We are five days into public school after nine years of homeschooling. It has been a huge change, and I think it will be a while before I am fully adjusted.
This is what I love about public school so far:
1. It is free
2. It is a 6-hour break for me to not worry about one child and be able to focus on my other child
3. Mia’s teacher is extremely organized, structured, and creative. She’s fun and a great role model for Mia.
4. Mia goes outside every day and gets play with other kids her age in fresh air with exercise. Every day.
5. She gets exposed to a variety of topics each day and broadens her horizons.
6. She is learning how to do things more quickly, such as change into snow-gear and pack a backpack at the end of the day.
7. She doesn’t have to fight with a three-year-old for 6 hours a day.
8. It has placed structure and routine into our lives, and I have thrived on it, for the most part. It has made me more productive and organized, and my meals more intentional and interesting.
What I loved about homeschool:
1. The freedom to make our own schedule or not have one at all.
2. That Mia could play guitar, sing, draw, read and write for hours each day–in her pajamas and with messy hair. I also very much love that this is what she did for most of her life before she went to school.
3. Lots of downtime with Mia, lots of time for conversation, and lots of shared experiences that gave us a strong and wonderful bond that I hope, with my whole heart, will last forever.
4. The lack of homework
5. The quickness and ease of learning something new, without having to wait around or follow procedures to do so.
6. The lack of negative peer influence/ constant presence of positive influence
7. The extra sleep for everyone
8. The space to act on inspiration and learn/do anything that pleases us
9. The ability/space for Mia to learn at her level and at her pace
10. The opportunity for natural learning/ learning from true life events not created in a classroom (such as planning, shopping, and making a meal for dinner).
11. That without ever having a spelling test prior to this week, Mia was able to develop the ability to spell years beyond her grade level, all on her own, simply by reading, writing, and developing in a natural way.
As of today, my conclusion is that homeschooling is awesome–and public school is awesome. They each have their own great qualities, and one can’t replicate the other. A little is lost and a little is won. They are two very different options, and I think I am pretty lucky that I’ve had the opportunity to experience both.
I do think we will go back to homeschooling someday, perhaps years down the road. But for now, and except for the homework, I love having my kid in school.