Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Changing seasons

This year we made the decision to send our oldest, our seven year old boy, to a private school part time.  For a proud homeschooler, it was not an easy decision.  And I have to admit, it's a decision my husband is still not very happy about.  It was really all my idea.

I love homeschooling, but there were challenges.  My son was not reading at the level I thought he should and I was at a loss as to how to improve it.  I read blogs, books, had him read for professionals and prayed.  Most of the homeschooling advice I got was to just wait it out because boys read later than girls.  But I couldn't do that.  

We are very fortunate in my area to have a wonderful new christian school that uses the classical method.  It's not a Charlotte Mason type school like Ambleside in San Angelo or Fredricksburg, but I think the classical method is the next best thing.  I really felt like God was leading me at least visit with the school head mistress.  Amazingly, she was open to letting our son attend part time.  In other words, he would go there three days a week and the rest of the week I would do school with him at home.  I thought it was an amazing opportunity to have the best of both worlds - private school and homeschool

My husband is beginning to come around.  It is a logistical nightmare to get him to school, even for three days a week.  Plus, he loves having his kids around full time.  As do I.  And I really believe homeschooling is the fabulous education if you do it right.  For us, it has been a blessing.  I wouldn't trade learning at home in a nurturing environment for anything.  I would never do this if it was full time or if it was public school, at least not at an early age.

I have to say though, after a few months of doing both private school and homeschooling, my son is flourishing.  His reading has improved dramatically.  I think it has a lot to do with reading in front of other kids.  Since he is of a competitive nature, reading in front of others who read well makes him try harder.  That may not work with some kids, but it works with him.  And he loves his school and his teacher and they really love him.  We went to our first parent/teacher conference last week and his teacher told us that she had been praying for him.  I was so touched.  I can't imagine hearing those words from a teacher when I was in school!

He actually wanted to wear this tie to his first day of school.

I pray that the school continues to let us go part time and that my other children will have the opportunity to go there.  That will give my children the chance to experience learning at home and still have a private christian school education. It's in God's hands, but I am so thankful.