Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's THAT Time of Year Again: Gearing up for School

We're embarking on two new education adventures this year. The first is Big Sister's switch to public education. The second is homeschooling Little Mister's first year of preschool.

I'm very anxious to find out how public education compares to parochial school.
My biggest complaint about the school we left behind was that they were too slow to let poor teachers go. After all, one of the perks of private schools is that they don't have to worry about tenure. My daughter has already said she plans to bring her Catholic prayer book to school every day- and a picture of Mary for the inside of her desk. She's never been one for subtleties, a characteristic that I love about her most of the time.

So far, I'm not terribly impressed with the public school experience. I was told when I dropped my paperwork off last May that I would receive an information packet in the mail over the summer. It was to include the basic information about the school, lunches, etc., and my daughter's assigned teacher. At the end of July, no packet had arrived. I called to verify that I'd submitted all my paperwork and found out then who would be teaching Big Sister this year. Unfortunately, they'd placed her in third grade instead of fourth. Another call to the school fixed that mistake. I learned after questioning further that the school had decided not to mail information packets. Instead, they would publish it in the local paper. I would have never known had I not asked and would likely have missed open house, a night vital to kids new to the school.

Small peanuts? Maybe.

But this is my first experience with the school and does not reflect positively on their organization. I'm praying that meeting her teacher will be a more promising event!

On the flip side, I'm getting very excited to start Little Mister's preschool education! I've purchased a huge book of pre-school lessons centering around each letter of the alphabet, basic numbers, holidays, and everything between. One morning each week he will go to Grandma's for a few hours of reading and writing centered lessons, and another morning I'll work on science and math at home. Both of us will incorporate basic kindergarten readiness skills. Of course, I'll continue to teach my son constantly while we're in the car, cooking, cleaning, or playing outside. Then, we'll be attending story hour at the local library, playing on a soccer team in the fall and spring, and enrolling in martial arts school. Finally, we'll be going on our own field trips throughout the year. The best part is that with a homeschooling schedule that matches the schedule of his friends' preschools, we'll still have time for play dates! I can't wait to begin, and you can be sure to find many reflections from successful (or not so successful) lessons along the way!


Tina said...

the biggest sadness for us is missing story hour each week!

Chrissy said...

Did you ever consider homeschooling "big sister" instead of public school? Maybe I missed that blog? :o)

Kelley said...

I would have loved to try it this year, but I didn't think there'd be a chance of convincing her dad... I don't have friends who have kids her age, so the social aspect of school is a huge plus anyway. :-)

Marie said...

My brother and his wife have homeschooled their four girls all the way through school. The oldest is 16, 17 in September, and is still being homeschooled. They are some of the happiest, most well adjusted, and intelligent girls I know, with lots of outside friends, and talents.