Monday, February 21, 2011

Schooling decisions

How do you know if you're making the right choice for your child? This is the point we are at with our decision making process at the moment. Jacob is in his final year at Steiner Kinder this year and so we are having to decide where to send him to school next year. Or, indeed, *if* we decide to send him to school.

I love the thought of homeschooling. I know that I am capable of it and I know that Jacob would really flourish with homeschooling. He has that insatiable thirst for knowledge that would make teaching him very easy. BUT I worry that I won't be able to give Jacob as much attention as he deserves by homeschooling him. Esme is a child that needs a lot of attention (I hate to use the word 'demanding') and with another baby on the way I think Jacob's learning will be neglected while I look after the other kids. Part time home-schooling is still an option on the cards I guess but will require some more thought on my part!

We have been very happy with the Steiner Kinder and are very comfortable with the philosophies and beliefs behind Steiner. Jacob has changed a lot since he started Kinder and we believe it's the Steiner education that has created this positive change in him. I guess our first choice in a school for Jacob would be Steiner. But that all depends on whether we have the money to send our children through the Steiner school system. It's not that expensive in terms of other private/independant schools but a lot more than what you'd pay in a government school of course!

We are fortunate enough to be living in an area with lots of great government schools as well. But I can't help thinking that if we send Jacob there then we will regret not sending him to a Steiner School. It feels like such a huge decision and something that is going to impact on his life forever. I don't feel ready to make these big decisions yet! But, I guess that's the way it is with parenting. You make these choices and hope like hell that you have made the right ones for your child.

5 comments:

Kint said...

its a tough decision hey... not helped when you have a husband who just doesn't 'get' your desire for an 'alternative' education... but we compramised and im very happy with where we have chosen... i think...

Narelle said...

Oh yeah, I can't imagine how hard it must be with a husband who's not on the same page! I guess I'm lucky that Chris supports my decisions. Must be the teacher in us that makes us so conscious of the choices we make regarding our kid's education lol.

thewildandwoolly said...

Oh my, I know how you feel. I've just been through a similar process with my eldest. Our nearest Steiner school is an hour away, and although the state system is flawed, our local school is lovely. I always said i'd homeschool if I noticed that the boys weren't happy, weren't flourishing. We have taken our first tentative steps at the local school, and thus far all's well ...

Jess said...

We've just been through the process of changing schools after 1 year - from a Catholic school to an "alternative Reggio Emilia influenced" unit which runs alongside a public school. Within 2 weeks we saw a change in our daughter, her confidence is soaring & her anger is considerably reduced & she is much easier to live with! Currently the journey is almost 40 minutes (long for Adelaide!) & I am finding the driving a shock, having never been much of a driver. I guess it was a completely instinctive decision as we watched her completely relax on our first visit - she fitted in from day one, she is making friends & above all is happy - something money can't buy (contrary to the ads of private schools!)

Good luck with the decision - go with your heart, money will sort itself out, we are finding a happier, more content child is actually saving us money (which we will now use to move closer!)

Narelle said...

Jess, I have been reading about your schooling issues with E on fb. I guess the good thing after hearing your story is that kids are pretty resilient and as long as we pick up on those early cues of them not being happy in their school environment and make some changes then then things will turn out well in the end. I'm so glad E is happy, I know a little bit about Reggio Emilia and it sounds good.

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