Wednesday, October 8, 2014
are you sending him to school?
This was the question of the hour last spring when preschool registration rolled around and many parents of three-year-olds had to weigh out this decision. Since Henry was born, I've always pretty much thought I would do preschool at home. For one thing, I didn't think I would be ready to be away from Henry. But then little Warren came along and, believe me, there have been days where I am READY. So Dameon and I had several conversations about what we felt would be best for everyone. We even did a little research on the program in Pella and checked to see if they had any open spots, but we ultimately decided homeschool preschool was best for us. Here are a few of the reasons why:
1. Our move. At the time registration was needing to happen, we didn't know when we would be moving or where we would be living. We knew that some time during the summer we would go through a big transition and needing to have Henry in Pella at a certain time on a certain day added an extra level of stress we really didn't want. Also, we didn't feel like we would be setting him up for the best possible school experience if he had to start school right after moving to a new place and not knowing anyone yet.
2. PEACE. Pella has an awesomely huge homeschool co-op called PEACE. It's Christ-centered and very well-established and a great way to connect with other families.
3. I kinda sorta feel called to at least explore the homeschool route...I think. I have nothing (and I mean NOTHING) against public school. Obviously. Dameon is a public school teacher and I was one for five years. Homeschooling is something I never never never thought I would even consider. Until I had a child. Sorta like being a stay at home mom was something I never never never thought I would even consider. Until I got married and started thinking about having children. But now we think about homeschooling a lot. We don't have any conclusions, really. And we don't need to yet. We just know that it's an option on the table. And we will take things one school year at a time.
4. I have a lot of school stuff. You can ask my father-in-law, if you don't believe me. He has now moved it to three different towns. One plastic tote and awkwardly-shaped easel at a time. (I owe him.)
5. Henry is only three. He has the rest of his whole grown-up life to not have simple days at home with me. I don't want to rush that if I don't have to. Homeschool allows us a lot of flexibility we wouldn't otherwise have.
Our homeschool routine is hardly a routine right now. One thing I know about myself is that I have a hard time staying committed to things I'm not used to doing. I go really guns blazing at first and then I get distracted shortly thereafter. The good thing about our school so far, is that Henry LOVES it. That really helps me stay motivated. We usually do some "formal" school stuff when Warren goes down for nap. The moment we start, Henry starts referring to me as Teacher. The moment we end, he goes back to Mommy. Hilarious! I ordered the Before Five in A Row guide which encompasses lots of concepts and incorporates them into various children's books but I've had a hard time tracking down these books at the local library, so that's been a little frustrating. I recently purchased my friend's ebook called Preschool Journey and she has a super helpful and beautiful blog at teachingmama.org. I haven't started using it yet but I can already tell you I like the format of the lesson plans. In addition, as a part of PEACE we have activity day each month which is where all the kids gather and have a half-day of exploratory learning with the other children their age. This past Friday included school pictures, so I got to participate in the parent rite of passage that is writing a check to Lifetouch. Peeking around the corner to watch Henry get his picture taken is a whole other blog post just waiting to be written. Oh. my. Can't wait to see how those turn out! PEACE also has several family activities and field trips each month. Today there was a field trip to the vet clinic but it fell right in the middle of nap time and I knew Warren wouldn't make it through, so we opted out.
So, that's a bit of the rundown as far as our preschool plans. I'll try to get more on the ball about getting out the camera (the nice one we never use now that we have iphones) and capture some of our schooling to post here. Coming soon will be pumpkin painting and DIY fall window clings. Fun times!