This is the time of year I begin pining over the right decisions concerning the next school year for each child. I get a know in my stomach the size of a cantalope and it stays there until my husband and I settle on a plan together. I examine public, private, co-op, and curriculum options for my children. Pooh Bear officially starts kindergarten next year, so it's going to cost more of a boatload of money than it already does to register and purchase for homeschool next fall. Saturday, I looked a three day a week core curriculum k-12 co-op which would cost $6,000 for all my children to attend. While one who doesn't homeschool four children wouldn't know- that's an all out bargain. The three day a week classical co-op I'd really like to put my children in (if money were no obstacle-and it is) would cost around $18,000 a year with financial aide. The attraction of these co-ops are that my children would have another teacher besides me three of five school days. There are plenty of one day a week co-ops, but those cost somewhere around $300 a month if all my children were to take classes. I'm also looking at an excellent homeschool curriculum which cost $1,000 per child and I'll still have the honor of teaching all four grades five days a week. Nuts, huh? With me here? Education costs.
The educator I know of who says, "All you need for homeschooling is a libraryThese basic co-ops and curriculums above do not include things like the $400 for swim team sign ups for four children with an additional $120 for team suits. Guitar lessons, art classes, ballet, Boy Scout camp and uniforms, soccor sign ups all add up. And basketball was on the cheap this year for under $200. I'm probably on the bad side of the youth director at our church because I gripe about over $100 per child weekend retreat and sundry other event costs for my oldest son. You may be horrified to know that I make my son pay part of his way to these kind outings. With real boys, I find sports are essential to keep all that testosterone energy focused. Then there's the necessary cost attached to training children towards their natural bent and talents.
card" did not have four average children. I'm thinking of switching my
address to Lake Wobeggone, so my chidlren would magically become above
average, but I'm not altogether sure that is a real place. And it's probably far
too cold for my bones.
Some homeschooling families have their education choices much more planned thanBut maybe all the choices I explore annually simply drag my sanity around like a proud cat with a mouse in its mouth. You'd think I'd put all my children on a bus next year, and let someone else do it all for free. Not to criticize, but my oldest went to kindergarten and first grade at a public school in an academically acclerated magnet program, and I found I did most of his core teaching at home. I taught him to read and his math facts afterschool, because the teachers, who were excellent, didn't have enough time to exclusively devote to one of twenty children. In a month or two I'll be fairly sure of what next fall will look like for each of my children. I have only two years left to prepare one son for high school which scares the pants off me. A study skills class is a must for that boy.
I do and don't feel the need to re-evaluate each year. But that's not me. I
to switch things up for my own sanity and to meet the needs of my
discovered along the way.
How do you decide education for yourself or your children? Are
you satisfied with public schools today? How do you choose programs
and curriculum if you homeschool? Do you get neurotic about it all like I do in March?