Friday, January 08, 2010

school tour

This afternoon Tim came home early so I could go senza bambino (without babies) and visit the local Catholic elementary school. I chatted with teachers, librarians, and moms about books, Mass, the daily routine, and resource classes such as art. I peeked in classrooms, flipped through many textbooks, and asked questions about homework. In all, I felt that while the school was doing a better job than any public school, it wasn't half as academically challenging as what we have been doing at home. All the textbooks were secular, including the religion books, and contained a lot of fluff.

I know that the kids would do well academically and socially there, but I just kept thinking, "I would spend all day missing them and the opportunity to use Catholic books, an academically rigorous course of study, and all those extras that make homeschooling unique." I could imagine my daily life becoming a mad rush of getting ready, driving to school, wrestling with the little boys and the baby all day, rushing to pick up and get to lessons on time, fighting about homework, getting everyone in the bed, and doing it day, after day, after day. Since I haven't set foot in a school in over 10 years it was eye-opening, in comparison, how good Seton's program really is. We are not "falling behind" public or private school students, but rather giving them a high quality fully integrated Catholic education at a very reasonable price (certainly reasonable compared to $17,000 a year for 3 kids).

My job in the next week is to compose a very polite letter to the assistant principal, thanking him for his time and the tour, but stating that we will continue to homeschool this semester. The other thing I need to do is reflect on what I learned today and use it to become more calm and steady in teaching the children. We are learning, we are living, and we are doing a pretty darn good job with a lot of help from above.


My Bambino said...

Great Post.....

I found your site on stumbleupon and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

Thanks for sharing....

s'me said...

*hug* Well done for looking, well done for thinking.

You are doing a darn good job, and the only way we can do it is with help from above!


Michelle said...

Since I enrolled in MODG homeschool, I now get a quarterly newslatter. It amazes me the advice contained therein always seems to apply to a current problem.

The latest issue suggested time limits on school work, especially certain subjects (like math). Earier advice included having older children take turns watching younger children. These are probably my two biggest problem areas. So, once again I have revamped the "schedule" and our mornings have 4 one hour "periods." Each student has a "recess" where they are to play with the younger two, and the other time slots are assigned a subject (or several). This is new, so we'll see how it goes.

You wrote the other day that 6th grade was hardest...I'm all for plodding through this year and hoping it gets better. I'm supposed to have 5 students next year, and if 7th grade is as hard as 6th grade, I'm in deep doo-doo.

Renee said...

I don't think I realized you were using Seton. Since I'm guessing the kids might be enrolled don't be afraid to call them for advice. It sounds like maybe you are trying to have every child complete everything that Seton has planned??? If so, then I can see where your frustration is coming from. Their program is very time consuming esp as students get older. You may want to call them for suggestions of how to combine a few kids or what to cut out to give the family time to be family. KWIM???

Diane said...

I am glad everything is going to work out for you and your family. I am hosting an art giveaway that you might find interesting. Stop by when you have a chance and take a peek.

Sebastian said...

I think that it is just as easy to form a stereotype (good or bad) of what is going on in a school as it is to stereotype homeschooling.

I'm glad that you had the chance to examine what the trade offs would be. That really was thoughtful of the school to extend the opportunity.

Karen said...

Just wanted to add that your experience with that Catholic school would not necessarily be the case in a different (truly!) Catholic school. For instance, where my kids are going (which, btw, costs only $7k for 9 to attend, and I say *only* when I compare it to your $17k, lol) they are VERY strict, attend a daily TLM, and EVERYTHING is Catholic... right down to the Sermons class that the kids are graded on regarding the priest's sermons during daily Mass. :) Of course, the reasoning behind this is most likely because it is a school associated with the FSSP. :)

That said, I had the same experience you had when I briefly sent my kids to a N.O. Catholic school back in Maine. And yea, regrettably, I sent them out of yrs of homeschooling frustration.