Friday, March 12, 2010

When Homeschooling is the ONLY Option

Traditional education was good while it lasted. My wife and I knew this day was coming, and we held out as long as possible. However, we have come to the realization that home schooling will arrive in our household much earlier than we expected. We now find ourselves planning for next year. Fortunately, we have been learning and preparing for this moment for the past two years. Paulina's school has been better than we expected when this school year started, but the academic environment is simply not challenging. Paulina skipped from K to 2nd grade, but she caught up with her classmates rather quickly and is now growing bored and tired of the long weekly homework assignments that teach her little. She is approaching 6th math and language arts and is on track to start pre-algebra in September. We have little choice but to home school her. She may never fit in a normal school, but her mother and I are fortunate to have the flexibility to be deeply involved in her education.

We suspected this day was coming, but we thought we could postpone it for a few years. Paulina's homeroom teacher offered to have her take third grade math this year, but Paulina is finishing 5th grade now. Her school is a typical K through 5. It makes no difference if she takes second, third or fifth grade math. She is done it before. Either one would be torturous repetition. As a result of the above considerations, we chose to keep her in second grade with her homeroom for all her classes. We thought she could attend third or fourth grade next year, but the gap between her and her classmates is widening. It becoming particularly wide in math. However, it has become patently clear that we will have this problem until she goes out to college. She will never fit in a traditional, primary education classroom.

We have chosen to home school Paulina next year. I am lucky enough to work from home and only travel two weeks per quarter to visit clients. I handle math and science, and EPGY allows my wife to supervise Paulina when I am away. My wife is highly educated, with advanced degrees in the arts and business, which rounds up what I can contribute to my daughter's education. We have no idea what the future holds, but home schooling looks like the only option to us now. Paulina has had six months to think about it. After countless conversations about how her days would be, she has decided that she would much prefer studying at home than at school. This has been a family decision, and we are ready to take the plunge.

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