Thursday, March 18, 2010

Next Year

Well apparently March is the time of year homeschoolers start to consider if we are going to give it another year or not. Our family has really been weighing our options. We felt it was prompted by the move to a great school district and not so much the time of year. However, many of my homeschool friends are having the same conversations so it must just be in the air.

I'll be honest, I thought both of my children would be back in school next year. It seemed my hubby was advocating for it initially. He had a valid argument. I *hope* to be beginning grad school in the fall. He felt that with the excellent school system (that we so paid for with the price of the house), and my more demanding schedule it just made sense. So we went and toured the school. I have to say that it is a truly amazing school. Teachers and staff were all wonderful. My concern though began with subtle clues slipped in by the vice principal. It began with a comment of some sort supporting homeschooling. Then a discussion about growing class sizes and budget cuts were mentioned. A little whisper about testing and prep was dropped in.. just a very interesting tour. I returned home with the little whispers of maybe 3rd grade isn't our year to return.

We then chatted with some teacher friends about No Child Left Behind and our budget crisis. The fact is many teachers are stressed out and getting shorted on pay. It just doesn't make sense to entrust my child's education to that situation. Not that I'm blaming the teachers - I too would be stressed out and even ticked off about the budget issues!

Beyond that, Georgia schools seem to live or die by the CRCT scores... which makes 3d grade is a big year. I don't mind my child testing, but lets face it, 3rd grade is big enough! Cursive writing, American History, Multiplication tables... there's a ton going on in third grade. Let's just enjoy it, instead of cramming it down their throats and getting on to the testing drills.

Of course there were truly a Kadrillion different factors in our decision.. but these were biggies. Very big actually, so much so that even hubby came to me with his preference that Little Pixie be home another year if it was ok with me. Up to this point he's been in the role of supportive semi-doubter...So in the end we've decided that Little Pixie will be home for another year. However, Little Man is ready for 4 yo PreK. Every complaint I've heard about PreK is that all they do is paint and practice scissor skills... that sounds right up our alley ;)

1 comment:

Sherrie said...

Well, we're in it for the long haul, so our only discussion now is "which curriculum are we using?" LOL! I'm with you though on the whole CRCT thing. Granted, I am having mine take the ITBS this year just so *I* know how he is doing and how *I'm* doing with the homeschooling thing. It is so true that the test is taught here in our county and in our state. After teaching for 8 years, I can tell you that with confidence, too. I can also tell you that you're right...teachers are not getting any slack and they are wearing all of the burden. With all of the furlough days and other budget cuts...it's just not looking pretty for the teachers. I don't think they could pay me enough to return to the classroom.

Okay, this got way too long. I'll save the rest for an "in person" convo. LOL!