Saturday, April 18, 2009

School, school or homeschool?

Let it be known: I hate homeschooling. We have had fits and starts this year; good days and bad days. Days when I threatened to put Anna into public school (a very unwise threat - she was thrilled about the possibility) and minutes when I thought "I love this!" (Note I say "minutes". Never days.) I feel at the moment as if I will never come to the end of this year. I still have 26 math lessons left (about 5 weeks) and about the same number of English lessons. I am so sick of the process that I have slacked off far too often lately. There is no more room for slacking unless I want to spend my summer finishing off this year!

The question of what to do next year has been churning around in my head. Ethan must also begin an education of some sort next year. Could I home school 2? Would I want to? For a few insane days I thought perhaps I actually wanted to, and perhaps I could. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I could not would not on a train; I will not will not in the rain. Not in a bar, not on a car, not in a tree SAM LET ME BE! (Sorry, roughly copied from Green Eggs and Ham - my kids favorite book. I'm going a bit insane. Can you tell?)

Well, obviously, homeschooling is not an option. So now what? I have two remaining options. We could do what we WANT to do and put them both in private school. Of course, there is the little problem of tuition! I will need to work in order to pay for them to get into school. I have not worked for 9 years, have zero confidence in my ability to find a job and cannot even find an old resume to "update".

So my final option is public school. Something I have sworn I would never, ever, ever, E V E R do. I called the school today to find out about registering my kids. I think I need to register them so that they can go SOMEPLACE if I end up not getting a job. No need to make an appointment or anything - just show up I am told. I must say that alone does not inspire confidence in me. After the phone call I began looking around the school's website, trying to get a bit of a feel for who they are and what they do. I clicked on a teacher profile and found this:

"I want to show them that making mistakes is exceptable"

A-hem. I GUESS YOU WILL! The first lesson will be IT DOES NOT MATTER IF YOU CANNOT SPELL!!!!!!!!! Or use a word correctly. Maybe I am making too big a deal out of this. In my working days I was frequently unpopular with co-workers because I was so good at finding their writing mistakes. I was a secretary who typed up letters and reports for Assistant Property Managers, Property Managers and the Senior Property Manager, who was my boss. My boss was a stickler for spelling and grammar and he trusted me completely to edit things because he knew I was too. One particular assistant property manager was a REALLY NICE girl who could not put a sentence together correctly to save her life. She pretty much ended up hating me because I changed her stuff all the time. I probably had a bit of an attitude about it too... (who, me?) Then I worked at an international commodities trading firm where I was responsible for assembling all of the paperwork required by Letters of Credit in order to ensure we were paid in a timely manner. The trick about that job was that you had to throw your perfect spelling out the window - if the bank told you a document should say "we through a perfectly exceptable partie" then your document must say "we through a perfectly exceptable partie" even though you knew it would more correctly be "we threw a perfectly acceptable party". (Actually, the documentation was technical so there was never anything about parties, this is just to give you the idea.) During a particularly stressful period of my life I was covering for another employee who was on maternity leave, so someone else was doing my L/C's. Despite months of training, she had never really gotten the hang of the process so I had to constantly check her work. (Not my idea - my bosses. She had, without a doubt, the poorest grasp on written English of any American born person I have ever known.) One day while proofing her work I totally lost it. I mean, really. I went mental on the poor girl. It was ugly.

I digress... My point is that maybe I am a little too hard on people who cannot write, or spell. But REALLY, should not a TEACHER be able to spell? To use the correct word in the correct context? God help me! I do not want to send my kids to a school where the TEACHERS are illiterate! It is bad enough that the kids are obnoxious and the curriculum is offensive!

If you are reading this and you are a Christian then I guess here would be the point of this long diatribe: Please pray for my family. Pray that God shows us where He wants our kids. If for some reason (please, God no!) He wants them in the public school then I want to know that HE wants them there. Because it is not unimaginable to me that He may want them there for some reason. If that is the case it will not be without tears on my part - lots of them. If however He wants to go along with OUR desire that they be in private school, then I am going to need a job.

I think I would be a good proofreader!

Edited note: Having gone on about English and grammar skills, I am now a bit worried about this post. Is it correct? I have one particular worry that I cannot answer. I said something was my "bosses" idea. Seems to me the possessive form of boss ought to have an apostrophe in it. Since the word ends in "s" is it "boss' "? I tried looking in the dictionary. It shows bosses as a verb which means it would be a form of "to boss". I am pretty sure my word is wrong. I humbly admit I do not know the answer. Still, I am not a school teacher! Boss'? Boss's? "It was the idea of my boss." How about that?


Mrs. Sinta said...

I will pray for you. I think it would be easier to home school both of them and not have to do the preschool commuting.

Also, I would not have spasms about not finishing every day of all of your books this year. Pick an end date, and simply end on that day. Don't punish yourself with summer school. The books were made for your benefit; you were not made for their benefit.

Here's the secret: the first three months of every school year will review the previous year. No worries about what you have missed.

Amy said...

What's the worst thing that would happen if you scrapped the school books? What if you asked each of your kiddos to make a list of 5-10 things they would really love to learn about (rockets, horses, designing computer games, knights & castles, etc.) and then set out to find out as much as you could about those things through field trips, library books, projects, websites, whatever...I bet you'd be amazed at how much would be learned--REALLY learned--if you did that! After all, we learn those things that we're interested in. Sometimes, school books are totally for the birds! :)

SprinklerBandit said...

Boss' would be correct. I understand your quest, and find the teacher in question appalling. If you are not alert enough for good grammar, DO NOT WRITE.

Another pet peeve of mine: people who claim they want to be authors, yet cannot spell or put a thought together. Face it. Not everyone can write, and some shouldn't try.

I vote homeschool... I had tons of fun with it. Do you have a group you can meet with? There are people who are less intimidating than Auntie R. ;-)

KC said...

Oh how I wish we lived closer to one another. I think we would have so many good conversations over coffee! (or, do you drink coffee?)

My kids go to public school, and while I sometimes encounter conflicts with our Christian beliefs- it's still an okay alternative to home schooling.
God doesnt care too much about their spelling or arithmatic scores. It's just a resource for His provision in the end.
So we pray a lot for math scores, and spelling tests. We talk about why the teacher cannot say God created the world. We are just really transparent about the differences you will see in public schools and what the Bible says.

Ask me again when my kids get to Highschool may very well be a different story

bristowmom said...

Mrs. Sinta - your advice has, as usual, given me great comfort.

Amy - I wish I knew who you are! I know several Amy's so - ??? I love your ideas, but for lots of reasons homeschooling will not be our choice next year.

Sprink - I have to call you that 'cause it rhymes with Tink. Cute, don't ya think? Ha, ha, ha. I'm amusing myself! All right, I'll shut up now.

KC - Conversations over coffee would be WONDERFUL - as long as there was some hot chocolate to put into the coffee. If you're ever in my neighborhood...