The other day a new, non-denominational city school contacted me and told me about their tuition-free (normally about $5k) first year.
I’ve never before felt so tempted.
As a parent you doubt yourself 24-7. About everything. From ohmygawd he’s not eating organic babyfood will that give him allergies to ohmygawd he fell off his bike and ohmygawd is my discipline exasperation or real discipline?
Couple that with the neurotic worrying homeschooling can bring. I say “can bring” because I’ve met some moms who have a petrillion kids and they school them all at home in their dining room and no one screams, cries, pitches a tantrum and mom NEVER runs out of ideas. I have one word to describe you women: ROBOTS.
A homeschooling parent always doubts herself. I am constantly wondering if I am doing the best that I can with Liam, if I am providing an enriching enough environment, if he’s on par with or ahead of his peers, or, God forbid, behind in anyway.
See that’s the only benefit I can see to a public school: you can identify the weak kids and the strong kids early on. (The downside to that is the latter holds back the former and the former can sometimes push the pace beyond the latter's reach.) As Liam isn’t yet old enough to join in the older-elementary study groups for our homeschool group – and his socialization doesn’t include sitting with other kids doing the exact same work – I can’t tell. I do know that his language skills are advanced, so pointed out by his pediatrician (who suspects that he may be “gifted,” though believes as I do, that the testing for such is more for the parents than the kids at this age) and a few certified educators in our homeschool group. He reads well, has little problem with sounding out words. In the beginning his skills were uneven; he grasped math and raced through those lessons faster than with phonics. I received a heavy liberal arts education and while Chris’s engineering background greatly tempers this, Liam’s language art skills are now equal, if not greater, than his math skills.
Chris and I know that if we were to stop homeschooling Liam and place him in a mainstream school we might not be able to reverse our position. Well, that’s just what Chris believes, I disagree. I don’t want Liam to be held back by other kids if he’s advanced just as I wouldn’t want him to hold other kids back if he’s not.
It’s a temptation, all right.
But if this school was the right choice for us, I feel as though I wouldn’t hesitate. I would know it. The truth is, I don’t.