Thursday, September 25, 2008

So I'm thinking about homeschool--yay or nay??

It's not that I don't want to. But I'm trying to be very realistic in light of the current economic situation (although some might suggest that the worse the economy gets, the less money will go into education making it more necessary than ever to take schooling your children into your own hands). It takes money to home school. It takes resources. I know I could do homeschooling on the cheap but I'd still have to factor in the cost of outside activities such as music lessons, swim lessons, gymnastics, martial arts on top of how much it would cost to home school. I also know that I'd like to purchase at least math and language arts curricula and well, the costs start to add up. Not to mention that I am having an extremely difficult time finding a home schooling group. There are plenty online but there seem to be a dearth in real life. I am not necessarily the most social of people. Z1 is showing signs of really appreciating being around other children his age. I mean, craving it and loving it. And I want to give that to him.

So I did some preliminary searches on public preschools in the area (because I can't swing private $$). I have my vaccine exemption stuff together and have had it together for some time. I've got a whole list of vegan lunch blogs and recipes ready to prepare healthy (mostly) vegetarian meals for Z1.

I have issues with school, to be sure. I don't think schools necessarily adapt the curriculum to children's specific learning styles. I think schools also waste a lot of time (I know from first hand experience spending a week trying to teach something to a group of 30 kids and then spending about an hour to teach it to 2 or 3 kids--it's just proven, one-on-one or small group instruction works best and most public schools cannot offer that). But I also know that I could do one hell of a job supplementing whatever Z1 would learn at school. It would also give me an opportunity to find ways to make some money either babysitting or doing something else to increase the cash flow. And there's also that nagging thought in my head: I really loved school. Maybe the boys would too. Shoot, even the hubby who was not a stellar student enjoyed school--at least the social aspect. I enjoyed the academic/competitive aspect far more (I don't currently have any friends that I met in grade school or high school).

So I found out that there is at least one magnet school in my town on the "good side of the tracks". If I could get the boys into that school (which is diverse and in which I really enjoyed doing my classroom observations for my master's degree), I think I'd be willing to send them there up until middle school at which point I'd be looking into programs that would allow them to go to private secondary schools on scholarship. My sister did one such program and went to a stellar institution that prepared her for her Ivy college career and gave her opportunities that I never had such as rowing crew(!). I'm hoping there will be other programs in existence when that time comes. I am completely and utterly opposed to my sons attending public secondary school in this town. Absolutely not. I did substitute teaching in one and goodness, no way in hell. I taught in a public middle school (not in my town but in the city) and, no way in hell. I'd have to have absolutely no other options but I'd rather clean folks houses and polish their shoes (not that these are bad jobs but I have a master's degree, you know?) to fund homeschooling if public middle school were my only choice.

I've just been really thinking about it. It takes a whole lot to home school and without the support, I just don't know. I just heard a story about a home schooling mama who just had to bite the bullet and put her children in school because of finance. It's not easy at all.

So many decisions. And I don't want to make any mistakes. There's no room for mistakes when it comes to the education of Black boys who will grow into Black men.


Anonymous said...

I wish you luck, its a hard decision to make. In theory I love the idea of homeschooling but the little dirty secret no one likes to discuss in the online communities is that homeschooling takes money and resources. I was looking at local groups here and many of the activites they do costs a fair chunk of money.

As WOC, its not impossible to homeschool our kids but the fact is statistically our families often need the extra income. Right now I am grappling with the same thoughts. I also have a really outgoing child and its hard for me to keep up with her, I am a total introvert who requires a fair amount of alone time.

I do think however its possible for your kids to go to school but supplement with your own at home learning.

Raising Black kids, I agree there is no room for mistakes.

ermine and pearls said...

Good luck deciding. When I had kids, I just knew I would homeschool, and then it didn't work out that way. I got scared, and other things happened and now my oldest two are in school. Some days, I wish they were home with me, other days, I am happy to see them off.

"So many decisions. And I don't want to make any mistakes. There's no room for mistakes when it comes to the education of Black boys who will grow into Black men."

So true!

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