Well last week I kept Ladybug company on the couch. This Monday morning brought a little fever. But this time it’s Freckles who is down for the count. Not sure what is going on yet, so far it seems like just a cold: sniffly nose, sore throat, sneezing, fever and occasional cough. Hopefully she’ll be better to go to school tomorrow, with the school year winding down I hate for her to be out sick.
But this gives me a chance to talk about something I’ve had on my mind off and on over the last year. Homeschool. To do it? Or not to do it?
I’ve gone back and forth so many times I’ve lost count. What if I pull my kids out of public school and I fail them and they fall behind and can’t get into college? Which curriculum and books do we use? There is an overwhelming amount of tools and resources. How do we afford it? Can we afford it?
Then I reflect on Freckles’ third year at school. I have concerns that she may fall behind later because this year was a little shaky in the math area. By the end of 2nd grade they are supposed to begin learning multiplication tables. But they have spent the entire year learning 10 different ways to add and subtract. And now my child struggles with simple addition. She had everything down fine before the start of the year, but after they learn one method, they are forced to re-learn addition using a different method, whether or not it makes sense to them. It’s no wonder she’s gotten confused. Adding is as simple as first add the ones column, then the tens. Now you have to break it down, re-group it, add the different parts together, then add it all back together.
Anyway, I also think about how much better Freckles could understand things if she went out and saw and touched- which is an opportunity homeschooling offers. And I would be able to slow down in areas Freckles needed it, and move ahead in other areas where she excels. And one of my favorite things about homeschooling is that I could spend more time with my kids.
Then I wonder, am I even qualified to do this? But as their mom, I teach them how to walk, to eat, to talk, and give them the basis for learning when they get to school. Why is when they turn 5 I’m no longer qualified to teach them? I have their best interests at heart and would stop at nothing to help them excel.
Ladybug is not yet 5, but she’s been writing for at least a year now…maybe a year and a half…I’m really not sure. She started with learning her letters, followed by learning to spell and write her name. Now she writes ‘I love you Mommy’ and ‘[Ladybug] loves Mommy’ and so many other words. And she is learning to spell new words everyday. (One day when I picked Ladybug up from preschool, they had artwork hanging in the hall. Ladybug had written ‘[Ladybug] Frozen’ on her paper. 🙂 And after that, her favorite thing to write on her papers was ‘From [Ladybug] To Alex’, her uncle.) Ladybug has even begun solving simple addition problems while we are in the car. So if, before the age of 5, I’m able to help Ladybug learn to spell and begin reading/recognizing words and help her learn simple adding and subtracting, why couldn’t I homeschool my kids?
Then of course, it’s back to: Oh my goodness, can I do this? What if I fail? What if I fail my kids?
Then back to: Well, homeschooled children do better than their public school counterparts. And colleges like those who have been homeschooled because they are more focused and driven.
I’ve also worried about the legal side of things since North Carolina does require testing.
And now that we have more space, it seems a little more feasible.
So for now, Freckles is finishing up 2nd grade, and Ladybug is about to start Kindergarten.
Has anyone else been conflicted like this? What did you do? I’d really love to hear about it!