Saturday, August 9, 2008

School, Really?!

In reading some of my other favorite blogs I noted that kids were already starting back to school! Geez, I can't believe how fast the time went this summer. I think with all of our traveling and basically missing Ben's vacation the end of summer just crept up on me. Since we live in the Northwest, though, we don't start school until September 2. So, I guess maybe I'm lamenting a little too soon:)

But, the whole back-to-school thing got me started thinking anyway. Treefrog is three (has been since April) and his doctor asked me this summer if we were starting preschool this year. Ben and I have talked about homeschooling, public schooling, and private schooling to see where we stand, what we want our children to get from school and us, and how we believe each of those options fit into our lives. I feel so blessed just to have this choice of how to school our children. This blessed choice, however, makes life a little stressful. I have been back and forth in my mind for so long trying to figure out if we should go the public school route or the homeschool route (private school is not an option right now due to lack of funds). With the impending adoption this year, the decision has been even harder. Last night, I was up late doing research on homeschooling. In my heart, I believe the decision has already been made. I have spent so many hours on the homeschooling and unschooling websites that I think I could tell you verbatim what is said on each one. This is where our lives are taking us.

Ben works for a university so our life is not guaranteed in stability. One small way I can offer stability for my children is through school - not having the pressure of changing schools time and time again due to changes in jobs (university life is pretty volatile for those of you who are unaware). I want my kids to have the best education possible. That may or may not be available through me, but I also see social skills, moral education/influences, and physical activity being part of education. Those things are things that Ben and I can provide our children much more effectively than any public or private school I've encountered. Education is so much more than reading, math, and science. Education is wholistic - every part matters. I want my children to experience life and learn in a way that they simply can't do sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day.

Homeschooling isn't a final decision yet. I want to send each of the boys to preschool (starting when they are four) and I want to visit the school where they would attend if we decide on public school. I hope to keep an open mind as I do these things - looking for both positives and negatives, trying to see the big picture, looking for how our children would fit into the public school system. I know they will thrive with any choice we ultimately make because both Ben and I will be involved in their education both inside and outside the classroom. I pray that I continue to remember that as I critique the public system here and as Ben and I reach a decision on schooling.

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