Monday, September 6, 2010

Homeschooling For Kindergarten

Public school in Michigan starts tomorrow.

Photo credit Amy KoffronOur entire district has been restructured- the elementary schools will be K4, upper elementary will be 5th and 6th grade, middle school will be 7th and 8th grade then high school will be 9th -12th. Madeline will be starting 8th grade at a new school a few miles away instead of the one she had been attending that backs up to our house. Our neighborhood elementary that would be in walking distance is one of the several closed. All of which I am taking with a grain of salt. Things are tough for everyone these days, and we will all just have to get though this together. Budgets are tight and even the schools are having to tighten up as well.
 
Along with those changes the school board has also decided, being that they only had 16 pupils interested in half-day kindergarten, they will not be offering a half-day option at all. Kindergarten here will be all day or nothing. Well for Amélie it will be nothing this year. OK maybe not nothing, but Amélie will be staying home this year.
 
I realize that not everyone will understand or agree with my decision to keep her home this year. It is not a choice I made lightly. Kindergarten is not required in our state and she is under the age of compulsory attendance. All said it is my choice to make (as well as my husband’s).
 
The one reaction to the news that Amélie isn’t going to school this year that really burns my butt cheeks is “but don’t you want a break?” That is inevitably the first thing those vehemently opposed to my decision, like my step mom say. What? Tell me all about how she will be behind the other kids next year. Tell me it is fun. What ever you have to say, don’t tell me that you think I am just keeping my four-year-old home to take care of my 2-year-old, because that is just insanity and sounds more like something she might have been inclined to do. And never and I mean never suggest that I do something that I feel is not in the best interest of any of my three kids so I can use the bathroom in peace.
 
Maybe because I had my kids after 30, I got a lot of “me time” in before I had them. Maybe it was all those years I spent as a ward of the state (in foster care) while my parents were going on their merry way with an abundance of if not “me time” certainly not “Sunday time”. Whatever the case may be 12 years ago, the first time I held my slimy, wet, warm little still slightly blue Maddie I realized that I would not be getting much “me time” for a very long time and that I was no longer the most important person in my life.  The last thing in the world my kids are to me is a burden that I would need to escape.
 
Amélie will be a homeschooled fairy princess this year. She will learn to read, write and do math dressed as an Indian, in her PJs, standing on her head, in first position or what ever strikes her fancy. She will do her best speech therapist impersonation and MAKE CoCo talk. She will laugh and smile and say things that will make me laugh until the tears roll. She will learn. She will inevitably start arguments with her sister while I am in the shower and have to ask me really important (to her) questions while I’m on the toilet, but I think one more year to just be a kid is well worth giving up a little “me time”.

4 Comments:

Amy Koffron said...

Amelie is a super insightful, startlingly intelligent, imaginative, whimsical and thoughtful little girl.

All day kindergarten is a nice option for those who choose it or need it. But, I don't agree that it fits every child. I would not have allowed my girls to go all-day. Too bad the school system couldn't afford the 1/2 day option.

Next year, when Amelie enters First grade, she'll learn how to stand in line, take turns, and raise her hand by the second day. And, SNAP!...... they'll all be on the an equal playing field.

Jennifer Brown Banks said...

The photo of your little one is lovely, and you have some well presented positions stated here. Much continued success with your Blog and the home schooling.

meanderings said...

It was nice to hear from one of my accidental visitors!
And I'm very happy to read that you are a friend to H (8/31). You're obviously not only a great mom but a wonderful person.

Sunday Kofffon said...

Thanks ladies, I appreciate the feed back! ; )

 
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