Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More Thoughts on Home Schooling

One of the things that I love about Jewish Day School is the sense of community it fosters. The kids have this whole Jewish observant thing in common. For example: they are all kosher and they all observe Shabbat and Chagim. One of the reasons we have not yet decided to home school is because of this. I know that there are other kids that they can socialize with during the week who are also being home schooled in and around NYC but I worry that they need a chevrah. One that they can share their Siddor play and Rashi breakfast with.

There are many Jewish schools in Manhattan and my kids socialize with many kids they don't go to school with on Shabbat. Their school friends are not their only chevrah. I know from this experience that school is not the only place one can find a chevrah. I just feel like this is not well charted territory. Other non-main stream decisions that my husband and I have made, like having a home birth, had all these statistics about outcomes that made the decision a so much easier. Another difficulty with the decision is the fact that we are not making this decision for a fetus we are making this decision for 4 independent minded and ultra social kids. It's not only my life that would be drastically changed.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Top 10 Reasons to Home School

My family has school burn out. Everyone is tired of waking up each morning and tired of homework. I'm ready to home camp my 2 youngest while my 2 oldest will be away at sleep away camp for the month of July. I can't wait to be on our night owl schedule (wake up will be after 9!). This is also the time of year that I begin to think that home schooling might actually be a good idea. I have always loved the idea for multiple reasons. This year I thought that it was time that I actually write those reasons down.

1. The almost $90,000 in tuition and busing we will be spending next year in order for our kids to have a good Jewish education.

2. I won't have to wake up my kids at 7:20 five mornings a week and then try to get them out of bed before the bus comes at 7:55.

3. A traditional school uses time very inefficiently. I am sure that if my 13 year old son had someone work with him once a week in math he would be able to learn at least one year worth of math curriculum each year and quite possibly more.

4. Since my kids are in a dual curriculum program they are in school for a longer day than other kids. They have limited time to do anything except for school. This problem will get worse in high school when the day begins at 8 and ends at 5 (this does not include any extra time spent in sports or clubs). If they were able to spend less hours being in school each day then they could actually have time to develop some other interests or even have time to just play and hang out.

5. No Homework. OK, I know this sounds ridiculous at first because I will have to be much more involved with my kids school work. The difference will be that I will not have to be the one who has to try and get them to do school work after 4pm (or later) when they have been in school all day and are exhausted.

6. I won't have to worry that my kids are eating white pasta or white bread with butter for lunch everyday.

7. My kids will have an opportunity to learn in a style that suits each of them best. No more one size fits all curriculum. If my son learns best by just reading the material then that is how he will get to do a lot of his learning. I will also have a chance to use the most progressive and creative materials I can find.

8. The chance to try unschooling with them.

9. A job that pays really well and lets me still have plenty of time with my kids(just think about how much $90,000 equals in pre-taxed income.)

10. Oh, did I mention that we will be spending almost $90,000 next year so our kids will get a good Jewish education?


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