School Roulette

As zealous new parents, we started our firstborn in Le Ponyville Homeschool Academy, convinced that it was the best choice for us. Since that day, so very long ago, we've run the gamut of schooling options.

Becky was heading into third grade and Josh was ready for kindergarten the year that Micah was born. Life suddenly became overwhelming and the new normal for us included doctor's visits and in-home thereapy several times weekly, with various fun things thrown in like visits to specialists and emergency surgery. Sam and I both knew that homeschooling was not going to be an option for our family any longer.

That year we enrolled the kids in a local Christian school. Unfortunately, it wasn't until after we in the midst of the year that we realized it was less of a Christian school and more of a private school for kids that weren't Catholic. (The only two private schools in the area were the Christian and the Catholic versions.) There was more snobbery than there was Bible learning. That wasn't what we were paying for.

The next year we enrolled the kids in another Christian school. One week before school was to start we had that feeling in the pit of our stomachs that clearly told us that we had done the wrong thing. Good timing, That Feeling. We lost our enrollment fees. That year, we chose cyber school, a distance learning program.

Cyber seemed the way to go, until halfway through our second year. The problems that we ran into were frustrating, and I pulled the kids at the holiday break and finished out the year homeschooling on my own.

That was the year that Micah stopped receiving at-home therapy and needed to go to preschool to continue. That was the year that Becky longed for friends. That was the year that Josh needed help with reading. His dyslexia was a roadblock that neither I nor a tutor could surpass. That fall we enrolled the kids in the local public school. Luke started kindergarten there.

There has been no turning back. We're in our fourth year and the kids love it. It took me a while to adjust to having nobody at home for the first time in ten years as a parent. I opened The Rocking Pony to fill my days.

This week, we've decided that it's time for a change again. Becky is coming home. Cyber school is getting a second lease. Our daughter is getting a second lease. The stress. The worry. The pressure. It's more than one should have to bear. We can't watch her spiral downward any longer. Her relief is immense. I'm so looking forward to days spent with just my daughter.

We have learned long ago that nothing is ever set in stone.

19 comments:

Aimee said...

You're so right -- everything changes, and there's rarely a permanent "right answer" for every question.

Enjoy having her with you, Karen :)

HalfAsstic.com said...

That? is a truism is I've ever heard one.
Good job, Mom!

I Am Boymom said...

Why does the whole education thing have to be so hard? My oldest has had a rocky school career and he's only in 4th grade, just because we're trying to figure out what works for him. I know our world has changed and the need for a great education is important, but sometimes I long for the good old days where there were fewer choices and less knowledge about all the ways we can screw up our kids!

Roger said...

Mom's always know best, which is why we are looking into putting the kids back into school. The girls to the Catholic school, and Benjy to either the public school or a Catholic/Military College Prep school. My already empty wallet might be taking a hit. :)

By the way, what is cyber school? Is that an online school? I didn't know that they had that available for high school/middle school. Do you have some info that I can look at? I'm curious to see what the curriculum is like.

Tami said...

Hi!
I am a public school teacher, and I just want to say good for you! I sure would LIKE to say that public schools give EVERY child all they need, but I know that is not the case. You put your children's needs first when it comes to education...applause to you, and best of luck with your daughter at home this year!
Tami
Adopting "Russell" (RR)

The Sports Mama said...

And with Becky at home with you, YOU can stress less about all the potential life-changing and mentally-scarring conversations she could be having with her classmates.

Unless there's something you really find you have an intense need to share that day.... ;)

Flea said...

Ooo. I admire your choice. We've actually considered that a few times with Mae. I think she'd fall over dead if I brought her home, but it's still an option. Good for you!

Trisha said...

Good luck with the Cyber schooling. It will certainly give you more time with your daughter!

caramama said...

I think it's so fantastic that you evaluate how they are doing with their schools and make the changes that seem to be necessary. My parents did the same thing with me and my two siblings. Each of us needed different things, and they figured it out as best they could.

Good luck to Becky, and to you!

SunflowerMom said...

I think it's great that you are willing to try to work out the best solution for her, and each of your children.

Burgh Baby said...

Good luck!

imbeingheldhostage said...

Oh wow Karen, that had to be a rough time. Good for you, "nothing is ever set in stone"-- you have to do what is right for every child. Here's to a new start!!

JennyH said...

Wow- I had no idea you did all that school stuff. I also wonder what cyber school is. How the heck did you do homeschooling? You must be super organized for one. I would love to home school some times but other days I am glad to be able to go to the store with only 2 kids in tow. I do miss the kids while they are at school all day though.

Good luck to Becky!

Karen said...

Roger and JennyH - cyber school is a homeschool offered through the state via online courses and textbooks. It's so much easier than doing homeschool on your own as they do all the lesson plans and reporting to the school for us.

Karen Deborah said...

your such a good mom, flexing with the kids is what we all need to do. One year one thing works and the next it doesn't, being willing to change is a very big deal. Your going to have a great year!!!

Shellie said...

Nothing is ever set in stone, and cyber schools are getting ever better. I hope she flourishes with it!

Michelle said...

it sounds like you guys have done a great job with being flexible on the school situation depending on what is going on at that time of their lives. Good luck with this new venture with Becky; hope it all works out!

Michelle said...

Fingers crossed -- I hope it goes well for all of you. And good for you that you followed your gut continually with your kids. You know you're doing the right thing, and that has to feel great!

Brandie said...

Glad I'm not the only parent whose tried more than one school out! We're cyberschooling again this year after giving PS a try last year. There are days I want to try regular homeschooling, especially with my 2nd grader, but right we're sticking with cyber. My 4th grader likes her virtual classes and it means I only have to teach one kid and just check up on the other. I hope Becky has a fun year!