This morning Will and I drove 2 hours down to the southern part of Maine to the only Catholic high school in the state. The house we are buying just happens to be nearby and we have seriously contemplated sending the oldest 2 children there this year or next.
Homeschooling has become more complicated and sometimes exasperating with more children "doing school" and the oldest one's work taking longer and longer to complete. Seton's program is intense, some days there are 3 day's worth of work crammed into 1 day on the lesson plans, but Will tends to drag out any complicated assignment, his 4th quarter reading test took him almost 4 hours to finish. One of our options in Maine is a good, academically rigorous, wholesome Catholic school so today he and I toured the building, looked at some of the textbooks, and read some of the syllabi crafted by the 8th grade teachers.
Naturally I want the kids to be in a more social environment, after moving 4 times in 6 years, it would be nice for them to make long-term friends and be able to play sports, be in clubs, etc. On the other hand, after looking at Seton's high school curriculum again after supper it was so apparent how superior academically and Catholic homeschooling truly can be. The choice of novels, the rigorous textbooks, the lesson plans all contribute to a sublime education which only a very few private schools could boast. In contrast, modern secular textbooks tend to be visually jarring with lots of color and boxes on every page, the novels selected tend to be more modern works with less literary value, and the lessons are a mystery. We could be paying $13,000 a year for a pig in a poke or a wonderful experience that allows the older children to expand their minds and world, leaving me more time to focus on the younger children's academics.
But we decided that this is not something we are going to jump into in the next 3 weeks so for the upcoming year our decision is to continue on our 9th year of homeschooling. Homeschooling has been our one constant and being in a new house, having new teachers/leaders for music and scouts, attending a new church, and transitioning to a new civilian lifestyle is certainly enough change for the children.