Our always-homeschooled DD is going to school this fall!

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Registered: 10-24-2007
Our always-homeschooled DD is going to school this fall!
5
Mon, 08-06-2012 - 9:21pm

This should be interesting! 

A few weeks ago, we were driving from an errand, and meandered along a different way, just to look at the pretty houses, and found ourselves right where the local elementary is. Something grabbed me about it, this time, that never did before. My DD must have had the same feeling, because just as I was warring with myself over whether to follow the irrational urge to swing down the road leading to the school just for a look-see, she said, "Mama, could we go look?!" with something in her voice that made me go, "Oh, we are both getting the same message!"

So of course we did, and my heart sort of jumped when I saw the building, but in a good way. Again, something strange going on here. The door was braced wide open...so following these strange urges I never felt before, we decided to be spontaneous and just get out of the car and follow our noses, open to whatever came next.

What came next was the Very Nice Vice Principal greeting us from the adjacent office, a quick introduction, and a spontaneous tour of the school, given by her. We left with the enrollment packet and the assurance that we could enroll her with complete flexibility: she could come full time or part time (even as little as just for the music or art class once a week) and do the rest still homeschooled, and we could change our minds and alter the plan as needed. 

Wow!

She was so excited she was jumping up and down. Of course, she has never been, so she has only a romanticized view of school life, but she said, and I agree with her, that she just needs to have this experience, for better or worse. She needs and wants new horizons and challenges, and greater understanding of the everyday life of the majority of the kids she knows, such as the neighbor kids she hangs out with after they are out of school, or during the summer.

We never did "school at home" style homeschooling, but were much more organic and loose, so I got her some Test Prep workbooks so her assessment in a couple of days won't be the first time she's ever bubbled in a multiple choice answer. But we're off, and we'll see where it goes, keeping an open mind!

 

-Meg

Loving life as an 0ver-35 mom and Postal Wife, homeschooling, urban homesteading, relaxed crunchy/geek hybrid housewife, trying to live consciously in an age of media hypnosis

<a href="http://lilypie.com

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2001

Meg, it sounds like the two of you were not only on the same wavelength, but that this principal will be awesome in suiting BOTH your needs.  Wonderful! 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-24-2007
Thanks, Cindy!
My husband and I have had qualms since, partly because the school apparently rates a 2 out of 10 compared to other Maine schools, but driving her to a much better 7/10 school in the same consolidated district, would mean driving 40 miles per day and getting toddler and 4 year old ready too, plus time to shovel the driveway and unbury the car from snow, in winter... the mileage plus the incredible time needed just to get her to school on time each morning, made it unrealistic.

So she's going to try the neighborhood school where she can ride the bus, and we'll just see how it goes.

I really don't like the direction that corporate-driven school 'reform' is taking things in. Schools are being built without playgrounds or recess at all, even for elementary ages, and teachers and parents are all saying that it's not helping test scores, but making kids more distracted and fidgety, and more at risk for being medicated instead of the common-sense solution of having needs for physical exercise met.

At the school my daughter will attend, there is 20 minutes for lunch, and 20 minutes for recess. When I was a girl, we had an hour for lunch and an hour for recess, and we did well with it. But at least her school has some sort of recess at all.

Even though kids who get exercise concentrate better, and kids (or anyone!) forced to sit all day, tend to have their minds glaze over, they are still pushing that agenda and justifying it with the claim that kids can't learn enough if a small segment of precious time is 'wasted' on playing and getting exercise. It's really circular and harmful.

So, we're doing this as an experiment, and what effect it has on her, will dictate whether she continues in school full time, part time, or goes back to full homeschooling.

 

-Meg

Loving life as an 0ver-35 mom and Postal Wife, homeschooling, urban homesteading, relaxed crunchy/geek hybrid housewife, trying to live consciously in an age of media hypnosis

<a href="http://lilypie.com

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2001

Meg, I hear you.  Our school does currently have recess and field trips (funded by the PTF).  However, it's the same school district currently in the news with the budget deficit.  And being that I'm on the border of that district in a neighboring town, I've had to get permission from both district superintendents for the last couple years to get them there.  While it is a better school then the district we're in (and the girls have always gone there), I'm not sure how the deficit is going to impact things or whether or not they'll even allow my girls to continue there.  And at this point, I'm still waiting to hear back.  Time will tell I guess.  And when that letter does come, I may have to make a tough decision.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2010

Good luck to her and to you it will be a huge adjustment however it sounds like both something that is wanted!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-24-2007
Well, I guess I should have waited a tad longer before announcing it, because only 2 days before she was scheduled to have an assessment and be enrolled, my daughter begged to be let to continue homeschooling. Long and short of it, I wanted to get her as ready as possible (and give her a realistic taste of it so she wouldn't be blindsided), so had her doing a few worksheets a day of test-prep and "summer skills" activities right out of workbooks.

She went at it with vigor at first, but eventually, as I thought had an even chance of happening, the glamour wore off, and she found she didn't like spending even 3 hours a day at a desk, doing worksheets and written work.

Of course, in a few years, she'll spend that long and longer, researching, reading, writing, and doing serious studies on whatever she's doing at the time, but it won't be worksheets and bubblesheets for standardized tests.

So after a long discussion on pros and cons, my husband and I decided to let her off the hook, and let her know that the option is open in the future, no harm, no foul.

Once I adjusted emotionally to being back where we started before all this, I got excited again about the things I had in mind for this year, that would have been impossible with her in school:

http://www.mathabacus.com/ for the Japanese Soroban Abacus way of learning arithmetic;
http://www.swrtraining.com/id17.html for handwriting (well we started this this summer, almost done!)
http://www.khanacademy.org/ for maths aside from arithmetic (and including it), though this could be done in spare time even if she were in school.

It's just exciting still, now that I've had my head turned inside out a couple of times and have had a chance to readjust, to look forward once again to the really cool things we had in mind for this year, before the whole consideration of going to school instead, started.

All's well that ends well. Although I do fully expect to hear, in a couple of weeks or so, "Aw, I should have gone to school! I want to ride the big yellow bus!" from her, too. But not, probably, when she is busy having sleepovers with her best homeschool friend, who now doesn't have to only see her on school vacations. Win-win!

 

-Meg

Loving life as an 0ver-35 mom and Postal Wife, homeschooling, urban homesteading, relaxed crunchy/geek hybrid housewife, trying to live consciously in an age of media hypnosis

<a href="http://lilypie.com