Friday, May 27, 2011

Considering His Education

We recently reached the end of the school year and I am no closer to deciding what Owen's schooling will look like next year-- most importantly whether it will take place at school or at home.

I went ahead and filled out the paperwork to pre-register for next year in public school.  I also filled out an optional form expressing my concerns for consideration in Owen's potential classroom placement next year. (It's not a teacher request form--so don't be confused!)  Everything I wrote on the form was straight from Owen's IEP (Individualized Education Plan) but also aligned with the description of the classroom of the teacher I would choose--if I could. 

Jeremy supported me in filling out the paperwork.  As he said: "keeping all the doors open until we choose to close them."

In reality I am in complete inner turmoil over this all.  We decided to put the decision off until the school year ended.  And now it's here and Jeremy and I have to move past the theoretical discussion of home-based education versus public school (which we have actually enjoyed) and move into the realm of discussing our own life and children and the realities of our situation. 

Jeremy is also keen on the idea of "trying out" homeschooling this summer.  And so it was with the sound of school bells still echoing in our ears that we had our first homeschool lesson of the summer.  Owen, who is now reading very well, pointed at a website side banner saying "bu..., bu..., What does that word spell?"

"That's a hard one" I explained, "It's 'buy.' And actually there are three different ways to spell it."  So I grabbed a scrap paper in front of me and diagrammed the three spellings of [bahy] along with illustrations to show what they mean.

Owen said, "OK thanks." and ran off.

And that's pretty much how I see homeschool happening around here.  Teaching in the moment, facilitating more moments, and spending lots of time as a family and with his brothers.  Easy.

Except that it's not always easy, and there are things he'll miss not being in public school. There are pros and cons to both models of education, and to not acknowledge that is unfair to our children. But in the end a decision has to be made.

But, thankfully today is not "the end," and so today the decision waits.

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