Money… money…money… Kid’s are expensive, in case you haven’t noticed.  Luckily they are worth every dime!

This week has been a bit challenging for me… we are working on getting my oldest into Private School and the applications, testing, application fees and such are adding up. We haven’t even gotten to the actual monthly payments or the down payment to hold the spot. We are also coming up on Summer Camp time. BTW… if you haven’t already enrolled…it’s too late!  That is correct new parents… you must make all these decisions and line them up and pay for them or part of them by mid-March or you’re scraping to find something fun.

Same goes for school enrollment. March is the month that things should be wrapped up to get a place for the upcoming year. If you are trying to get into a Private Pre-K, you may need to enroll an entire year beforehand. Yikes… In this world of two working parents and the need for childcare, getting into a “good” private school is a huge challenge.

So… I am venting if you haven’t noticed! :) I just want what will work best for my kiddo. This year we tried Homeschooling and while there have been good things, it just isn’t for him. He is a social animal and needs to be social. Yes, there are lots of Homeschool Groups and such but this kid wants a gang of friends and that is what he needs to thrive. When little brother needs a nap, he misses out on the afternoon playgroups at the park. When most of the extra-curicular activites he wants to try out only happen from 3:30 on, it makes it hard to meet up with friends after their school day. So do we continue and strike a balance next year. I am going for No.

I feel like more structure would be good. It would be nice for him to have not just family input but community as well. I want him to have the opportunity to grow and learn from society not just mommy. That being said… these things take money. I’m sure you are thinking … what about Public school. Well, that is on the list too. I haven’t ruled it out but with expanding classroom sizes and having been there as a Public School teacher, I happen to know that the environment isn’t a good fit for this kiddo. So my options are small and seem to be getting smaller by the day… tick tock…
My friend has created a Homeschool/ Mother’s Club and it is a wonderful concept and idea. It is a great fit for many kids and moms who want unschooling as a model. She has land, animals, a home and moms who are working co-operatively to create something fabulous that meets the child’s needs and the family’s. She has found a great niche and one that is much needed. Because this co-op is family run it is also very affordable compared to Private school. The group leans towards the notion that the kids will get what they need and want when they need and want it.
I love this idea and… I am reluctant to do it. I think it is perfect for many people  but I find myself unwilling to purely trust that the kiddos will pick up what they need.

Why? It only makes since that the freedom to learn and grow with the support of community is a great gift.  It’s not like I don’t practice this at home…As we speak, my kids are running around bohemian style in the yard, covered with mud from head to toe. The beauty of Mother’s Garden and Ultimate Mom’s Club is that they could be running around (clothed) and covered in mud with a gaggle of friends who are all different ages with different ideas. They would have the opportunity to work cooperatively and creatively. They can take care of the animals and do art projects, games and activities the mom’s set up for their learning enjoyment. All of this makes for a creative and exciting learning experience. Why am I resistant to taking this on fully? I don’t know? I think it is the Public School teacher in me that wants structure…structure…structure.

I feel like “structure” is killing our society though. It seems Public schools have “structured” their way out of creative thinking and problem solving. Our country is made great by it’s innovators, not rigourous rounds of rote memorization. Teaching to higher level thinking skills is the way to go. Working on the level a child is whether high or low and addressing their individual needs makes the most sense. Public education has this as their mantra but the reality is that most classrooms only have the luxury of teaching to the group as a whole. In small groups, you can do more but not everything can be done in a small group and not every teacher has the support and classroom management to be able to successfully pull it off.

So, what to do… what to do… I think it goes back to trusting.  It is time for me to remember to have faith.  Trusting the process brings about what will ultimately be the right thing for this child.  What works for him isn’t better or best.  It is what will work for him and I am working towards providing that opportunity.

Next… I get to go through this all again with his brother… then middle school…highschool and college for both boys.  Deep breathes! :)

Wish me luck!