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Old 04-11-2013, 09:26 AM   #1
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I might lose my mind - school options

For the longest time (well before I was married and had kids) my plan was to homeschool. Now that I actually have kids and have started homeschooling, I'm realizing that I just really don't enjoy it. I don't mind the planning part, I just don't like the actual "doing school". I'm not an organized person, so that part is very stressful to me. I'm also a starter, but not a finisher. I'll get really excited about an idea, get it going, and then a couple weeks later I'm burned out on it. I don't want that to happen with my kids' education. We also live in a school district that has lost it's accredidation because the schools are so bad, so the local public school is not an option.

Add to the pressure of trying to figure this out that my DH REALLY wants us to homeschool. I brought this up with him last night and it was clearly very upsetting to him. He's willing to do whatever we need to and wants what's best for me and the kids, but his preference is definitely homeschooling.

So help me think through all of this. I need to bounce ideas around!

Options:

1 - homeschool - just make myself do it. I have a double major in education, so I have the ability to do it, just not the desire.

2 - Private school - there is a top notch, amazing school that I love relatively close to us. Only drawback is the price, and we don't qualify for any assistance with that. (We are talking up to $25,000/year once all 3 kids are in upper grades) We could make it work, it would just be constraining to the budget, obviously.

3 - Charter school then public college prep junior and high school - there is a brand new charter school near us that looks good and is very strong academically, but it has long hours (8 am - 4 pm even for K) as well as nightly mandatory homework. Also, not everyone gets in. It's a lottery system so you are guaranteed a spot. The college prep school you also have test into.

4 - Public Montessori then public college prep junior and high school - Again, not everyone gets in if they have too many sign up. I think it's first come, first serve though, so I could be there first thing to make sure we got in. But, I don't know if I'm totally sold on Montessori.

I wish this stuff were easy.

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Old 04-11-2013, 09:32 AM   #2
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Re: I might lose my mind - school options

Have you thought about taking more of an unschooling approach to homeschool? It sounds like you would enjoy that more, and your kids could still get a great education for WAY cheaper than the private school.

Also maybe check out online homeschooling options.

ETA It looks like your kids are very young. You could also take a year (or three) before you have to worry about homeschooling, if that's what you want. Can I ask what your using now? You could also get a curriculum where all the planning was done for you. Or maybe a different style of curriculum, like Sonlight has lots of reading aloud. Or something more hands on?

Last edited by jen_batten; 04-11-2013 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:39 AM   #3
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Unschooling doesn't have any real appeal to me. I know it's works great for some kids/families, it just doesn't fit our educational philosophies.

I haven't looked into online programs much. I'll add that to my research list.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:46 AM   #4
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Re: I might lose my mind - school options

Wow, I applaud your honesty. I am not a homeschooling mama, but I have seriously considered it for 2 of my children for next year. My concern, I sound very similar to you. And we mamas want the best for our children. But I'm not a good finisher. My sister in-law homeschools 9 children (kudos to her!). She has suggested to me to do a little of both public and homeschool. In my area we can send our children for just math or science etc. if we choose. I like that it isn't all or nothing, just a thought. I would suggest from your choices, private school, since it's within your budget and the education sounds worth it. We would make the necessary sacrifices for private school here, but since my husband and older brothers have attended this private school he and I feel the education is no better than our public schools. They do not offer many sports programs and send their students over to our public schools because they do not have all the available classes that our public school does and so on. Which ever you decide, good luck!
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:02 AM   #5
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So it looks like right now you have a kindergartner? The other 2 are little?


I wouldn't do any formal schooling with the younger 2 until they are of kindergarten age. There is no need, they learn through play.

For the school aged child I would look into online public school like k12 or connections (you may have local charter online options as well). That way there is no planning and people to help you stay on track. We used online programs for 4 years and it was a great springboard for us.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:55 AM   #6
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So it looks like right now you have a kindergartner? The other 2 are little?

I wouldn't do any formal schooling with the younger 2 until they are of kindergarten age. There is no need, they learn through play.

For the school aged child I would look into online public school like k12 or connections (you may have local charter online options as well). That way there is no planning and people to help you stay on track. We used online programs for 4 years and it was a great springboard for us.
My oldest will be 5 in September, so we are actually going to wait another year before we have her start kindy. She is speech delayed, so there's no rush in my mind to start just to have her be the youngest in the class and behind a bit on speech as well.

Right now I do about 15-20 min of sit down work with her a day cut started as just homework for speech therapy, and she loves the one-on-one time so much that I got a fun preschool curriculum for us to do together when that was finished.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:14 AM   #7
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I have no idea what the situation with your public schools are-I've never heard of that here. But I do know that the schools around us that are in the lowest performing 5% get HUGE support from the state in terms of professional development fir the teachers. I can confidently say that your child will receive top quality teaching if attending on of those schools around here. The test scores are improving, but all research shows it takes a minimum of three years to see an improvement in test scores. As I said before, I have no idea what the process is for you, but it might be worth at least visiting your local school to see what it is like. The federal definition of AYP sounds great on paper, but is impossible to meet with current funding, support and timelines.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:18 AM   #8
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If it's that important to DH can he do some of it in the evening?

I'd personally check out the charter schools and if I liked them go for that. There's no reason you can't change your mind later, too.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:20 AM   #9
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I have no idea what the situation with your public schools are-I've never heard of that here.
Basically kids graduating high school who can't even read, constant teacher turnover, police having to constantly patrol the hallways because of the violence, and massive drop out rates. They're a disaster.

The school board president is working his tail off to get things back in line (we've had him over to our house to talk about the problems), but it will be a long uphill battle and many years before I would entrust my children there.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:20 AM   #10
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If it's that important to DH can he do some of it in the evening?

I'd personally check out the charter schools and if I liked them go for that. There's no reason you can't change your mind later, too.
He gets home from work about an hour before the kids' bedtime, so homeschool will be on me.
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