Friday, August 19, 2011

Home, School or Homeschool?

I have been agonizing over the decision of what to do with my five year old daughter this school year.  She started Montessori school 18 months, and has loved it since the beginning!  She is doing great both academically and socially.  This year would be her third year, the most important year in the Primary classroom.  So why then would I consider pulling her out?

A few reasons.... The school she has been going to is now about an hour away from us, so that is a long time for her to be in the car each day, but even longer for the new baby in our life :)  He would have to ride with me to take her then ride home then back and fourth again when school was over.  It just seems like too much for a baby!  Not to mention that the drive time would seriously conflict with his nap times and I am a big believer in naps and sleep in bed not on the go.  Another drawback is the cost.  The tuition is a bit of a burden for us.  Not that we wouldn't make the sacrifice if that was her only option, but it's not!  I am a trained teacher after all.

I know that she needs to spend the next year learning.  She is progressing so well academically that I would never want to halt that.  I would not even consider letting her stay home to just spend the day playing.

That leaves homeschooling as our third option.  I have never really considered homeschooling before.  And to be honest, I always kind of thought that homeschooling was a bit crazy.  For kids who couldn't get along well in a traditional school.  After exploring it a bit and looking at all the resources out there, I see it as a more viable option.  It would still be a great investment financially, buying all the Montessori materials for this age group.  The thought is that I will invest approximately what would be one month's tuition at her current school into new materials.  We would use the materials for the next year and then hopefully use the materials at a school that I hope to start in the future.

It seems like a win-win choice.  I would get the chance to brush up on all the Montessori presentations.  My daughter would get the opportunity to learn the concepts through one on one lessons and use of the materials.  My son would not be toted all over town during nap time.  We would save money on tuition.  And I would get to enjoy both kids for a year!

The only real drawback, or concern, that I have is the social aspect that she will miss out on.  I will enroll her in some dance classes and some sports classes at the YMCA, so I am hoping that that will provide enough peer interaction.  In addition, I am looking into some homeschooling meet-ups/field trips that we could participate in.

It seems obvious what I should do when I write it out like this, but for some reason, I am still not 100% sure.  I have about a week to decide...

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