So another big thing rolling around in this here noggin is that one week from today we will begin homeschooling. While L loved being in preschool last year and we were overall satisfied with the experience, as the year went on it became clearer and clearer that the best fit for our family is homeschooling. It has always been an option for us, but in all honesty we were planning on private school until our pregnancy with B began to whittle away at the money I had stored up for tuition (B's pregnancy = SUPER EXPENSIVE!) and so we reevaluated and prayed and researched and then we talked to L about it and lo and behold everybody agreed that we wanted to be a homeschooling family.
There are lots of reasons for this. One is that hubby and I are very familiar with the school system where we live and although it's better than many others, after spending all our formative years within this system we can agree that it is not where we want L to be educated. She's ahead in lots of areas (her preschool was pretty awesome and she's also a smart cookie) and I just can't get behind the idea of sending her off for 6 hours a day to sit at a desk and "learn" a bunch of stuff she already knows. I'm not crazy about the idea that they spend so.much.time sitting - recess is a mere 20-30 minutes and lunch is the same, too. Art and music has been drastically cut. School starts at 7:45 in the morning! Also, the particular school we are zoned for, which, just being zoned for this school is silly as there are three other elementary schools closer to us than our zoned school, is not one of the best in our district. It's not the worst, either, but if I were going to send her to public school our zoned school would not be the one I would send her to. So, although I fully recognize that there are lots of kids and families that are more than happy and even thriving within our local public school system, it is not for us.
As I mentioned earlier, our plan had been private school. We do have some rather strong private schools in our area, including a three day classroom, two day homeschool option that we had decided on, but as I said, B's pregnancy slowly whittled away my private school tuition budget bucket. For the best, of course, but it did make us rethink our educational plans for L and for awhile I was feeling very frustrated by the lack of funds for private school. Now I see that it's all good and I'm terribly excited about starting on Monday (as is L. She asks me frequently if it's time to start already?).
We've got a huge amount of support where we live; homeschool is actually pretty common here and we know tons of families who have made this choice (including my family - my brother who is about to enter college and my sister who is in her final year of high school have both been homeschooled since kindergarten) and, surprisingly in some cases, all of our family and friends have been incredibly positive and supportive about our choice.
This week we're tying up our loose ends and getting the last little bits of things needed for our big start on Monday. Also, we're going for a fancy haircut in a real salon (hello certain store in the mall offering free kids haircuts this month) to get ready for our first day of school pictures. Can't believe I'm going to have a kindergartner in a week! Wasn't she just a baby like a few days ago??