Thursday, July 19, 2007

Am I mad???!!

We were discussing the options re schooling last night including Grammar (worked out we could afford it if we wanted to, but what on earth can a kindy teach that costs $4000 pa??!), the local Steiner school (I like a lot of their philosophies but with both of us being computer people, the non-use of computers & technology at any early age doesn't sit well - he already sends family emails unassisted!), local public schools etc. Then Pete completely broadsided me by suggesting homeschooling. We've both had a lot of exposure to homeschooling as my sister homeschools her 2 girls, but I thought he was very much against it. Turns out he thinks it would work well for Billy.

The more we discussed it and thought about it, the more appealing it sounded to me in many ways (my sister will be laughing hysterically by now as I have always said I'd never do it). However the big stopping point for me is (cue bad 80s soundtrack) - "What about me??" Can I do it? I know I'd be able to do from an academic etc standpoint, but what about the fact of being with him 24/7? What about my need for peace & quiet? Would I have the patience to teach him & correct him? What about my business that I've been building up ready for him to go to school? Would I still be able to continue that? They sound incredibly selfish written down like that but that's what I'm feeling. It looks like I'll have lots of soul searching to do (as well as lots of research) before I make a commitment.

I'd love to hear from you if you have any thoughts about it.


Kris said...

Hi Kez

Our girls are two and seven months but we are already having almost exactly the same conversations and facing the same barriers to schooling. Al's suggestion re: home schooling (tongue in cheek) is that we buy an old set of New Knowledge Library books and set the kids to updating them. Positives: broad focus; develops research, technology and communication skills; potential for maths (how much greater are banana exports from Nigeria now, compared to 1984?); self-directed learning. The cost: $10 for books from op shop, plus broadband.

More seriously, I think home schooling is an important option in locations where appropriate schooling opportunities are limited and expensive but I know I couldn't make that kind of commitment, particularly at the expense of my own time and interests and without significant family support. I don't think it's selfish, I think it's realistic to acknowledge your own self and aspirations.

I wonder how easy it would be to find other parents in a similar position and share the schooling?

Kez said...

Hi Kris,

I like your idea of the encyclopedias :)

Thanks for your support - I'm glad you don't think my fears are selfish.

There are a few homeschooling groups in our area I think so will contact them for some more info. I know there is a homeschooling family literally around the corner from us - I have her number and will call her for a chat.

My sister is a homeschooling "expert" (she's written papers on it etc) but is away travelling Australia with her kids atm. An "outsider's" view is probably more useful at this stage as it is more unbiased!


libby said...

Hi Kerrie,

Wow, something certainly needing a lot of consideration. I like the whole idea of home schooling on many levels but I LOVE that my girls go to school and I get some ME time. Though I do love having them home during school holidays. My biggest concern about home schooling has always been what happens if/when they want to go to university - is it just as easy for them to get in or will it be a problem? I really don't know. I think home schooled children also need to do plenty of out-of-school activities to build up friendships and learn how to socialize. Billy would need this more than most being an only child. Obviously you've also got your work to consider. If you just work at home it would probably work okay as he could be doing his stuff while you're doing yours - esp. as he gets older. From what I've heard home schooled kids get through their days work in a couple of hours but you'd also have more time marking, etc. I'm lucky both my girls go a great public school but I have concerns about the local high school. I'd say Amy will be smart enough to get into a selective high school so that might be the way we go. Anyway, I don't envy you making your decision.


Kez said...

Thanks for your response Libby.

Re uni - homeschoolers can do their HSC if they want (via TAFE I think). Or they can get into uni via things like Open Foundation. My niece is doing some uni subjects now (at 15!) via correspondence without having done her HSC.

I agree about the socialising - that would be something I'd really have to keep an eye on, seeing how I have hermit tendencies :) There are various homeschool groups locally we could join and do activities, camps etc with, as well as any outside activities he wanted to do.

My work is a big sticking point. Am I prepared to "sacrifice" the stimulation I get from it, or do I even have to? I've told Pete that I would really need his support to do it - not just emotional support, but actually taking Billy out regularly so I can have time to myself, or time to work etc. He's also talking about asking his boss if he can rearrange his hours and maybe work from home one day / week or similar, which would mean I could meet with clients or take time out for myself..

Still thinking, getting ideas from people and doing lots of research!

Anonymous said...

the biggest drawback i would think about homescholl is his being and only child and his personal needs for companionship and socializing even with the groups wouldnt he still have limited mixing time