Friday, April 30, 2010

Thoughts on school

Chris and I have already been putting some thought into Connors education, and we're both really leaning toward homeschool. The public school in our area is very substandard. The entire district is stretched too thin, and even the best teachers are showing wear lately. It's true, of course, that we still have several years before Connor starts kindergarten in the 2013-2014 school year, but I have serious doubts that things will change drastically enough for me to be comfortable in 3 1/2 short years.

Besides that, the more I learn, the more I'm just not crazy about the institution as a whole. Of course public and private schools have kicked out millions of incredibly intelligent and well rounded adults, but I really question if it's the best way. Every child, every person, has their strengths and weaknesses, so is it really beneficial to make an entire class work at the same pace? It works, but is it best?

We're not decided yet, but I've been doing research anyway. Yes, I know that I think too much and plan too far into the future, but you should all know that about me by now. I have a need to feel prepared for whatever I can predict. It makes me feel sane to think ahead.

The idea of unschooling (not to be confused with the radical unschooling that has been in the media lately) is really catching my attention. I'm not convinced that it's a great idea for an entire schooling career, but for at least primary grades it really seems to make sense. If I had to make a decision right now, I think we would start with unschooling, and gradually work in a flexible curriculum.

And in case anyone is wondering, it is all very legal in California. Our laws are actually very easy going when it comes to homeschooling. I have to submit a letter of intent once a year, and keep attendance records. If investigated, I need to show that he is being taught in English, and that we are introducing all major subjects. All of this is to qualify our home as a private school, with Chris and I as teachers, administrators, and staff.

Anyway, it's all just thoughts right now, nothing solid. It's a very easy idea to get used to though. Plus with all of the extra curricular activities present in the area, he won't have any trouble at all finding friends and socializing with his peers.

1 comment:

Fogspinner said...

Try looking in to a charter school in your area. That's what we are doing and we are having lots of luck with it. They are responsible to the state/whoever for all the legalities and paperwork, you have an accredited teacher to help guide you, and usually a budget in which to provide your curriculum and materials. At least that is the way ours works. We never use our whole budget, so you can go a really long way with it.

Just a thought.