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Homeschooling family chooses school! News at Eleven.

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Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Homeschooling family chooses school! News at Eleven.

Today I walked into the lobby, handed over some filled-out papers to the woman at the desk and signed my baby up for school.
Specifically, preschool. Three days a week, 9am to 1pm.

To most people, this is a milestone worthy of much thought, consideration and even a few tears. For me, it was that and more because I also have to grapple with the nagging feeling that I'm somehow failing as a homeschooler by doing this.

D, my five year old, is doing great at home. He's reading, writing, building with blocks, playing with his Playmobil toys. He plays with other kids at swimming, coop, soccer and our weekly get togethers with other families. He goes to speech therapy once a week and his teacher loves to see him for that hour.

But, I've been feeling like he's left out in the mornings when I sit down to do work with his sisters, who are in 1st and 3rd grade. He spends those hours playing mostly on his own, not interested in joining us at the table or for any read-aloud stories. And I feel stretched so thin that I am admittedly glad he plays so well on his own. But, there are signs that maybe he needs a bit more action.

Then comes the subject of friends, something I wrote about, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, when I titled a post "My Son Has No Friends". Our neighborhood has a few boys his age but nailing them down for a playdate is tough.

So, I let the concept of preschool enter my brain, but as many of the preschools in our area are now 5 days a week or afternoons (which conflicts with too many of our activities), I had all but given up. But, then a great preschool five minutes from our home sent an email saying a child was moving and a spot would be opening in their 3-day, 4/5-year-old class.

It was a sign I couldn't ignore. We went to the school to visit and D fit in immediately. I liked the teachers, and the kids seemed well-behaved and interested in their projects. Their days will include free play, story time, outdoor playground time and some skills building. Oh, and lunch.

So, yeah, D's going to preschool. Starting November 2nd. And just when most parents are getting used to the drop off and walking back to their cars with hardly a glance behind, I'll be the one wiping tears from my eyes as I walk back to my car, my two older girls in tow, hoping I'm making the right decision.

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Blogger Jaelithe said...

You know, I was really hesitant to put my son in pre-school last year. I had strongly considered homeschooling him that year because he's twice exceptional (two years ahead in verbal, two years behind in fine motor, plus serious sensory issues) and I was afraid he'd be simultaneously overwhelmed and bored. But he loved school. LOVED IT. It was half a day three days a week, and I think that was just right for him.

Now, public kindergarten has sadly been a different story . . . Sigh.

But anyway, it seems you thought carefully about this, so I'm sure you made a good decision. And you can always change your mind if it doesn't work for your family.

10:30 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

I have loved having a great preschool at our church. I homeschooled out oldest (currently 4th grade) until middle of 3rd, and her next youngest sister was in preschool for a year (age 3) while I taught Ella the basics of reading and math. When I started teaching Maddie the basics, we put Annelise in preschool, and this is her third year.

You do what is best for you, your child, and your family, year by year. That's the best we can all do. *HUGS*

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Homeschooling pre-literate children is tough. Can't wait till the boys are old enough for a bit more independent work.

So will you homeschool him for Kindergarten or Grade 1?

10:31 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

You have to do what you have to do. Gavin and I LOVE homeschooling together, but he wants to be near more children. I think because they want to do the same wild, fun things - run around, play silly games, etc. - as he does.

So he's often disappointed in the lack of children at the playground during the day. I try to set up more "playdates" (can you still call them that for a 7-year-old?) with the local homeschooling families.

But, like you said, nailing children/families down for playdates can be tough!

I hope D enjoys preschool and that it doesn't cause you too many tears. :)

11:23 PM  
Blogger Patois42 said...

The best thing? You can always change your mind!

11:28 PM  
Blogger Maggie May said...

i homeschooled for a year and found it wasn't for me! i think it's awesome but i wasn't good at it L(

1:56 AM  
Blogger Liz Jimenez said...

Good for you! That's an exciting decision. I hope it works out really well, and I'm sure there will be benefits for him and for you.

We're actually going to look at a preschool today. EEP!

6:10 AM  
Blogger Sarah @ Ordinary Days said...

Don't worry about your decision. After all, the readon you homeschool to begin with is because it's what fits for your family, right? So if a little preschool time thrown in the mix is what works for you too, then what's wrong with that? Here's to a tear free first day! :)

7:32 AM  
Blogger The Mom said...

I almost put Morgan in school as well. Its hard to school the older kids and not feel like you're doing the younger ones a disservice. I'm also finding that needs are very different from child to child. Noah would be a wreck in school, but Morgan would flourish. Homeschooling is not an absolute.

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My youngest started pre-school last month,too. I never,ever thought I'd send a kid of mine to pre-k but wow - he has thrived in it. Now we are truly no longer a homeschool family, since my older children all chose to "try" public school (so far ,so good!). This is making me a little sad but I treasure our learning moments together at home all the more,I think.

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Boston Mamas said...

Sending you lots of good wishes for this new transition. And remember, you can always move things around.

When we started Laurel in day care, we started at 2 days because that was all that was available, then moved up to 3 then 4 (as slots became available), then back down to 3 because 4 felt like too much.

Lots of hugs! -Christine

9:04 AM  
Anonymous Julie said...

You are such a good momma! I am so glad you are my friend.

9:17 AM  
Blogger said...

Hey, you know what? Nothing is forever. He may be a public school kid his whole life, or this may be a one year thing. I have not closed the door on public school in the future. I know that my heart will probably break a little if things don't work out at home for all of us, but I also know that my kids are so different, that this may not be the right thing for each one.

Anyway. Just consider it babysitting while you get schoolwork done.

9:38 AM  
Blogger Suburb Sierra said...

He'll do great.

You'll do great.

But you will cry. More than once. I still do at times and my kids have been in the daycare/preschool world for years.

Can't wait to hear about all his new guy friends! There may even be a secret handshake or two that they create ;)

10:29 AM  
Anonymous mrs. q. said...

You are (doing the right thing). He will love it. I do think that fitting in socially is very easy for the boys and it will be nice for him to forge some friendships outside of the girls. And preschool is more like art and games camp, so don't feel it is tarnishing your homeschool credo, K?

It's hard, oh so hard, that first day, but at pickup he will enthrall you with his stories about the toys, projects and other kids at school. It still amazes me to hear Lucas talk about what he learned and did while he is away from me.

(And remember, Isabel did some preschool, too, and she's certainly not broken!)

1:16 PM  
Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said...

Tears? I all but pushed my kid at her preschool teacher.

"Take her! PLEASE."


Hope D loves his new school & hope you get used to the new routine. Like everyone else said, you can always pull him out if it's not working. xoxo

3:38 PM  
Blogger Sarah @ Mum In Bloom said...

I recently found your blog and am enjoying reading all your posts. Have you considered joining your local MOMS Club ( It's a non-profit support group for at-home mothers. Because chapters only encompass a small area it's easy to meet other mothers with kids your son's age. A monthly activities calendar is put together by members & everything is during the day & includes your kids. I've found this to be a good option for us as I don't plan on sending dear son to preschool (he's 3 now). A group of us from our MOMS Club take turns hosting our "homeschool preschool" each month. Just an idea :)

7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You never fail to make me laugh! I almost sent the kids to school this year, so you are not alone. You need to do what works for your family and we still love you no matter what!.....Terrie

10:48 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Oh my gosh, I can't believe I missed this huge news in your life.

I think you're such a marvelous mama, for supporting the values that brought you to homeschooling in the first place: Doing what's best for them. It's the rare, wise woman who can keep her eye on the real goal and not the narrow path that got her there.

If he's happy, you'll all be happy. And I'm happy for you.

6:32 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm doing the same thing here. My 4th grader is homeschooled and my 4 y/o is in pre-school right now. I really feel like it's the right choice for us, because my 4 y/o is getting so much more interaction this way. She's learning how to behave in a group setting and she's loving all the other kids. We're also doing a bit of Kindergarten at home in the afternoons, but it's going much slower than I had planned. I'm not stressing over it though, like I stress over the schedule with my 4th grader!

Good luck! I'm sure you made the right choice!

7:57 PM  
Blogger Issa said...

Oh that would be a hard choice. However pre-school is awesome and I'm sure he'll love it.

Just can always take him out if you change your mind. :)

4:18 PM  

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