Saturday, August 20, 2011

Decision is Made and Final

Wyatt(9) grade 4, Kayla(10 turning 11) grade 6, Everett(8) grade 3, Tanner(6) grade 1

I'm so glad we started homeschool 8 weeks ago. I learned so many things this school year thus far and thats how labor intensive 6th grade is and thats really giving her a bare bones education. The math is so difficult, I am having to relearn it and then teach it to her. Wyatt had backslid a lot since our "summer" break so we are back to reversing letters and numbers. Everett is flourishing with minimal help though his concentration keeps him tied to his school books until 5pm many days. He wont just focus and do the 2 pages of math or 1 page of language lessons. Tanner is struggling to read.

 I love homeschooling though and some of my best memories with my kids is homeschool related. Here is the thing though, Kenna and Madelynn are bored and reading one BFIAR book isnt enough for them. I give them coloring books, and all sorts of fun school stuff to do while I teach the others, but they continue to fight for my attention. Madelynn is barely talking and at 2.5 years that has me worried that I need to give her more one on one to really talk with her about everything so she starts picking up language better. My little guy, Jaxxon, is crawling and very active now, pulling up and eating everything he finds, including choking several times now on teeny things he has found so I have to watch him like a hawk. So where am I going with all this? I told you I wanted to make the right decision regarding school and as much as I LOVE homeschooling, I know Wyatt needs services that our insurance wont offer him and there are many other issues I stated above.

 Nate and I sat down and did a pro/con list and we found the pro school list much much longer. We decided after speaking to the kids and hearing their input, to put the kids into public school. One of the biggest determinants for this decision was that this school we are zoned for now has ALL the services Wyatt needs. They wont ship him all over like the last school wanted to do in order to get him the speech, OT, PT and many other specialized teachers for teaching a child with aspergers. They actually have several other kids in the school really similar to Wyatt and I have hopes of meeting their families and making friendships for Wyatt and myself. This was a hard decision, but I feel it was the right decision.

Their first day was yesterday and went well. I think my kids got lucky as their teachers seem to all fit their different personalities very well. The time alone with all the little kids yesterday was so nice as well. The house was quiet and we got to read and paint and most of all talk a lot. I am normally really burned out from reading aloud to the big kids and helping them with their studies that I don't talk much later in the day to anyone. I mean I serve and cook and clean, but my voice gets tired. It was nice to talk to just the little kids all day as we cleaned, played, cooked, made a surprise for the big kids when they got home, and hung out together. That undivided attention is good for them. The quiet was also good for all of us. I was amazed that I liked it, lol.

So for 1 year we will be "trying" out public school and I think the kids are going to have a great year supplemented with weekends reading, decorating, doing crafts, baking and just being who we are. I'm excited to let them spread their wings and stretch out into the community. I'm taking this new chapter and looking for the good in it. This time our option was researched and thought out so that it will for certain last all year. The big bonus and probably the kicker to the whole school advantage is that Nate got offered a new position in his department that will take him from rotating schedules to a Monday thru Thursday 9-5 schedule for the next 3 years!!!! YAY so he wont have to miss out on family time. We wouldn't have done the public school option had this not happened so this protects our family time! Family togetherness and time is our number one priority.


Sankat said...

I'm so happy you're so excited about it! YAY!

I hope your kids have a WONDERFUL year!

My kids first year of public school was really hard, but this year so far, is going MUCH better.

Amanda C. said...

That is an awesome decision and I am really happy you are at peace with it.
My son, Nathan has Asperger's, too. Having a school that has so many thing to help him has been so helpful for all of us as a family. I hope that this school will be able to do that, too.

Cortney Nicholson said...

Your kids are beautiful!

I think sending your children to public school is going to be a good thing, for you and for them! You are a super-mom, thats for sure! There is nothing wrong with enjoying the break from the older ones and being able to spend more individual time with the little ones:) I also have 4 in school, and 2 little ones at home. Everyone needs space, that is healthy, for children and parents. So hopefully you do not feel guilty. And it sounds like Wyatt can get some special programs for just him - it sounds great! With your husbands new schedule, looks like everyone is going to have a very nice year.
And if it happens to not work out, there is nothing with trying.
Best of luck to you and your family.

Jennifer said...

Wow, how wonderful. I'm excited for you. I think it will be good for everyone all around. Your little ones will get more time with you and the older ones will get to go out and stretch their wings. Your time and your sanity are very important. You want to be your best when you are with your children and I really think this will help you.
I always miss my kids when they are gone, but I am so happy to see them when they come home its great!!
Good luck! Keep us posted!!!

Cat said...

I'm so happy that you are at peace with the decision. I agree to take it a year at a time, when my oldest went for half of her K year I enrolled her mid-year and told myself that no matter how I felt that she would finish the year unless she was in some sort of danger there. It was a wonderful experience for us to have her there, and she did learn things I could never have taught her, but for us at that time it wasn't the right choice. Now, if our district actually offered services for Aspie kids without shipping them to a different district, we'd be more likely to consider the schools here. But she is doing so well at home with a predictable routine and work M-F year round (the only days off typically are if she or I are sick or if daddy's off that day) I can't jostle her world at this point.

Enjoy your days with your little ones, and know that the older ones are being watched over. God is watching them, even if He isn't allowed to be active in schools. Re-evaluate at Christmas break if you feel unease, and know that at this point, it is ok to send them if it suits your family's needs right now. There is no shame in homeschooling for a few years and then sending them, it just may not be your season for educating at home and that is perfectly ok.

So nice to see they had a good first day, how is your oldest adjusting to middle school and having all those teachers and the schedule to keep straight?

Cyndi said...

What a strange coincedence! I have been home schooling for the past two years and this year I'm giving myself a break too! Cool! It's just a small break for me because my oldest is going into 3rd, but my six year old twins are developmentally ready for Kindergarten and in our district it's still half day. I chose afternoon K, so I'll have a break each day to spend time with my 3 1/2 year old and do pre-school with her, or take a nap:) It seems like a good time for me to try to get preggers again too. We'll see! Enjoy you break, and if I were you I wouldn't get too involved in PTA, extra curricular activities, and Fundraisers. IMHO it's so draining! I like the idea of bi-weekly volunteering in the classroom for just a couple hours. Just my opinion from my daughter's Kindergarten year. Have fun!

lilpeasinmypodfromgod said...

Cyndi ITA and no pta here either lol! I hope you get preggers soon:0)

Cat, Shes still elementary this year(grade 6) in our district thankfully, but yea I hear ya on the school offering services. They never have anywhere we lived so its exciting they do here!

Turandot said...

I think putting the four eldest children into school is a great idea.

I would love to an update on how they are doing !