Monday, June 28, 2010

To School or Not to School...

Back in the beginning of the year I made the decision that kiddo will go to public school for 1st grade. He needs that social environment and I need some time to myself to decide what I need to do. I was happy, confident, excited about his new adventure and looking forward to mine. I can get a job, go to school, do things I never had the time for, go to lunch with my mom and mother in law alone, girl time, gym time, grocery shopping alone time, house cleaning time. I will get to hear stories about new friends and all of those little art projects they bring home, PTA meetings, class mom, parent teacher meetings, holiday parties, classmates birthday parties... I mean, hey, I went to public school... he will be fine!

We had a pretty relaxed approach to homeschooling for Kindergarten. Working in workbooks, life experiences, artwork and the like. Most of what he learned he didn't realize was even school. I saw how quickly he picked up on things and what a fantastic memory he has. Teaching him is simple, he is full of questions and I try to provide answers. What I am not sure about we Google.

After I had made my decision to send him to public school, I started to do more scheduled type school work with him. Try to get him prepared for school and having to sit still for longer periods of time. More work in workbooks and initiating "school time" by sitting down at the table. Encouraging him to finish a certain assignment instead of letting him come and go as he pleases. Then a funny thing happened...

I remembered every single reason I wanted to homeschool him. The more I thought about him going off to school everyday the more I wondered why in the world I made that decision?!?! Getting to see him figure things out, being there when it clicks, listening to him sound words out, seeing him very seriously focus on a picture of coins and figuring out how much they are worth. Laughing with him and helping him understand. Seeing what methods work and which ones don't. Taking extra time when we need to and skipping over things he clearly already knows.

I was in kind of a sad place in my life when I made the decision to send him to school, but I won't get into all of that. What I will get into is the fact that 90% of the reasons I was looking forward to him going to public school, were selfish. Not that I feel like I have to be completely and totally kid focused and forget who I am and give everything up for him. Not at all. In fact with a little better time management I can do all that I want to and more. Also encouraging my family members here to take him on mini outings WITHOUT me, I will have moments of alone time while knowing he is with a loved one. We have already joined Cub Scouts, I am going to find out about Karate and we will try to attend the Tuesdays at the park with the other homeschoolers, weather permitting. When I discussed it with him, the things that he was excited about going to school for were getting to meet new kids and the playground. When I asked him what he liked about doing school at home with me his voice and his face lit up and he was even laughing while he explained the reasons he liked it.


Once again the decision has been made that we will be homeschooling him. It feels good. It feels right. I am SO excited about it in fact! I found a curriculum that comes highly recommended. I think we will be getting Sonlight. With the core package and adding on the required materials and also splurging on the science package, we will be pretty well set up.

**If anyone has the 1st grade Sonlight set up that would like to sell it to me used, I would be more than happy to purchase it! Or, if any of you have bags of money laying around that would like to gift me the entire $900 set up for 1st grade, message me and I will give you my address. lol ;)