Sunday, August 24, 2014

Public School

Yes, my twins are now in public school, 7th grade to be exact.

It was not a decision I came to lightly. It has been building for a while. This past school year was rather difficult. We had just moved from Reno, I was pregnant and gave birth at the end of September. Then I found myself being stretched thin by the demands of six children of such varying ages. It was not easy. Somehow, I managed to make it through fairly unscathed with Raef and Zach still progressing in their studies. They did a homeschool charter school, which did give them more accountability, especially when it came to science.

However, as the school year progressed I found that I could not be my best for everyone. And in order for this to be successful, Raef and Zach had to do more work independently, which was feasible for both of them. Yet I found myself constantly at war with them, trying to keep them on track. And when I would stick my head into the room to make sure they were working, they rarely ever were. They were always monkeying around. Grrrr....

Something had to give. When I informed them both that I was seriously contemplating putting them in public school, the reaction was polar opposite. Raef was relieved and Zach was fearful. I allayed his fears by pointing out that it was a temporary arrangement and not a life sentence. I needed a break from them to regroup and focus on Eli, Harry, and Julia. I felt it was essential to get the little ones going on a school schedule and create a 'school' mentality for them. With Zach, I assured him that he could always come back home after I got the break I needed.

I took Zach to tour the school in March and we poked our heads around to see this beautiful, state-of-the-art facility that was in its inaugural year. The building was very impressive. Zach seemed to warm to the idea. Raef also did the tour with Rinar, so they could both see what it would be like.

After much prayer and fasting, I felt it would be the right thing for our family. And frankly, in the whole scheme of things, 7th grade does not matter. Last Tuesday was the open house for the school. There were a ton of people there. Wowzers! The school seemed alright. There are some definite pluses to sending them, but the negatives are equally present. For right now, I think I can deal with the negatives. At least I hope I can.

The kids woke up insanely early on Wednesday. They were very anxious to get to school on time. They packed their lunches, took their book bags, and hit the road at about 6:55am. They are fortunate to be able to ride their bikes to school. It is really close. And when they got home, they both seemed positive about it.

The second was not as positive for one of them. Any guesses?  Yep, Zach informed me that he did not want to do this whole public school thing anymore.  Nothing dramatic happened. He is okay. He is just a homeschooler at heart, I think. I told him that he absolutely was staying in school until Christmas, barring any unforeseen disasters. About an hour after our conversation, Zach wanted to know what day Christmas was on. Hmmm...

Raef, on the other hand, absolutely loves it. And he even gets a bit defensive defending his school. I have not been happy with the fact that they have gone for three days and not done a darn thing, besides rules explanations, getting-to-know-you games and paperwork. It is ridiculous. All this wasted time when they could be learning something. But Raef did not want to hear me complain about it.  Sheesh. I have a feeling homeschooling is in the rear view mirror for him. As long as he continues to be a nice person and he progresses academically, I am okay with that. But mostly, as long as he is a nice person. That is the most important thing of all.

This week should start the academics. I hope they do well.  Zach is going to struggle with being organized, but we will work on it together and I think he will learn quickly.


Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

Such a hard decision to make. I have always wanted to home school , but know the boys well enough that they would not work without being babysat all day. Can't do it. They will be Ok!

Hoku said...

I've always vacillated between WANTING to give my kids the best education I can at home... and being ABLE to do it. I love the concept and premise of homeschooling, but I think it gets harder with kids of different ages. AND I don't think I have the patience. Still thinking about it but it just seems more stressfull trying to take care of a teen, a one-year-old, and a couple rugrats in between.

You gave them a TERRIFIC foundation; they are bright little nuggets! I'm sure they'll blossom wherever they're planted, but it's funny to see the different reactions between the twins. Pretty classic. Hope they ALL come to feel good about the decision. I think your life will be made a little easier. :)

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