A ParAunting Dilemma: Public School or Home School?
is a ParAunt to her Nephew and Niece and former Nanny in Orange County, CA.
For the past several months I have been researching home school and all that it entails. My big question was, Can I really do this? Of course I can, I kept telling myself. Most of our family was on board with us so that made it a bit easier. Three weeks before school was over, I had my mind made up: Joseph and Hannah were going to be home schooled this coming school year.
I based my decision on Joseph’s math and reading levels. Back in March when we had his conference, he was a whole year behind the rest of his class. This devastated me and I wanted to give him a chance to catch up with everyone else. It didn’t seem fair to send him to third grade when he wasn’t ready and his school wouldn’t hold him back. I felt home schooling would give him that one-on-one learning that he needed.
Telling the Kids
Joseph wasn’t happy with me when I first told him I was planning on home schooling him. He was afraid he would have no friends. I looked back at all my saved searches on socialization in home schooling and read to him all these facts on how home schooled children make and keep friends. He opened up a lot more and was actually excited about our new ‘adventure’.
Hannah didn’t blink an eye and really thought nothing different about being home schooled. I also reassured her that she would keep her same friends and make new ones too. She was happy that she would be staying home with me all day.
Both children were excited about all the different field trips we could plan. I think I was a little bit more excited than they were!
Through other moms at the children’s school I got info about a local charter school for which you do all the work at home, but meet with the teacher once a month. I figured this would be best for us, since I had no idea what on earth I was doing. It would help get my foot in the door of home school, instead of jumping in with both feet.
I made appointments for phone interviews. I filled out all the paperwork. I told all the moms at the kids’ current school that this was our last year there. I bought different learning books and flashcards. I took us to a workshop at the charter school. We were good to go!
An Unexpected Change of Plans
And then we found out the very exciting news of Jeff and me expecting our first baby. We then changed our minds and have now decided on keeping both Joseph and Hannah in public school. I still believe that I could home school both kids, plus raise a baby. Of course, I did have my doubts and after a meeting with their teachers, I decided another year of public school wouldn’t hurt the children. It was at this meeting that I found out that Joseph actually improved in the three short months and wasn’t as far behind anymore. So keeping him in public school would be ok.
After finding out about the baby, we told the children and they were super excited. We then told them that they were staying at their current school. They were a little sad that we would no longer be going on a ton of field trips and Hannah was sad that she would have to get up early next year.
It’s been three weeks now and both Joseph and Hannah are back to being excited about the new school year at their current school. Hannah keeps asking me if summer is over yet. She’s really happy to be going to first grade and I’m happy to know that she will be in a class with her two best friends.
At this point, I still plan to home school the children the year after next. Who knows where we will be in September of 2011?. I guess we will just have to wait and see.
Stay tuned to Savvy Auntie for more of Sarah’s amazing story…coming soon!
Published: July 5, 2010