Monday, February 12, 2007

Schooling woes

When did schooling become so complicated?

I never had choices about where I went to school until high school, and then it was a matter of the public high school or the Catholic one. Having gone to Catholic school all my life, that is what I chose.

Now I look toward my daughter beginning her first year of official school. Yes, this year I chose to work on a kindergarten curriculum at home with her. She was too young to begin official kindergarten, missing the cutoff by 2 months. But she was ready to learn, and learn she has.

She reads slowly but patiently and is using many of the skills she has gained from Alpha-Phonics to try words she hasn't seen before. I am astonished when she reads things I know that she hasn't seen before.

She is mastering many math skills, except for that pesky counting by 5's things, and can use a number line to add with ease. She also has mastered adding 0 and 1 to any number up to 100.

She has learned about dinosaurs, Ohio, plants, senses, communities, and most recently penguins.

But the most important thing is that she has had fun! And so have I! When people ask her where she goes to school or if she is in school, she proudly answers, "My mommy teaches me."

Now we must decide where she goes from here. Do I homeschool her another year and see how it plays out? Do we send her to public school kindergarten, which is only for 2 and a half hours, and still school her at home? Do we send her to Catholic school kindergarten for a full day? Do I try to have her tested into first grade at either school?

The options are many, but what I feel called to is primarily to continue teaching her at home. I feel that it has been a wonderful experience thus far, and that I would like to be a part of her learning longer. I already have planned to go to the Cincinnati Homeschool Convention in March. And have also looked at the Dayton Catholic homeschool convention, which I believe is in May. I figure I will gather more information, plan a first grade curriculum for next year, and plan to continue to teach her. At the same time, I would like to let her "test the waters" so to speak in kindergarten at our public school. For such a short period each day, she could see what it is like and so could I.

Nothing is ever written in stone in life. Just because I start her in kindergarten in a public school, doesn't mean she has to stay there if it isn't working. And the opposite is true as well. If homeschooling stops working at some point, or becomes too difficult, the public school will always be there.

It is hard being a parent. I find this out more and more each day. And yet it is so rewarding.

As my husband says, "God knew what He was doing. Kids are so cute because otherwise we would eat them."

No comments: