Mike and I have been thinking about our children's education. More specifically, whether to send the to public or LES next school year instead of homeschooling. We love the freedom of homeschooling. We love that the children are allowed to master a skill before moving on to something new. Our children have thrived in our homeschool. I love (usually) spending time with my children. But, not everything is wonderful.
Some of my children are lazy about certain subjects. I don't always catch their laziness as soon as I should. A few of my children need to meet other children in our area. Almost every social organization goes through the public school system in our small town. We missed out on soccer and baseball this year, because the notice for the leagues was only sent to the school system. If your child doesn't attend public school, you don't get the information about leagues forming. And selfishly, I would like a little more time to take care of myself. Exercise, preparing more food that takes longer to prepare, and making friends in the community would be easier to do if I wasn't spending so much time teaching. My depression has been worse than usual this winter, because I feel so isolated here. My friends and family are 30 minutes to 2 hours away.
Sunday, we visited the LES at the church we have been visiting this month. The church is about 35 minutes from our home. The principal was very helpful and is excited about possibly having 3 of our children enroll there. The tuition isn't too expensive, but the gasoline and the wear and tear on my SUV is very expensive.
The children have been playing with the neighborhood children much more now that the weather has gotten warmer. I've also seen a change in my youngest two girls personalities. There was a return of whining and some disrespectful talk and attitudes. This is never a problem during the winter. It seems that my youngest two are still easily influenced by the behavior of their friends.
After a lot of deliberation, Mike and I have decided to keep everyone home again next year. The only exception is Joe, who may attend the local public school. The decision about his schooling next year will be made within the next few weeks.
I will be making some changes in our homeschool next year. It seems that I tweak every school year in some way. The older children will be doing their math using a video program. Even though I love math and enjoy teaching trig and algebra, it's becoming too difficult to teach 3 higher math classes at the same time. My brain aches when the hour we spend on math is done. Allie still needs quite a bit of help with her work, so I can't break up the math classes separately at this time.
Next year will also see more emphasis on science, which is my least favorite subject. We will be doing two semesters of world geography instead of world history next year. All the children have a great understanding of history and I think geography could be a lot of fun for us to do as a family unit study.
My younger girls need to meet more children around their own ages. To meet this need, we will be joining the support group in the larger city north of us. I'd like to do support group activities 2-3 times a month. The younger girls will be doing dance classes again and the boys will be doing fencing or martial arts. We will probably be involved in robotics again next year. If possible, I'd like to get involved in some type of art co-op with other homeschoolers.
It should be a busy year, but hopefully I'll make some connections in the area with other people and the children will have their social and academic needs met. Time will tell.