As we all could have anticipated, the blogging 'round here has slowed to a near stop. Summer tends to do that as we get busy doing a whole lot o' nothing when school is out (read: we are at the pool a lot and it is not compelling reading.) But I did want to give a little wrap up from our year of homeschooling.
How it was for Eion:
This was the best possible thing we could have done for him this year. His confidence is way way up and he is at or above grade level in all subjects. Not to mention, he ate up all the personal attention. He really loved all the time he got alone with Tim and me.
How it was for me:
Realistically, it was challenging. School took precedence over things like tennis, a major social outlet, and working out, a major method used to fight fluffiness. If you are planning to get in kick ass shape, homeschooling can really get in the way.
Eion enjoyed all the time he was spending with Tim and me but what that also meant was the time Tim and I had alone together was greatly diminished. Goodbye two hour walk and talks!
Add to that Eion's natural tendency to be a bit, umm, difficult, and there were days that I was not the happiest. But, and it is a big but, E's results were so positive that it was hard not to feel like I was doing the right thing.
What surprised me the most:
There is an amazing bias out there against homeschooling. I had city schools administrators tell me outright that they felt many homeschool parents were lazy and they worried that the kids weren't learning anything.
Thanks for the vote of confidence.
I tried to explain that it is really a lot easier to ship your kids off to school than it is to homeschool sooo if one were lazy, enrolling the darlings in school seemed a simpler choice. [Note: I am not calling the parents of kids in public school lazy. I'm just stating the obvious: if you are looking to avoid work, keeping your kids home and taking over their education is a counter intuitive move.]
I think The System has a vested interest in making people believe that what they do, educate, is something beyond a "normal" person's capabilities. They are 100% wrong. Anyone reading this can homeschool and if your public schools aren't serving you well and/or you don't like the private options, you should.
What happens this fall? (Drum roll please.)
We had pretty much settled on at least one more year of homeschooling when we saw how Eion interacted with kids at the pool. He consistently played better with the kids a year or so younger than him. We've known all along that he was a bit immature for his age and this was just further proof.
And we can't fix that at home.
I can keep him up to speed academically, but the social maturity is even harder without lots of other kids around. So he's going back to Crystal Spring in the fall but we are placing him in first grade. He can breeze through the school work while improving his social skills. I called a first grade teacher we've had before who said she would love to have him in her class and would work closely with us to make sure he isn't bored and to tackle some of the ADD issues he faces.
He doesn't know yet and I am sure he won't be thrilled but it is right for him. In a slightly cowardly move, we plan to blame the repeat on The Man. As my children are preconditioned to hate The Man, hopefully we can channel his indignation somewhere other than at us.
It was a tough year but it was right. I wouldn't change a thing.