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It's interesting to look at your life, past to present, and think: "It has all led up to this...." And then wonder where it will lead to next.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Thoughts on School

You want to know what's crazy? Almost every day I am thinking about kindergarten. I have a 3 year old. And I'm thinking about kindergarten. It's not that I'm an over-prepared, over-obsessed mommazoid, it's that I literally am at the time and place of life where I will have to make at least a few decisions about school for my little boy that could drastically effect his future. This is crazy to me! How am I here already? Here's the thing, if I want Aiden to go to kindergarten when he is five, then I need to put him in preschool when he is four to prepare him for kindergarten, and in order to get him into preschool at age four I have to register him well before the summer, which is when he is still only three. I have never been one to do things ahead of time, so this is still new and somewhat bazaar to me (even though I did it last year, this feels different as this is 5 days a week). And it all has me thinking about a lot of things I thought I had a lot more time to think about. I have plenty of time to change my mind, but if I want options, I need to make some decisions now.

For the time being, Aaron and I have ruled out public school for preschool and kindergarten. No matter how much we've tried and wanted to opt for public schooling (it is free after all) we simply do not feel like it's right for Aiden just yet. I believe Aiden will be ready socially and academically for school when he is five (he's loved preschool), but I just don't feel comfortable with the large classes and I don't necessarily agree with the government on everything when it comes to what's healthy for my son. This is not to say I don't think anyone should put their kids in public schools and I don't think any less of those who do. Basically, we are making our choice on how we feel about Aiden right now, and how we feel about our own educational experiences growing up. Also on what is available (we're having to really trust that God is going to provide a way to make private school affordable if that's the route we go!). So what does this leave us with? Private schools or homeschooling. Dun, dun, dun....

I have a lot of experience with homeschooling, and a tad with private schools. I went to private school early on; kindergarten and first grade. I liked it, but I am really glad I was in private because although I liked to make friends, I was also shy and somewhat anxious. I would not have been able to handle a big class, and I enjoyed the fact that I got a lot of one-on-one time with my teachers, otherwise I would have melted into the back round. After that I was home schooled. By the time I hit middle school I hated homeschooling. I was very social and completely unmotivated to do anything if I wasn't forced. Unfortunately, I didn't read or write Chinese well enough to go to a local school and I was much too young for boarding school (honestly I wouldn't have gone to boarding school even in high school so I am thankful it wasn't an option my parents were fond of either). High school was the same story, I did not like home schooling and did not do well with it. Lucky for me I got a lot of life experience in traveling and also attended an art school to study dance full-time which appeased my need for social interaction and structure. Aaron on the other hand, went to private school, public school, and was even home schooled for a year. He can't tell me which he liked better (or worse). What they seemed to have in common (minus homeschooling): he hated his classes but liked school. Regardless of our different educational backgrounds, Aaron and I both made good grades in college.

Aaron feels pretty strongly that he wants our kids to go to school, but he wouldn't be apposed to homeschooling if he knew I really wanted to do it. Do I want to homeschool? My gut answer is: No. I don't think I'd be very good at it, I don't think I'd really enjoy it, and I really don't think Aiden would either (can't speak for Gabriel yet). Would I consider it? Yes. Why? Other than if school was not a good fit for him, I'm not even sure. Besides the fact that I'm not completely ready for my baby to go to real school yet. So this leads me back to... He's three! Sigh! No wonder I'm not ready yet! Take a deep breath, relax... think about it more tomorrow.

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