Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Why are we homeschooling?

So it may seem a little late for this post since I've been blogging about why I want to homeschool Racoon for a while now, but I wanted to record our main reasons in one (hopefully) concise post.
Age: Raccoon misses the cut-off for kindergarten by six weeks, but I feel like he's ready for more than another year of pre-k.

Flexibility: Neither he nor I are morning people. We currently start between 9 to 10 am, once we are both fully awake and functional. Love it. I also like the flexibility with his speed of learning, slow or fast as he needs it, and that we can do school anywhere or anytime. It also lets us continue to travel for our work and bring the kids along.

Time: I want my kids to be with me, at least while they are so young. This isn't in a smothery way, just in a why not spend time with the people I like best? way. As we all need or want more freedom we will adjust, but I suspect that the older they get, the more I will continue to enjoy their company.

The extra truth: I was bored in elememtary school, but I was a meek, well-behaved little girl who wanted to please my teachers so I mostly coped by reading in class. My son, well, let's just say that he's none of those things, as lovable as he is. I don't want him labeled as a troublemaker or whatever. I don't want his curiousity and love of learning squashed by having to stay in his seat for hours a day. Needing a wide level of help and challenge, having SPD, being bright... it seemed like a lot to ask any classroom teacher to handle. Once Raccoon has more self-awareness and self-control (I'm thinking 3rd grade or so), we'll revisit our education choices together.

Money: International English schools are very expensive, from $500 to $800 a month per child. It may be worth it for middle school onward, but right now I feel like I can do so much with less. Our current salary doesn't provide enough for that kind of tuition, so I would have to get a job at the school for a discount. I don't want to leave Maddie yet.
Location: We live an hour away from our school of choice, making our daily commute a nightmare. We may move back into town at some point, but I think ruralandia has a lot of advantages for our kids right now.

Language: We want both Raccoon and Kitty to easily transition to college in the US if that is their choice. My husband and I feel that a US-style education in English fits best with that goal. There are not many schools like that available here, and the ones that do exist are expensive and far away, as I mentioned above. I do plan to have Spanish curriculum in our homeschool to ensure that they are functionally bilingual. If Raccoon dislikes homeschooling at some point, we might look at a Spanish school, but everything under "extra truth" still applies to make school in any language not a good fit for him right now. That said, our very poor but generous local school, about six houses down our dirt road, has offered to let Caleb join their K class, called Basic 1 here. I may take him for one day a week so he gets a feel for traditional school and forms friendships with kids in our neighborhood, if they have found a teacher by then.

So those are our big 7.

I envision our list for homeschooling Kitty, when her time comes, consisting of one thing: because we love it.

Disclaimer: I would like something with more peers starting anywhere from 5th grade on, but what that looks like depends on Raccoon's needs at that point. I'm not opposed to traditional school, homeschool just fits us better right now.

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