Thursday, August 2, 2012

A (homeschooling) conclusion




bird numbers

K's Steller's Jay and wildflowers

Random images from our home because I just can't seem to bring myself to post without photos of some kind.

This seems like as good a time as any to announce my plans for the upcoming school year. I have only casually mentioned it to a few friends here and there and have been a bit hesitant to declare my plans here as that somehow makes them official (in my own head, at least), and that means no turning back! Actually, I am being pretty absurd, this plan of mine really became official as I typed up my exit paperwork for our beloved school.

I will be homeschooling!

Well, not all of my children. K will still be attending our Waldorf School for first grade but C will be home with me starting her first year of kindergarten.

I should probably add a disclaimer here that these are my own opinions for my own family. I have no judgement for anyone who does it any other way. Everyone has different circumstances and needs in their lives. We all do what is best for the ones we love and know better than anyone else, don't you think?!

There were a few factors that brought us to this decision. A big one, of course, being money. Our school is already helping us out so much with financial aid for K, I just couldn't ask for anything more. Another factor is C's feelings and comfort level. C is my highly sensitive, introverted child who clings to me like a koala bear when we are out in public. This is very different from K who has always been open and friendly with everyone. K started school with no problems, never even looking back but I don't think it would be the same with C. Each of my children are unique individuals and what works for one may not work for another. Could I put C in a classroom and leave? Probably, but not without tears and struggles. Yes, I know they would eventually fade and she would be alright but I just don't feel that is in her best interest at this time.

The idea of Waldorf homeschooling has been in the back of my head for a long time now. I was actually preparing to home school K if we couldn't get out of Virginia a few years back. Truthfully, the thought of teaching my child both enlivens me and scares me to death at the same time. What if I can't stick with the homeschooling rhythm? Do I really have the patience for it (that's a BIG one)? What if I can't follow through or if I get lazy? Can I really get organized enough to do this? What if I can't pull off all that is involved in being a Waldorf teacher? I can't sing! How will we find the time? What if she doesn't like it or resents me for doing it? Have I gone completely mad?! What if ... breathe. I struggle with a pretty low self-esteem and can come down pretty darn hard on myself. I am trying to overcome my inner fears and doubts and just take it one day at a time. This school year will be a test of sorts for us to see if we can do it and if it works for our family. Since the Waldorf kindergarten is a model of home life, this seems like the best time to try out homeschooling. Steiner instructed that children should stay with their parents until around the age of seven - when they entered into first grade, then more formal teaching would begin. With that in mind, this will be a good transition year for us, I hope.

C doesn't know yet. K's kindergarten teacher reminded me that children live in the moment and to wait to tell her when the time comes. I am still waiting but I think I will be breaking the news to her soon. I honestly don't know what she'll think or if she'll understand. I am praying she won't be upset or disappointed with me. Lord, help me. Do you all think I am crazy for this? I would love to hear your thoughts.

So, that's that. I've said it out loud. It's now official. I suppose that means I had better get off the computer and get to work on planning this very first year of homeschooling. This is one of the many fun parts! I have quite a few ideas already but any resource suggestions or advice is always appreciated.

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