a homeschool dropouts

we’re homeschool dropouts. we’ve decided to “re-enroll” our kids in public school. i picked up the registration forms today during my lunch break and deb was going to fill them out.

when i asked how soon they would be able to start once we returned the forms the secretary surprised me by saying, “tomorrow, depending on what time you bring them back today.” tomorrow! wow i thought there was a bureaucracy to this kinda stuff and it would take a week or at least a few days. (on further thought i guess the sooner the kids are enrolled the sooner the school gets the federal funding for them)

we decided to homeschool our kids last year. we “un-enrolled” them last december. so what happened? well, our reasons for wanting to homeschool them still apply. we wanted to homeschool them to not simply be able to give them a better education; but to also be the sole/primary influences on our children’s lives. it’s not that we were scared of the teachers or public school system “indoctrinating” them with an anti-god agenda. but it was more the other kids who come from different homes, have different values. it’s the same reason we limit how much tv they can watch saturday mornings on the rare occasions that we do let them watch. (there’s too many commercials for products that they “have to have”)

what did change? nothing, except that we realized that undertaking of homeschooling our two older daughters, giving preschool lessons to our third, and caring for a baby just wasn’t working out according to our best intentions. and all that on top of trying to keep a home and fix meals for everyone.

do we believe that homeschooling is the best option for our kids’ education? yes. but it hasn’t worked out to be a “working option” for our family. in fact we still hope to homeschool our kids once they are all older (no babies), and the older ones are a little more able to be “self driven”. perhaps when they reach middle school age. we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

i think the best way to put it is in terms of food. i think the ideal homeschooling situation for us is like a “steak dinner at the Outback”; public school is like a “a Carl’s Jr. burger combo meal”; our kids’ education this past year has been like a “low ration of Top Ramen noodles”. that’s not to say we didn’t have great times and meaningful teaching this past year. but they were few and far between.

and at this point i’d rather my kids have a steady diet than none at all. i’ve been feeling this way for a while. deb has been trying her best to make it work out. but there’s only so much one lady with four young kids, expecting twins this spring can do during the day. i think it finally hit both of us the reality of our situation the other night when anna heard us contemplating putting them back into public school. deb asked her what she thought about that and she started crying and saying that she would really like that because she’s bored at home and doesn’t learn anything.

the very reason we started homeschooling was so that she wouldn’t be bored and we could give her a better (more challenging) education.

we’re not blind to the challenges that sending our kids to public school will bring: getting the kids up early, ready for school, drop off and pick up, helping with homework, extra curricular activities, dealing with other kids, etc. but after a year of knowing what our intentions were, what the realities were, and what our options are looking forward; we’re ready to deal with all that. (it also doesn’t hurt to think that compared to sarah’s 90 mile trek to and from school; we only live 3 blocks away) :-)

in another post i’ll give a little more background into my personal thought process in this decision, but this post has gone on long enough and i don’t like to mix post topics.

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// today i'm thankful for:
1. not having to get a new muffler for our van
2. the heater in our van works
3. having babysitters family close by
4. being able to go home for lunch
5. hearing rachel’s babblings