Monday, September 21, 2009

School Days, School Days

Having the girls going to public school is weird, although oddly enough, having the Dancer attend is weirder than the Equestrienne. The Equestrienne went to a parochial school for kindergarten through second grade, so there seems to be a certain familiarity with the concept. The Dancer attended only a year of preschool and a year of Pre-K at the same parochial school, something I'm glad we did. It was only half a day, and not all five weekdays, so it was mostly just a time to have fun and have books read to her and eat snacks and be around other little ones. She, of course, thought she was all that, with her shiny backpack, but that was part of the fun. Anyway, I've been so used to homeschooling the Dancer that this is feeling a little strange.

There are some good things about her attending public school. She will be receiving group violin lessons; the only cost to us will be renting the instrument, and what we pay can all go towards an eventual purchase if she decides to continue music. She is also making friends, and riding the bus has helped her meet kids that live in our neighborhood.

Despite the local tax support, there are fundraisers. That's one of the downsides. Turning in boxtops is not very hard, but magazine sales are another story. Who knows what else will take place later this school year? The cost of publicly educating children continues to astound me.

Mr. BTEG and I are also still rather involved in the Dancer's education. There are some subjects she needs help in, although she hates to admit it, and in the end it is our responsibility to see she learns what she needs. One thing I am seeing with the Dancer is that, although she can read quite well and with comprehension, she is not picking up much from reading in regards to grammar or spelling. I am going to supplement her education here at home to keep her at or get her up to grade level. I don't like the social studies the Dancer gets instead of history, but I will concede that she is learning useful things about maps and climates and so forth. I would have rolled it into history studies, but I'm not teaching now. It's been a little hard for me to deal with! The Equestrienne is assigned projects on the computer, which her father helps her with, and he also helps with math.

Knowing so many other homeschoolers now makes me feel awkward and out of place. I have no doubt that outside schooling is best for the Equestrienne, and I can see advantages for the Dancer, but I still have stirrings of guilt. Perhaps with good reason, I think there is still defensiveness on the part of homeschoolers, but it disturbs me slightly to see all the "Homeschooling Is So Great!" posts. It comes down to what is best for our family at this point in time, and it will help me to remember that.


skatey katie said...

i wonder if we have been swimming against the current for so long it feels weird to just float down the stream with all the other salmon. or trout. or whatever. fishies.

and something i have noticed: school teachers get SO MUCH support and camaraderie and direction and KNOWLEDGE.
even though i was a Real Teacher, going it alone homeskooling was exhaustingly hard.
i would love to set up some Professional Development for home eders. not teachery stuff so much. ok, maybe some teachery stuff. cos looking back, i would've loved that. if i could've got over myself.

oh barb, what twaddle that all is. i hate the looks i get from School Teachers when i explained that i've been homeschooling all these years. i feel in such a limbo. not coping.

i hate the "us and them" vibes.
really, we are all in this together.
love love X

Karen said...

Barb, not all homeschoolers have a them vs us attitude. I think that often homeschoolers do Blog posts about homeschooling to encourage themselves and other homeschoolers. If our local school system was better, I would have sent my kids to public school this year. I'm so burned out.

After we move, I've given the kids the choice of homeschooling or going to school. We have no connections in the new town and it will be easier on the kids if they make friends.

I love reading about your children's successes as they transition to public school students. It encourages me that maybe my kids could fit in also. Everyone family has different needs. Homeschooling is only one option for learning.

Dakotapam said...


As much as I miss homeschooling some days...I love the Lutheran school the the boys are attending. I also know that for our family, it is good for them to be at school. I ofetn feel bad when I read how superior homeschooling is, and for some of my kids it may be, but for some, they do better with other teachers.

And for me, it is good to have some time alone to get my house in order.

Kim said...

It's just like any other thing, there are benefits to homeschooling and their are benefits to traditional schooling. You gotta figure that homeschoolers are gonna write about the benefits of what they do because it helps get them through the year and that is where their experiences lie. I know it's difficult but try not to see it as an us versus them thing...

Laura said...

Barb, I think you're exactly right to do what's right for your family year to year. I have the attitude that we're taking it year by year. Yes, I love homeschooling, but I've also currently got my middle kids in public highschool while I homeschool the youngest. We've also done public and private school before we homeschooled. You are totally involved in your kids' education and looking out for their best interests, and that's what really matters.

Best wishes,