From Homeschool To Public School Kindergarten?
I've wanted to homeschool my kids since Phoenix was 3. This year, kindergarten, is what many would consider our first year of official homeschooling, though we do less of what I consider "school" and more having fun learning together.
Yesterday, something unexpected hit me. Phoenix was acting up and misbehaving all day. Nothing too major, but it just didn't feel right. I mentioned to Ken that maybe we should get him involved in some sort of sports. You know, something to get him around other kids his age. Gosh, I thought, if only there was a place nearby that Phoenix could go to just be around kids his age more often. And there already is. School.
Part of me wondered, would going to public school make this better? Does he need time away from Ariana? Does he need time away from me? Would he like more independence? Would he thrive learning among his peers? I thought about it all night, and talked it over with Ken. Then, the next morning I asked Phoenix.
Me: Would you be interested in going to kindergarten?
Phoenix: Would it be boring?
Me: The truth is, I don't know. And there's only one way to find out.
Phoenix: Test it out!
Of course, I still want to homeschool him, but even more than that, I want him to have a fun, amazing childhood.
Phoenix is a social butterfly, and the thought of him having to sit quietly in a chair all day listening to a teacher talk seemed like an awful idea. But... he's never done that before. It's unfair to assume Phoenix would not like school without giving it a try. He might like it. He might not. But, it's not right to assume either one until I try.
Yes, and there's the old stereotype that "homeschoolers aren't socialized". In public, I've found homeschoolers to be vocal that their homeschoolers get plenty of socialization. But, I've also talked with homeschoolers concerned that their children don't quite have that peer group they would like them to have. I supposed that the whole "unsocialized homeschoolers" thing varies from family to family.
As for our family? Yes, we get out of the house roughly 4 days a week to play with other kids. We have park days, acting classes, library strorytime, playtime with other kids, etc. Phoenix has made plenty of "single serving friends" - the friends you meet once, but aren't likely to see again. But, does he have 5-days-a-week interaction with the same core group of kids? No. Would Phoenix benefit from the chance to form friendships like these that he could easily make at school? I'm pretty sure he would.
We are planning on enrolling him in kindergarten when classes resume in in the beginning of the new year. We're also working on selling our house, which will be on the market for the next 3 months. We'll decide when the time comes weather or not we'll stay in the same school district or move. Right now, we're just planning on doing what's best to get Phoenix around a few more steady group of kids his age. Though Ken is concerned about having him make new friends and possibly leaving them, I also pointed out that he currently doesn't have daily interaction with kids his age outside of the dojang, so what's really worse? Making friends to possibly leave, or not having those friends at all?
Switching from homeschooling to public school kindergarten in the middle of the year is certainly not a decision we've made lightly. It is both thrilling and nerve-racking all at the same time. But, I can say that I'm certainly looking forward to this new and exciting adventure!