I have a quandary, a good one this time, that I'd like to get out from inside me through blogging. Yesterday (and both had to happen on the same day), I attended a meeting about an excellent classical high school homeschool co-op which is coming together beautifully and approval of acceptance letter into a wonderful new public high school academy opening in another county. Peace, my oldest son, enters high school next year, so I've been stewing over these possibilities for a good long while. Both top choices became reality on the same day.
Classical co-op option
-Has the most rigorous course of study ensuring a willing child's path to college and scholarship.
-Matches the heart of my educational philosophy.
-Instructors of the highest caliber. One is a personal friend whom I admire greatly.
-My favorite course mixes history, English, and Bible in an Omnibus type setting. This is not offered anywhere else in this region.
-Costs several thousand dollars.
-Only two days a week in class instruction. I'd have to teach the other three days.
-VERY long academic days as son adjusts to intensive study
Public Academy Option
-FREE, all courses, all books, no mandatory hours of volunteering for momma
-Outstanding principal with innovative and progressive ideas. I've known her top notch work and incredible reputation for years as she was previously principal in the zone in which I used to live. No nonsense tolerated.
-College prep, advanced, and honors courses recommended.
-Brand new school building.
-Best teachers from all over are applying to teach there.
-Five days of instruction from people who know and hopefully enjoy what they are teaching.
-Even starting ground for all. No cliques already developed. Everyone new to the layout of the building. Culture to be developed with a high academic standard from the start.
-No upper grades until next year.
-I know some great families sending their children next year.
-Need for a cellphone.
-Need for something more than just the second hand clothing our son has always worn.
-May not accept transfers after this first year.
-End of homeschool read alouds and Bible study.
I have a concern that Peace needs to learn more of the bigger world than the co-op will offer. Doesn't that sound outrageous? I don't worry he'll fall into anything negative, because he stays clear of "goof offs and trouble makers" in all the academic classes and activities outside our home. In fact, I excitedly mentioned seeing a boy from last year's co-op at the Public Academy, and Peace responded, "Mom, that kid is not someone I'd want to hang out with. He was disrespectful and disruptive in class."
Some of my homeschooling friends may not understand why I would consider public school. High school is not something I want or like to teach. It would completely consume me, because my boys are not naturally self-directed learners. Could be bad parenting and homeschooling on my part, but I've had to stay on top of my children to keep them studying from the beginning. Could be that I have a slew of boys who would prefer to catch frogs to composition. Probably a little of both. As much as I love the idea of "delight directed learning" I haven't had the chutzpa to pull it off. My answer to all things challenging is putting on discipline, so that's how my family has accomplished homeschooling thus far.
Some of my other friends and family members have never understood why we have homeschooled. All I can say to that is my children have begged me to do so, and Buck has agreed. Homeschooling is neither easy or especially fun for me, but it's been worth it for the children. I intend to homeschool the other three children next year. We'll see what comes of these two options for Peace.
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