Thursday, April 27, 2006

Homeschool or Not?

Well, I didn't do very well last night with my American Idol picks. I put the three girls in the bottom (against my better judgement on Kat - the judges tore her up, but I loved her performance), and I picked Paris to go. Wrong and wrong again. Katharine was one of the top 2 vote-getters, and Kellie ended up going home. I garnered a mere 10 points for last night's picks in the American Idol work pool, which may or may not move me out of first place. Boo!

On a happier note, my weight is stablizing and I no longer want to hide in bed and eat Cocoa Puffs directly out of the bag. Most likely it was a water retention issue, and I am feeling much more positive. Maybe, just maybe, good enough to post a weigh-in this week.

On a frustrating note, I called two different school systems in Arkansas yesterday (Bentonville and Gravette, for those of ye who care), and neither of them allow testing of children to start kindergarten early. They kept saying crazy things like "no exceptions" and "state law." Balderdash! This is very disheartening for me, the mother, as Owen will miss the kindergaren cut-off by three weeks (September 20 is the official date by which a child must turn 5 in order to start kindergarten). I know every mother thinks her child is "smart" or "gifted" or "socially neurotic which must mean high IQ." I have no factual proof that Owen is smarter than the average three-year old. But I really feel like keeping him back a year will be the wrong choice for him. A combination of an intelligent kid, plus being the oldest in the class, could lead to boredom and behavior issues, and I just don't want him to deal with that. So maybe homeschooling is our best option. I'm not opposed to that. It bugs me when people assume that homeschooled kids are social misfits. If so, that blame rests on the parents, whose responsibility it is to socialize these children and show them the outside world. I think I could do that with Owen, if it comes to that. I think homeschooling could work for us. And if that's the route we're going to take, I need to start doing that research right now, because I want it done correctly and with the highest educational integrity.

And if we homeschool, I wouldn't necessarily keep them through all of junior high or high school. It would be a pity to live in Bentonville, with one of the best (probably the best) school districts in the state and not take advantage of their AP classes, 5A sports teams, amazing band program, etc. But I can cross that bridge when we come to it, in 10 or 12 years.

Saturday I'm having my hair highlighted for the first time in over 2 years. I am very excited about this! New life! In hair! That is driving me crazy.

3 comments:

Melani said...

Robyn,

We've had really good teachers in Bentonville that have managed to keep Colby and Kelsey challenged. Reading is completely individual and if the teacher is willing, math can be too. Colby spends one full day a week at TREC (gifted program that starts in 2nd grade) at another school and gets to miss the review day that he doesn't need.

I don't know if this helps but I thought you might like to hear what my kids do at school.

They both knew everything that was required in Kindergarten before they even started but both had a great time their first year of school.

Oh, and Kelsey went to preschool for full days 3 days a week since she turned 5 in December. She was ready for school so that kept her from being stir crazy at home. Just an idea...sorry this is such a long comment.

Fultz'N_it said...

Hey Robyn,
We went through all of that with Moriah. She was reading, adding and subtracting, and WAY WAY beyond what she would learn in Kindergarten when she started preschool. We caved to social pressure because John was a teacher and put her in the public school when she started Kindergarten. She had already pretty much finished Kindergarten level so what would it hurt, right? Well, she got a bad teacher who had no business teaching Kindergarten. Moriah didn't like her and totally shutdown and would not do anything. Public School kindergarten literally scarred her for life. I know this is an extreme case but thought you might want to know the possibilities that "could" happen.
There are reports out that state that home-schooled students are just as sociable as other children. More social in some cases. They are more likely to go to a new neighborhood child and offer to be their friend than a child who is in school and already has their own little click that doesn't need to be invaded by an outsider.
It's all just a personal choice of you and what you think is best for your child. I don't feel that Owen would be behind if he started with his class. And, more than likely he wouldn't be the oldest one in his class because more and more parents are deciding to hold their children back and starting them a year late. So, there could actually be kids in his class that are a year older than him.
Just my opinions and experiences, don't feel like you have to "cave" to pressures of society. It is all about your child and what is best for him!

Betsy or Alex said...

1 vote "yes" for homeschool. I'm in. I vote "no" to teletubbies. They scare me worse than clowns.
Alex