This is day 20 of my 30-day blog challenge. Read day 19: “5 pet peeves of poor web design”
I’m going to categorize this blog “as the laundry rolls” and put it with my parenting tips and musings (from ground zero). I say “thoughts from ground zero” because I am a mom of a 3-year-old girl and a 1-year-old boy, so I’m nowhere near qualified as any kind of expert. And today I want to ramble about my concerns and fears for educating my children.
Home-schooling isn’t the same as it used to be
As little as I actually know about homeschool, I know that in 1995, when I was in high school, the kids who stayed home were devoutly religious, medically ill or rurally located so they couldn’t get to school. I had cousins in a rural part of Tennessee who home-schooled because they were rural and I had at least one other friend who did some home-schooling because she had medical issues. The rest I’m more or less assuming.
But lately it seems home-schooling is more prominent and more people who I respect home-school their kids. When my daughter was closer to 1, I decided I would home-school her. I thought I would at least get her started, feeling confident I could get her to color inside the lines (or artistically interested in purposefully coloring outside the lines) and I knew I could teach her to count past 100.
Then, when she was closer to age 3, the age she turned November 2013, I felt more sure that sending her to a good public school was best. I thought this because I watch her interact with other children her age and slightly older; I see how excited she is to socialize.
A friend shared this article, “A New York and Chicago Mom Discover What Standardized Rigor Really Means for Their Children,” on Facebook today. Though I just knew it would break my heart, I read it anyway. And everything started spinning in my mind again.
How do I find a good public school?
My family currently lives in a two-bedroom apartment, but we intend to move into a house and we plan to buy a house before our daughter starts school. My research so far has involved checking property values and looking at school districts. Watching the housing market pull itself up by its bootstraps, I’m a little worried that by the time we are ready to buy the market will be more of a seller’s market than a buyer’s. But, I won’t feel pressured.
So, how do others gauge a “good public school”? Certainly standardized tests aren’t the answer. I literally feel like I want to walk into every elementary school and ask to interview the teachers. I want to find compassionate and inspiring individuals to whom I can trust my children’s education. But then, many teachers that I know say that their hands are tied by “no child left behind” and other policies. I’m terrified.
I’m not only terrified of finding the right questions and hoping for the honest answers but also I’m tired. I know it’s time to grow up and find stability, get involved with educating myself about local politics and raise my kids to be part of a community. I do fear in a way that by choosing to home-school and not socialize much, I’d be encouraging my kids to be hermits. Then again I feel strongly that the problems I had in school all involved peer pressure and trying too hard to fit in when I should have just been studying. I want to protect my kids from bullies, but I also want to teach them independence. That sense of standing up for yourself and really not caring what someone else thinks about you only comes from the heartache common in middle school.
So, I’m sitting here typing my thoughts out knowing only that I have much more research to do. Any advice in the comments will be appreciated, and I do intend to have further heart-to-heart talks with friends and family members.