Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pros and cons

Things I love about having my oldest kids in school:

  • The routine, up, dressed, lunches packed, out be 7:30 every day. No jammies until noon like I had to fight last year.
  • Having fewer people in the house during the day
  • Having fewer opinionated people in the house all day
  • Having teachers share in my responsibility to educate my children
  • One child is pursuing journalism, one cross country, one is in a play. They are being challenged in ways I could not, and enjoying it quite a bit.
  • We all get up early since I have to take them to school. On the way out the door, I get up the other children, and by 9:00 am the rest of us are busily tackling math. We were never that consistent previously.
  • They are all doing very, very well academically, and I love the affirmation of the education they received from me.
  • Deadlines are enforced by their teachers, something I failed at miserably.
  • They appreciate the education they received at home, and are able to see the benefit they received by home schooling. They are happy to be in school, as well.
  • They don't see the little kids as much, and they miss each other, and are more kind and affectionate with them.
  • Doing school with the younger kids is much easier with 3 students being educated elsewhere.
  • My angst level has dropped considerably. The house is more peaceful.
  • They pray everyday at school, which again is more consistent that I was at home, sadly.
  • They have met some very nice kids there. They also have ceased to romanticize "school".
  • The uniforms are nice. The kids look nice.
  • They are learning time management skills I could not (would not) replicate here.
Things I hate about having my older kids in school:
  • Dealing with all the insidious paperwork
  • Fund raisers
  • Parent meetings
  • They have only 20 minutes for lunch, and no time to go to the bathroom. Seems barbaric
  • They don't get enough sleep
  • They are gone all day, and do homework all evening. Our family life is really altered.
  • I still have to remember how to do algebra and anatomy and physical science and edit papers. Now I help them with homework, and it takes almost as much of my time as home schooling. Only homework is in the evenings, when I am tired.
  • They want to "go out" on the weekends now, as if staying home is some shameful failure
  • Their text books are silly
  • They are surrounded by peers who don't really care about school
  • They don't get their chores done as regularly, and I am taking on more of the housework (that really is alright, though. I feel like I have my house back in a certain way).
  • All. the. freaking. driving. I am living in the car, and baby is in her car seat more than any of my other children. Ew.
  • The little kids don't see them as much, and miss them.
  • The all school masses are very, very "relevant" to teens, and somewhat scandalous to my kids.
  • It is expensive
I am much more motivated to continue home schooling the younger kids, and given how this goes in the long term, will aim at getting them well prepared for high school. However, if I can, I will consider with each child that home educating during high school does have benefit, and our family will be a different one when the middle kids are in high school.

But overall, this is going well, and I am pleased. It isn't perfect, but it has added structure that I was having difficulty achieving myself.


Anonymous Alea said...

Although my oldest is only 8 - I share most of your hates about school!
I find the scandalous Masses interesting. First, I'd be glad my kids felt that way because I'd know I'd kept their innocence while I raised them; and second why aren't all the other Catholic kids having the same problem? I feel bad for them, that they couldn't retain that innocence for longer.

September 16, 2010  
Blogger Rosemary said...

Yup. definitely pluses and minuses in sending your kids to school I'm curious about how the Masses are scandalous. The music at my kids' high school Masses are pretty teen oriented. Well, they do the music. Sometimes it leaves a little to be desired. And I think some are sometimes a little scandalized.
Are they changing things that shouldn't be changed?

September 17, 2010  
Blogger Renee said...

It think what bothers them the most is the complete lack of respect during the all school masses (by the students). They are uncomfortable with the lack of reverence shown by the participants, I think, and are very unused to the "relevant teen mass" idea. The Byzantine Church's Liturgy has no such thing, so this is a bit of a culture shock to them. They also were surprised by the casual attitude regarding receiving the Blessed Sacrament. Again, not something they have seen before.

I don't think my kids would know if parts of the Mass were changed, due to the fact they go to a different Liturgy most of the time. So their uncomfortableness isn't technical, I would say, it is the atmosphere and casualness with which the Mass is presented and received. Does that make any sense?

September 17, 2010  
Blogger Mimi said...

That makes perfect sense to me (but then I am familiar with the Byzantine Liturgy, obviously)

And, I'm glad it is overall going well.

September 17, 2010  
Blogger Rosemary said...

It does make sense and I have shared that feeling at my teens' school Masses at times. Then again, it is good that all, even those whose reverence is lacking, are in the presence of Jesus where he I'm sure will meet them where they are. Sure helps when there's a strong and courageous priest who can relate to the teens and speak to them in a way that reaches them. I have seen a very holy and soft spoken priest speak to teens about reverence for the Eucharist. I know the Holy Spirit was speaking through him You could have heard a pin drop. He had their undivided attention.

September 20, 2010  
Blogger Renee said...

That is what I told my teens, that they could be a good example, and know that Jesus is there.

September 20, 2010  

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