volcano unit. We do a lot of lapbooks b/c we don’t need any set curriculum. In the fall I plan to add a little more structure and formal curriculum but how much we do will really depend on if we’re moving early 2010 or not.
As for why…There are a lot of reasons. But it boils down to this…Elizabeth will get lost in a regular public school classroom of 25+ students. In large groups, she is quiet and observant. She shines in small groups. If I could find a school with 5-10 students in a class, we’d likely put her in it. But that isn’t going to happen! She would be the middle-of-the-road student who mostly does what she is asked, completes the minimum, doesn’t cause much disruption but never really comes out. HSing her and getting involved with co-ops, enrichment classes, etc. where she’ll get the attention she needs in a setting that suits her personality.
We don’t intend to do it through high school though nothing is set, of course.
I have no idea what will happen with Ben or any other children. We’ll figure that out when the time comes.
In some ways, I’m sad about it. I’ve envisioned this time when I’d send her to school and I could do my grocery shopping, volunteer work, etc. during that time. And this little vision of driving her to school in the minivan and dropping her off. Volunteering at her school. Going in for parent-teacher conferences. I can’t deny all those ideas & visions I’ve had. But the more I pray about it, the more I come to terms with it all too. And we’ll figure out some way to make some of those things, like volunteering, still happen.
So there it is.