July 18, 2007 at 10:19 pm #240471
Warning – this turned out longer than I planned 🙂
We had always planned on having our son go through the Catholic school system (mainly because we both did and thought it was a better education system than the public – personal opinion only – not opening a can of worms :lol:). Yesterday was our “interview” for kindergarten next year (5 year old), and to say we weren’t impressed was an understatement. There are only a few places available in our first choice school by the time they place the siblings of existing students (school is 10 mins away, nice small school, 1 kindy class, good reputation). They asked what our other options would be – we mentioned another Catholic school in the area and were told it was in the same situation! Our only Catholic options are a school which isn’t far away but isn’t in a good area and doesn’t have a good reputation, or one which is 30 mins drive away! (1 hr round trip twice a day – I don’t like that idea!). Our chances of getting one of the few places are extremely slim I’d say since one of the few questions they asked us in the 10 min interview was “are you active in the parish?”. We’re not, so I’d say the places will go to better Catholics than us 😆
So we were discussing our options last night – including the Grammar school ($4000 for a year for kindy!!!), local Steiner school, public schools etc, and you could have knocked me down with a feather when Pete (hubby) suggested we (meaning I :lol:) homeschool him! My sister homeschools her 2 girls (10 and 15), so we are aware of how it works etc, and the more I think about it the more appealing it sounds in a lot of ways (and I spent a LOT of last night thinking about it!)
My main concerns seem really selfish – can I handle having him here 24/7 when I’ve been looking forward to having some alone time when he’s at school? What about my business that I’ve been building up? (web design so working from home) Will I have the patience to teach him “formally”?
Looking through the curriculum last night I think we could skip straight to the end of 1st grade! He turns 5 next month, already reads quite well (he’s reading a Thunderbirds book atm!), spells well & does addition, subtraction & simple multiplication & division! We were told yesterday that kindy is really to socialise them, teach them how to sit still, follow instructions etc.. Quite frankly, he’d be bored out of his brain I think and likely to be disruptive..
I’d love to hear any thoughts or experiences you’ve had.July 19, 2007 at 9:40 am #308185arawajoMember
I’m all for home schooling. I had a son like yours and I sent him to school and yes he was bored and disruptive. He dropped out of school at 14, returned when he was 16 and was expelled soon after.
My boy was a beautiful, bright child. I believe the school system destroyed him. He is sort of content with his adult life and he’s given me a beautiful grand daughter but I believe he could have been so much happier. He never realised his potential and I think he’ll always be frustrated.
I had to deal with teachers who seemed to have no idea about real life or real people. I joined a parent support group for “Gifted and Talented” and learnt that it was fairly common for these kids to be disruptive and to drop out.
I ended up going to Uni and studying to be a teacher when I was 40 – I had this idea that I would get into the system and change it from the inside. Ha ha!
I have taught in schools now and I am even more convinced that they damage children. I have little respect for the system as it is and I now know that teachers often live in a different world than the kids they teach.
If I had my time over I would never send my kids to school. I have friends who have home schooled and their kids have turned out just fine. I’ve read case studies that show home schooled kids do better on average when they go to Uni than kids who have been battery schooled. ( I liken kids in classrooms to battery hens)
Our school system began after the industrial revolution – when parents went to work in factories children roamed the streets. Schools were used to keep them off the streets. Things haven’t changed much over the years.
Schools cater to the middle group of leaners and the rest have to sink or swim.
School destroys little people’s spirit unless they are liked by the teacher and are good at sitting still and doing things the way the teachers expects.
Have a good look at the options and do the best for your boy. They grow up so fast and you will have many years to yourself before you know it. The mothering years are tough but they are suddenly over and its too late to do things differently.July 20, 2007 at 1:47 am #308186
Thanks for your thoughts arawajo. I find it amazing how many teachers either homeschool their own kids or support it – I wonder what that says about our system!
Have a good look at the options and do the best for your boy. They grow up so fast and you will have many years to yourself before you know it. The mothering years are tough but they are suddenly over and its too late to do things differently.
Thank you for that – food for thought.July 20, 2007 at 2:53 am #308187SproutMember
There are certainly many great teachers in our schools and for some children schools are the preferable option due to home circumstances etc.
For the child with willing and able parents it is hard to beat homeschooling. The individual attention, being able to progress at their own pace and follow their interests is a great advantage, especially for those who need more time to learn or as with your child, need to move on to more challenging/exciting things.
Kerrie, why not try homeschooling for a year or two and see how it sits with you as a family. You can always place your child in school at a later date. It can be difficult not having time to yourself but you will find ways to fit this into your lifestyle, plus homeschooling gives you more flexibility in many areas as you are not organising yourself around someone elses timetable/holidays etc.
Don’t try too hard to do “formal teaching”. A learning lifestyle is probably a better way to think of it, all of life is learning. Treat yourselves to some good quality books(not “how to” but reference or stories), art supplies, excursions, garden supplies, globe, puzzles ….whatever you are both interested in and will enrich your home/learning environment. Instead of the expenses of fees, uniforms etc you can budget on home-enrichment items/activities.July 20, 2007 at 5:24 am #308188MumchookMember
Kerrie, I have written some posts in recent days and they’ve not showed up. A reply to you here was one of them.
I will get back to you shortly about home eduction – maybe PM you with details of Hunter Valley Home Ed groups and contacts.
Bit busy at the moment… will send some info soon.
PS – I think Home ed is a great idea, by the way!
🙂July 20, 2007 at 7:48 am #308189bellaMember
I think home ed sounds perfect for your son. I chose it for the same reason and still going strong 10 years later!
Don’t feel it’s a commitment to do homeschooling ‘forever’ – you can always put him in school later. Lots of homeschoolers go to school, and vice versa…
Good luck with your choice!July 21, 2007 at 9:47 am #308190
Thanks Sprout, Mumchook & Bella. I’ve pretty much made up my mind to give it a go – I’ve been doing lots of reading & soul searching! (Heck, I’ve almost got the “curriculum” organised 😆 ) It will be interesting telling the families – my family will just laugh hysterically because they’ve been telling me for years I’d end up doing it & I was just as adamant that I wouldn’t! Pete’s family are a different matter – one brother is a High School teacher, his wife is a primary school teacher, and my hubby’s sister is a High School teacher too 🙂 Should be an interesting time when we announce it! (Maybe we’ll just let it leak and then they can just talk behind our backs 😆 )October 25, 2007 at 5:07 am #308191JakalumaMember
can I handle having him here 24/7 when I’ve been looking forward to having some alone time when he’s at school?
What about my business that I’ve been building up? (web design so working from home)
Will I have the patience to teach him “formally”?
My children and I are often apart – they’re off playing with their friends or doing an activity.
You can work from home still, building up more as he gets older and is doing more and more himself. I often lack the motivation, but have managed to get some work done 😀
And we have found that a more laid back approach suits us better than formal teaching – you’ll find your family groove, what works for you.
I’ve also found having support both on line and even more importantly IRL essential.
Good luck, and enjoy it.
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