*POST EDIT* Thanks guys, I love the feedback/discussion. I am all for the "enriching activities" that are available to our kids. To be honest I remember swimming lessons & summer camp with a lot more fondness than I do anything else, although I never passed maroon... One thing I know for sure, my kids will definitely be going to school AT school. Until then I guess I'm responsible for them EEEEEEK! LOL

I just read an article in a parenting magazine... I don't really know what my true feelings are about it, but let's just discuss.
Apparently this is the new "stick it to the man" thing, where mom's stay home with their kids, let them do whatever they want and then expect them to, at some point, enter society and be able to contribute. There are things I like about it, but then again, isn't that basically just doing what I already do? Would I really want to do this for the next 18yrs instead of sending my kids to school 5 days a week? There are varying methods, ie. complete abstinence from textbooks and structured learning or using structure for math&science only.... But then what about the actual socialization aspect of school? Sure you can take your kids to the park, but isn't it kind've strange for your 12yr old when he/she is the biggest kid in the park everyday? I didn't totally love school and I didn't have very many close friends in elementary really, but how do you replicate the "group" atmosphere/dynamic at home so that your kid learns to work well with others, and isn't completely sheltered from having to deal with kids who might not like them, etc... Wouldn't you totally miss out on a million teaching opportunities that way? Is it in the best interest of a child to say, "Well since you don't like math we don't have to learn anything about it"? I just don't know!
Another article in the magazine was about preschool and finding a good fit for your child, or creating your own preschool at home... Which is something that a bunch of us mom's have considered I'm sure. I think preschool is great mostly because I went to such an awesome one and remember it being so much fun. But circa 2010 it is COSTLY and depending on the one you find, sometimes they don't really do much for your kid. All this to say that I'm going to look into getting one of the kits that this lady mentioned because it sounds like it'd be something nice to have hanging around the house. Kalea is starting to be much more interested in sitting with me and reading and things like that, so maybe that'll help her get used to a bit more structure. Ha! I can dream, right?
So what does everyone else think about this stuff? Anyone tried/failed/succeeded at any of this stuff?


Megan said...

I don't expect everyone to be like me, but I have every intention of enrolling my kids in programs/swim lessons/summer camps and then sending them to Kindergarten at a public school. I would consider pre-school but I think the expense outweighs the benefits at this age... Public school worked for me, and since I am a teacher, I kind of support the whole thing... I guess I am old school!

The Staheli's said...

I'm totally skeptical about the "un-schooling" thing. With pre-school, I am only doing it for social aspect. Not to brag, but I know she won't be learning anything this first year of preschool that she doesn't already know. The sole reason is for her to be in a classroom setting, learn to listen to a teacher, follow rules/directions, gain friendships, share...etc. I think there are a lot of options out there now, and you can choose what works best for you, your family and each individual child. I know a lot of moms in Utah/LDS culture do the Joy School thing. That may be a good option for you and your friends. They have a whole curriculum, etc. Anyway, "un-schooling" is definitely a no go for us! haha

the fellers said...

first on the un-schooling thing, I totally 100% diagree with that. I am all about pubic school, not only for the learning thing, cause sometimes I wonder how great the education is, and yes my husband is a teacher, he is a fantastic teacher, but not all teachers are fantastic, so that said, public school is great, but it is by no means an "out" for parents, you still have to do your work at home, follow up on what they are learning, making sure that they ARE learning, and keeping connected with their school and teachers at all times. But besides the learning aspect, it is SO SO SO important, I think, for a child to be placed in an atmosphere where they learn how to be social, how to have friends, how to stand up for what they believe in, how to participate in events, how to fail, and how to deal with failure, at home I am not sure that they would get any of that. I mean really, do children USUALLY have to stand up for what they believe in at home? Where they are taught what to believe in most of the time? I mean there are exceptions, but still. I know that there are a lot of people out there that do the home school thing, and they are fine, but there are also a lot that do the homeschool thing that are not fine, but I guess the same could be said for public AND private schools....but for me, I am a public school kinda girl.

Secondly, for preschool. My Scoty has a late birthday, October, and the cut off is September here. Then I had Rylee 18 months later, so she will be only one grade behind Scoty. So with the cost of prechool these days, ummmm, $100 a month per child...no thank you. So people usually go to preschool for two years, so that would have me putting both my kids in preschool for a whole year, so what is that $1800 or something that year? Yeah, I could use that money to buy a house or something. SO, me and a couple of my good friends in my ward have done the joy school thing. I think it has done great, and I try, when we are being good and on a schedule, to have "learning time" with Scoty and now need to do it with Rylee. From one year of joy school, 1 hour a week, my three year old, can count to 20, knows his alphabet, upper and lower case letters, all the sounds and is starting to put sounds together to make words, with help, but he can do it, can write his name, write all the letters, upper and lower case, write numbers from 1-10...ok, that sounded like I was bragging, which maybe I am a little, but still, the point is, he didnt need to go to a structured preschool to learn that, if we do what we can at home, I am sure they will be ok to miss out on a structured preschool. Maybe every kid isnt like that, we will see how Rylee is, but she is already recognizing her letters and know a lot of the sounds....so we will see. BUT with that said, he still has two years of being at home before Kindergarten, AND IS SO BORED already, so I am seriously considering finding a cheaper preschool, if I can, just to put him in for NEXT year, like not the 2010-11 school year, but 2011-12, just cause I think he is bored, not that I dont think we could do it at home. It sounds like I am totally dogging preschool, I am not, I know kids that go, and my visiting teaching comp is a preschool teacher and does great, and there are times now when I think that it would be so much easier to just send him somewhere, but the cost out weighs the need for me right now.

This is getting long, but one more thing:
If you are interested in doing joy school at home, I just found at Costco here a book for preschooling, I think it is a Bright Stars book and it has EVERYTHING in a for preschooling, it was $10.99 and I am so excited to use it this next year....have letters, numbers, shapes, wipe-off pages for writing and drawing and a cd to be able to print off pages, plus all the pages are perforated, so you can tear them out when it is done, it is all a whole cirriculum sort of...anyway, hope you had fun reading my book!

Fern Marusiak said...

This is so funny - I've been thinking so much about the different kinds of schooling for Hayden next year and yes, I also read that article in Today's Parent about Unschooling, too - a little unusual, but interesting that there are so many options out there! Do you guys get the Calgary Herald Neighbour paper that comes on Thursdays with your flyers? There is an entire section on schooling in there that I thought was interesting - you should check it out! I really want to do joyschool with Hayden next year. I agree with a lot of the previous comments about what you can teach your children yourself at home vs paying $150/month (at Mid Sun Preschool). And also, I don't think socialization is a problem with homeschooling your kids - there are so many groups you can join in your community and organize different activities and teaching opportunities! Anyways, so much research to do! Good thing we don't have to make any decisions anytime soon!
Great blog post!

The Staheli's said...

Wow...preschool is expensive up there! We are only paying 55$ per month here. :D If I was paying upwards of 100 bucks, it would make the decision a lot more difficult!