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Grizzly Mama

There's a Grizzly who has escaped the City of Brotherly Love..(and she's going back to homeschooling!!)

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Location: Out of Philly, Pennsylvania, United States

"All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth." Aristotle - Greek Philosopher.

Monday, December 10, 2007

They Want to Try School

We are going to inquire about the possibility after the holidays. There is a small Catholic school in our area. I like it. I need to check the curriculum they use and see if we can afford it.

I have mixed feelings about this. I like the school - a lot. I always told them that doing school at home is something we take on a year to year basis. I always told them that their desires would be taken into account. Up to a point, anyway. For instance, back in the old neighborhood going to the local public school was out of the question. Really, going to any public school is out of the question. From the beginning Catholic school was a no-go for me. We are Catholic and we are raising our daughters as Catholics, however I do not have good experiences to draw on in regard to Catholic schools. This parish, though, is a really dynamic parish. It is very spiritual which I am not used to, having gone to Catholic Mass my entire life and never having had much of a spiritual experience there. I mostly looked at as a discipline type of thing, rigid not fluid. Rules, regulations, memorizing the prayer was more important than simply praying to God. I do like the traditions: incense, holy water, order of Mass. I don't know, maybe I can appreciate the spirituality of the thing now and I was just unable to as a kid and young adult.

The younger has come such a long way. She was born scared of her shadow. She is ready and will handle it beautifully. The older was born ready to jump into any new experience and I know that she will thrive.

The most difficult things for them will be: not being able to go to the bathroom whenever they want, eating within a tight schedule, and waking up early in the a.m.

I will miss teaching them, and learning right along beside them. It is work, however I never anticipated the blessings it would bring. You get a whole new appreciation for your kid, their strengths and weaknesses, when you teach them yourself. I will miss spending time with them. Sure, there are times when I just need to be alone. I need to go somewhere by myself. Those times don't come along very often. Less often than you would expect.

So. Monumental decision for us. What are your thoughts? Have your children ever expressed interest in going to traditional school? Have you tried it for a year or two?


Blogger tweetey30 said...

You know Kora told me just the other day she wants nothing to do with school and her old friends. She said she prefers home schooling and likes when Jeff and I both sit down with her and talk about school stuff with her.

Now on to your delema. Um if you can afford go for it and let them experience it and if they dont like it then you they dont have to go back next year. I know it must be a hard decision but when they come home with home work and dont get to play like they are used to they just might want to change there minds again.

11 December, 2007 10:52  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Thanks Tweetey. Both girls loved being home when they were younger. I always thought it's such a shame to tear kids away from their homes at such a young age. Most kids would rather be with their family at that age.

I can understand their curiosity about school. It might be worth it to send them for a year - as you said. Of course the option to return to homeschooling will always be there. Thanks again for commenting!

11 December, 2007 11:46  
Blogger tshsmom said...

We've always told Z that it's his choice too. He experienced the public school bullsh*t until the middle of 7th grade. He gets panic attacks at the thought of going back there.
Z knows that his friends don't enjoy learning new things like he does. He feels sorry for them.

Z is an odd case though. He has several learning disabilities that we've overcome in some bizarre ways. The school would NEVER go along with teaching him the way he learns best.

If you can afford it, I'd let the girls make the choice and go from there. They can always come back to homeschooling. Good luck!

11 December, 2007 15:32  
Blogger Abouna said...

A Catholic School is a good choice, if you can afford the tuition. If I had had the time to devote to it, I would have home schooled my boys, but being a priest and having to work to earn a living to support the boys put that option out the window. Unfortunately, I could not afford to send them all (4 of them) them to a Catholic School so I had no choice but to send them to a public school. Believe me, I had to be on my toes every minute because of the stuff they were being taught and some of the garbage going on at their schools.

So I can only pray that your little cubs don't ever decide that they want to try out a public school. That would be a nightmare.

11 December, 2007 23:24  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Thank you Tshsmom. Neither of the girls have had any experience at all with that horrible school, but they've heard stories from the neighborhood kids. They told me many times how glad they were to be homeschooled. I'm inclined to let them try school where we are now, and I'm not sure what they'll think. I know that your son had a horrible experience. I think that anything out of the ordinary is just not doable at most schools. I'm so glad that we live in the USA and can get the kids out of the hellhole whenever we want!

You are right that homeschooling will always be there. I don't think that they'll like having to get up early every day. That will be the biggest difficulty.

11 December, 2007 23:25  
Blogger MonicaR said...

I know, Abouna. Thanks for your comment too. There, apparently, is some sort of financial aid available. The public schools are just getting worse and worse. I think I must have managed to get through before it got really bad. I do remember my father going off about something they were teaching me - was it environmental stuff? I can't remember what but it sure did upset him. lol.

My parents were able to send 5 of my brothers and sisters to Catholic school for awhile. By the time I started kindergarten, all the kids were in public. Catholic school was just too expensive.

The girls have heard many horror stories from kids on the block about the public school. They do not want to go there!

12 December, 2007 00:54  
Blogger DirtCrashr said...

Kids can benefit a lot from structure once they figure it out - you can't climb a ladder in space, it needs guy-wires and rungs to be climbable.
It's that "build your foundation on rock" thing and not on sand.
IMO public schools suffer the little Socialists to come teach there, the least among the College graduates are required of little but to endorse the Union's pre-set teaching plan.

12 December, 2007 18:37  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Thanks DC. I think this little school could be a really positive experience. Once I verify a few things about the curriculum, and straighten out financial aid, we'll probably go for it.

12 December, 2007 22:19  
Blogger Janine Cate said...

Wow. I would find it very hard to send my kids to school, even a private religious school. So much of our family lifestyle is tied to homeschooling and the flexibility that comes with it. The experience of going to school after exclusively homeschooling, would be like moving to a foreign country or converting to a new religion.

Almost everything in your life would be effected. That doesn't mean that the changes would be bad, just that such a dramatic change would be hard.

I would ask your girls to make a detailed list of the things that would have to change if they went to school. I imagine they are focusing on the changes they think they will like and not the changes they will not like.

I would also ask them to pray about it.

16 December, 2007 01:02  
Blogger Mr. Grey Ghost said...

Good to know you give your kids this option...BTW, I went to a Catholic high school and it actually wasn't bad at all. Then too, I didn't have to wear a uniform so that helped.

16 December, 2007 02:22  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Thank you Janine! That is a good idea to have them make a list. It will be a gigantic change and I will definitely miss the flexibility. Educating kids at home does involve the whole family, and it does become an integral part of our lives. We have been doing this a long time - we are in our 7th year with the oldest. They are involved in so many things, things that we will not have the flexibility to be involved in if and when we decide to do this. The thought of NOT doing it leaves me with feelings of grief almost. I will also ask them to pray about it - I hadn't thought of that. *I* have been praying about it, but I didn't think to suggest it to them.

Mr. GG - thank you, too. I am thinking that it would be good for them - they have always been curious about it. I think the early mornings are going to kill them. There is nothing like having been somewhere to know for certain that you don't want to be there. I hope that makes sense... Although that doesn't have to apply to every situation, and hopefully it won't apply for them for some situations. But it is helpful to know, for instance, that I know for certain that I don't like Texas because I've actually been there - not just because I've heard it's kinda strange down there.

17 December, 2007 11:42  
Blogger Dee said...

I keep wanting to have an option to send my kids to Christian school but until I get a job, we can't afford it. I have 4 kids so it will be expensive.

The greatest thing is that in the USA we have choices. Also, you could send them to school for awhile and then if you wanted to home school again that would be an option. I'm sure God will show you what to do.

20 December, 2007 02:23  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Thanks, Dee. There are a variety of financial aid packages available so I'm hoping that we'll qualify. We won't know until the end of January it looks like. We have already discussed the fact that homeschooling will always be an option if traditional schooling does not work out. We have been talking about the pros and cons, as Janine suggested. I don't work a real job - so it is one income for us and then what ever little bit that I can get working small jobs here and there. Even with the girls in school it is tough to work a career type job. I helped the working mothers in the old neighborhood as much as I could, because there's always something screwing things up - like half days or snow days or teacher conference days. It's better, I think, to bite the bullet and get through their young years being an at-home mom if possible...

20 December, 2007 17:52  
Blogger Kate said...

Hey Monica. Hope your Christmas was memorable and that you are winding down some. The girls can always come home. That door is always open. Instead of reiterating what everyone has said, I'll just add that I hope you have peace about your decision. Please keep us posted. Good luck! And HAPPY NEW YEAR!

31 December, 2007 23:32  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Thank you Kate. I appreciate your thoughts and Happy New Year to you and your family!

01 January, 2008 02:07  

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