I (happily) have more kids home right now, so I'm doing stuff like this:
And... I'm doing more laundry! Right now, I'm wishing I could be at the Beth Moore conference downtown, instead of here with a laptop watching "How It's Made" out of the corner of my eye. But perhaps I'm where I'm supposed to be tonight.
I love having my kids home. I do. My main complaint is that I can't keep enough food in the house. But I truly enjoy having older kids around with the younger ones.
It seems very counter-intuitive to pack up the more rational and helpful kiddos off to sit for six hours of school a day during the school year. Where they really, truly, and completely aren't learning for six hours a day, 180 days a year. Where they are spending more time being formally taught by people I don't know. I mean, where's the sense in that? Prior generations would really think we're nuts...
But, overall, public school (yes public school) has worked for my family. My kids are fantastic, moral, sensible, intelligent, kind and well-mannered human beings; I can assure you of this subjectively. :D But you'd like them, really you would. They even mingle well with homeschooled children, I promise.
I want to homeschool my eldest next year. You see, in the inscrutable wisdom of my city, the little neighborhood school she just finished is K-5th grade, so they mean to funnel her to the 6th grade of a 1st-6th grade school, and from thence to the middle school called "Park View" (known as "Park Zoo" to many).
Confusing, particularly for adolescents? You betcha.
But my daughter is unsure... she thinks she may want to try one more school year. I understand why: it's a nicer school than the one she was in even. Big gym. Nice playground. Cool lockers. If you're 11, these are serious considerations.
Ultimately, I'm going to pull rank as "Mom" but I'm considering her take on it... when I was homeschooled through high school, I was pulled out without warning or choice. I only vaguely understood homeschooling as something you did if you were missionaries in Alaska. It was... an upsetting change. And actually, in the 90's, there really wasn't much socialization... Even though that's not the case today--now homeschooled children are often better socialized than their regular schooled peers--I want to go into this homeschool experience with as positive an attitude as possible on the part of both mom and child here...
As for me, I'm super excited at the prospect. There is so much I want her to learn that her current schooling doesn't offer. Favorite literature and poetry I want to share with her. Relearning with her by teaching history, apologetics, and--okay, fine--Algebra. :) So many places I want to take her on educational outings. To look at more advanced courses in what she excels in and take time to strengthen the areas she struggles in. To give her an individualized education based on the needs of herself and my family.
I'll be batting this decision around all summer. But in the meantime, as a previous homeschooler who has her kids in public (gasp!) school and is planning to (gasp!) homeschool one and have the other in school:
When is public school as good as homeschooling? Well, when it's God's will for the child to go to public school, of course. :) (And while I have no infallible assurance of this, I earnestly hope I'm following His will for my kids.)
There are pros and cons to both methods, for sure. Despite the obvious advantages to homeschooling, a child from a Christian home can learn in a public school. Can actually thrive in a public school. And can be a needed example in a public school. I like to think my kids have (at least sometimes) fulfilled this role...
"In all things, show thyself an example of good works." Titus 2:7