My son finish 3rd Grade this week.
We survived our first year of homeschooling.
It will also be our last.
Not because we didn't enjoy it. I really loved having my son home with me. He is a self-motivator. Easy to teach. Yes, he had some rough days, as all people do, including his mother, who admittedly had some heated moments of, "Just finish the worksheet, already!". But regardless, we enjoyed each other's company. And he mastered some great skills this year.
More importantly, I really got to know my son better. Just the two of us all day. And if that was the sole outcome from my teaching him at home, it was well worth it.
And yet, he misses the classroom. The group work. Raising his hand. Having lunch with kids. He is one enthusiastic kid. And creative. And just a really nice guy. I even miss him being with other kids.
On my end, I am not confident that I have the skills to lead him academically. He's a bright one, and while I intially walked into this adventure questioning my ability to teach him, I finished the school year even more confirmed as to whether I would be able to keep up with him as the content becomes more challenging. And then there are the responsibilities of my job. Working from home is a glorious perk, and allowed us this year-long experiment. However, it was also very hard to switch hats smoothly.
Ok, let's not mince words:
"Homeschooling . . . I'm just not that into you."
"Homeschooling . . . it's not you. It's me."
He wants to go back to school.
I want to honor that. And while I love the idea of teaching from home, I don't believe it's the right fit for us.
However, we are not returning to public school, having chosen a small private school where he will be 1 of 21 4th graders next year. Upon visiting the school, he glowed. During a few hours of shadowing the class he remarked, "I felt like I fit right in." When asked if he wanted to attend there next year, there was no hesitation. The kid likes school. Thus, we are sending him to school.
He's always been a smaller group kid. Enjoys playing with 1 child, not 5. Likes smaller get togethers over huge parties. Is a bit of an order freak. The size of the school and the classroom appealed to him.
I've learned so much about learning styles over the last few years, and have these Utopian dreams of a school that is able to embrace and nurture the unique learning styles of our children. Staying home was a great leap into that ideal. And a smaller environment will also have the ability to foster that a bit more than a larger classroom.
So there you have it.
"Homeschooling, I love you. But I'm not IN love with you."
Time to move our separate ways
Joline Pinto Atkins, an actress who also uses the web as her world-wide stage, can also be found writing at The Cuppa Jo, Beaver County Times online as the Health and Wellness blogger, and is the founder of Daily Fast Fuel. She is wife to one (phew - that's good to know) and mother of two amazing children, aged 13 and 9, who are both named after authors. Passionate about fitness, she is an Independent Team Beachbody Coach and sweats out any daily angst by exercising at home, longs for good books, is a redeemed coffee addict, and won't share popcorn with anyone. Even her own family. Follow Joline on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!