Sunday, August 07, 2011

School Starts on Wednesday, and I Still Don't Know What We Are Doing

Yesterday I got an e-mail from an internet buddy asking me what we have decided to do about school?

What to do about Lily's schooling ( and the other girls) has been a
difficult decision and I am still not sure about it.  We have struggled
with what to do for a long time.
I wish I had a crystal ball to see what is the best for the girls because
I feel that the decision that we make now is the one that is most important.   
 Mike says to me
to just choose one option and then if it doesn't work we can change, but I
know that won't be so easy to do.  I think once we make the decision going back
either way will be hard to do.
Here are our options:

1. All three girls in first grade in public school.  We live just around
the corner from the "best" public school in our district.
2. Homeschool all three girls.
3. Homeschool just Lily.

One is by far the easiest choice.  Actually giving me time with just
Jilliana and some time for me for the first time in 5 years.  Our public
school is expecting us on Wednesday.  They wanted to place Lily in third
or second grade, but I knew that she would not have been able to
handle that at all and would have been totally lost.  So I was able to get
them to agree to first grade.  I also requested that she not be in the
same class as Emma and Meilynn because I think she needs that.  She was
tested for ESL but she passed the test (not sure how) so those services
will not be there for her.

She does not want me to homeschool her and wants to go to school.  (She
thinks the grass is greener on the other side.)  Maybe if she goes and
sees that she still has to "work" I won't seem like such the taskmaster.
I made her work very hard and there was a lot of crying during our
homeschool sessions.  She is also very outgoing and loves people.  She
will be easily influenced by other people.  She still is learning
appropriate behaviors.  But, I still fear she will be lost when the work
starts getting tougher and I can imagine many hours trying to complete the
homework after school while the other girls go off to play.  If we
homeschool just Lily I think she will see it as a punishment and not fair.

I think if I do send her off, and then change our minds, again she will
see it as a punishment.

If we choose the second option, I will need to hire some help.  There is
just not enough time for me to teach full time and do all the things that
need to get done around here.  I love spending time with my girls and I
love seeing them learn, and I am confident that they will make great
progress with me, but to be totally  honest I am craving some time for me.
I know that my patience will be tested.  I know that Emma and Meilynn
will just excel, but I worry about losing my patience with Lily.  I have
done that and it does not feel good.  Because of years of never having to
use her brain to do anything, other than survive, (and I know that was not
easy) has made the learning slow and difficult.
Emma and Lily want to go to school and Meiynn wants me to homeschool.  Of
course we are not letting them make such an important decision at this
age, but I did want to hear their thoughts.
I like the flexibility of home schooling, seeing them learn, and choosing
what I want my children to learn.

And then there is the third option.  I know that she would get further
along with me teaching her but at what cost to our relationship.  Will it
make our relationship stronger or weaker?  I don't know that answer.  I
know she would resent the fact that the other girls get to go to school and
she doesn't.

So that is a quick summary of where I am at.  I know I left out some
things, some of the most important reasons for homeschooling.
That we are the best teachers for our children. 
That we know our children better than anyone else.  
The freedom to teach them about God.

 I know that the time actually spent learning at school is minimal.  That our children can move at a much faster pace at home.

 At this moment we are planning on
being at school on Wednesday, but every hour I have a change of heart.  I
am afraid it we do this it will be to "hard" to change our minds.  If we
go with the homeschooling and then change our minds we will have lost our
place in school and I think it would be difficult for the girls to enter
in the middle of a semester.


Jenna said...

Oh Vicki, I never did catch up with you on the phone, but this has been my horrible struggle too. I have decided to put Hope along with LeeLee in 1st. They both start on Wednesday too. I am nervous, but finally making some peace with the decision. Hope cries when I work with her because she doesn't get it. It breaks my heart, and it has been so hard to watch her. At this point I am thinking that for the sake of our relationship I have made the right decision too. My only fear is that she needs to be in K, even though she should be in second. So just know that you are not alone!! I will be wading through all of this in the South! It is comforting to know I have someone going through the same thing.

Blessings and prayers for you all!

Debbie Sauer said...

Go Public School! I've seen both sides and Public is better. Blessings

Anonymous said...

Know that I have never faced this decision but on reading your post and asking what I would do (in prayer) I got the answer that I would go with public school for all. Especially since Lily would feel punished if she was the only one home-schooled. It is much easier to switch to home schooling mid year than the other way around. The social gains for them would probably be wonderful. I have three family members who were adopted from another country. For the oldest, the first year of school was rough, but the then she thrived. Maybe you could hire a tutor for Lily to do the extra work? Whatever answer that the Lord gives you, know that in the end it is the best. Keep the faith that you're doing a great job.

Love for Lilly Yin said...

I can only tell you my experience as I am in a similar delimma. Our daughter (7) adopted at 5, went to K last year. It wasn't horrible, but wasn't great either. She is very easy influenced and just could not catch up or "fit in" with the other kids. Although she was 7 it felt like in ways she was 3. Then she started with fear....fear that we were not coming back, begging not to make her go, it was bad. We are getting ready to travel to get DS, and she has to have a big surgery in the fall, so I made the choice to try HS. We will see how it goes. She was just so overwhelmed, TOO many kids. One more thing that maybe an option that they offered to me, was modified days. Towards the end of the year she went to school from 8:30-11:30. So she just got academic time. No outside play, no specials, no lunch, no nap. Socially and academically she was just not where she needed to be.

Carla said...

Vicki, I have home schooled for 14 years, whe we adopted two older children I thought we would continue this tradition. Last summer we made the decision to send Amber our oldest adopted to 1st grade, she was seven, but she was not ready for 2nd grade. this was the best decision we have made by far because she felt like she had her own thing away from us and she looked forward to coming home everyday. It honestly helped her appreciate us more. We are sending our 5 year old adopted to kindergarten this month and Amber will be going into second grade. We have two older bio children who have graduated and another bio who is entering fourth grade, because of some learning issues he has and he is almost ten, we are going to continue homeschooling him. We may homeschool the other two once they complete third grade. Now, from my experience if I could do it all over, I would have sent all my kids to school until about fourth grade, for several different reasons. Also, I am like you now, an older mother and I am ready (need) some time for myself. I feel that if I don't do this I will not be a very good mother. So, I hope this helps you... My suggestion is to send them this year, take one year at a time. You may want to homeschool them later and you may not, you need to do what is best for your family as a whole.

China Dreams said...

It isn't just about academics. There is so much more to be learned from being with other children and having teachers. You can just be Mom-she can come home and tell you all about her day, and you can advise her on things. Sounds like she would love and benefit from public school.


M and M Girls said...

Best wishes Vicki, Lots of Panda hugs. In the end- there is no right or wrong anwer and this comes from an educator and an adoptive mom. There will be wins and losses, happy and sad times, laughter and tears, homework and recess in all the options you select. No matter what you select you will journey through it. Follow the lead of your child and have faith and support her. She may surprise you or she may need to stumble in order to run and leap forward.

Panda Hugs,

Chris said...

I will weigh in with our experience w/ our 10 y.o. (now 11) adopted Sept last year.
I tried homeschooling last year and yes...he saw it as a punishment...also that he was not good enough to go to school. We realized that this is what had happened to him in China.
With trepidation we enrolled him in 4th grade at a private school. He loved it! Gave me the break I needed to be ready for the homework struggles in the evening...but even that was better than him thinking I was either a. making him work too hard or b. keeping him from having fun with the others or c. not giving him the chance to excell.

I know that they learn a lot from their peers...not all of it good...but the good influence from the Christian school did outweigh some of the negatives.
Just stay in touch with the teacher
We e-mailed a lot.

Kristi said...

I would send them all to school. Personally, I am a much better mom (happier, more engaging, a better teacher) when I get that "me" time. Sometimes I do nothing more than drink coffee and mentally regroup but it does me a world of good. Highly recommend carving out some "me" time when you can. I do think that excellent public schools do provide other benefits to our kids as well...such as baby steps towards independence. But, you have to do what feels right to you. Good luck with your decision.