A decision has almost been reached for next school year about what to do with the children. We've decided to keep them.....just kidding. The two older boys will probably attend the local high school, while the younger three girls will homeschool. It was a difficult decision and may still change depending on circumstances. Joe has wanted to attend school for the past year. He'd like to meet more children his age and would like to not be thought of as "Steve's little brother." He also wants to do some sports and public school would give him that opportunity.
Steve would like to attend public school, but doesn't want to take the bus at 7:00 a.m. I think it would be good for him to work with other adult teachers, meet firmer academic deadlines, and experience group learning. He has pretty much worked on his own for the last few years, with occasional assistance from me. I think the experience could make the transfer to college a little easier.
The three younger girls would like to go to school also, but Mike and I have too many concerns. Paige and Allie are still to easily influenced by their peers, They also don't have penmanship skills that are up to their public school counterparts. Academically, they are ahead of the public schools, but I don't spend a lot of time on penmanship in the early elementary years.
Madelyn is entering 8th grade. There is nothing meaner than a group of 8th grade girls. I'd rather not have her start her school experience this year. Madelyn is still VERY small for her age, about 4'7" and 50 pounds. It would be easier for her to have another year to grow.
Next year will be quite different for us. With only three students, we will complete our school day much earlier. It will be lovely to have afternoons to do more art, music, exercise, field trips, and fun. Hopefully, the lighter school load will give me some relief from the high stress that I've been under the last few years.
I'm going to try to combine as much work as possible with the three girls. History, geography,science, literature and writing assignments will be easy to combine. Using unit studies might be a fun way to combine much of their learning. So many decision to make! I'm also considering using lapbooks. We haven't used them in a long time. It's been so long that I'm not even sure if Paige and Allie have done any lapbooks.