Mainstreaming my Kids - into School

Thursday, February 17, 2011
Well, we've done it. We've given up homeschooling. The boys started at school this week and Meredith is to go on Monday. I'm suffering from a little bit of separation anxiety - mostly over Theodore - but the boys are not suffering. I have been enjoying taking them through the shady gates of the rural school each morning and picking them up, all hot and untidy, and both talking at once to tell me about their day.

So far it has been a good experience and introduction to school life. The principal has gone out of his way each day to make sure we're all happy and know what we have to do. The teachers have been lovely, introducing themselves, helping me with book lists and settling the children in. It's not a christian school, but I have a wee prejudice against some christian schools anyway. It's not a private school either.
Country schools in New Zealand are usually really, really lovely and small and very family-oriented. In a few weeks the children will be able to take the bus to school from home - which is one of the things they are mostly looking forward to.

We have been slowly thinking about school for awhile (as some of you know), and when we were in Auckland we had some really good conversations with some of Robin's family, (who are quite academic), and also with some good family friends who have homeschooled and then later sent their children to school, and we have weighed everything up and decided that if we were going to put them into school, that now would probably be the best time, before we hit the highschool years. Homeschooling in New Zealand has been quite an isolating experience for me (in spite of trying to fit in and make friends) - it is still a kind of weird thing to do here in NZ, and the education system really doesn't make it easy for the child at the other end of schooling (when they leave).

So we've done it. I have mixed feelings still, but mostly relief. As long as the children are happy and make some nice friends, then it will be ok. The one thing that I did like about homeschooling is that you are going against the stream - doing something different and unique and not cloning your kids into a system designed by liberals and narrow-minded educators, but there are things about homeschooling that I didn't like, either, and I'm looking forward to the children making some nice friends, learning how to be accountable and working to a rigid timetable (I've always found that hard to enforce as their mother), and trying out new opportunities that are not available outside the school system.

This week has been incredibly crazy for me - which is why my blogging has taken a back seat, but next week I hope to be back on track. I've also been getting my house in order - a big job after 6 years of having the kids at home all day - some things just have to slide (like cleaning out my pantry), but they are high on the priority list now.

Here are my school boys.


Deb said...

I do hope this goes well for you. Our own experience of shifting from a Christian school to state schools worked so well for our family. Sometimes we just have to try different things don't we! I do hope your kids settle in well xxx

Julze said...

Wow..go you! After 13 years of homeschooling and thinking about mainstream schooling, thats as far as I have ever got. Usually it's on days that I'm exhausted and not coping!

All the best for a smooth transition..
with both happy children and a happy mama (((hugs)))

Clara said...

Were the kids excited about starting, or were they sad they wouldn't be home all day anymore? This is quite a big change - but I'm sure the children will enjoy it and you will still find lots to fill your days!! :) Looking forward to hearing more of your journey into the school system.

Cate said...

Go you for doing what is right for your family at this point of time and for not being too "legalistic" in your philosophy to try something new.

I'm sure that the kids will have a ball - ours were in state schools until aged 14, and coped just fine.

So you and I are in the same place of having an empty house!! At least yours leave you the car....... ;-)

PS: I never received that email you mentioned?

Jackie said...

and it is soooo good to just be mama. Now, when my daughters say they had a rubbish maths lesson, they hate French, and it rained in PE - none of that is my fault! And I can just dispense cake and sympathy!

Heather L. said...

It sounds like you've made a good decision. I'm sure the kids are finding it very exciting. Can't wait to hear more. I'm enjoying a day with just David and Laura while the others at homeschool group. It's amazing the amount of uninterrupted time to do housework and deskwork!!!

Cottage Tails said...

oooh a country school - that sounds lovely!
You have given them all a great start & I am sure they will enjoy the many things homeschooling can't.
Will feel weird for a bit & I bet you will not believe how much you crammed into your days before

love Leanne XXX

Little Kiwi Chick said...

I meant to comment on this yesterday but didn't get a chance to. That is a big move! I'm sure your kids will love it and it will be good for them. I think a country school sounds like a great place to help them transition from being home schooled into regular school. I think both schooling options have their place in life and in many ways your kids will probably grow up very well rounded for having experienced both. I personally am open to both and will see where the Lord leads us once Abbey/future children get to be of school age.

Sarah of 'Catching the Magic' said...

Good for you in doing what feels right 'now'. I totally agree with all the other comments. You pour so much love and thought into your children they are bound to turn out lovely, bright buttons and you've given them a wonderful start in life.

I still wonder about homeschooling my Charlotte for a while - but she seems to be getting on okay so far this year in school. I am just making sure the time I do have with her at home is very special indeed :) x

All the very best to you and your family x

Hover to Pin
Related Posts with Thumbnails
Designed with ♥ by Nudge Media Design