Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Word About Public School

Probably more than one word, if you know me at all.


Leslie asked how we decided Rose Bud and Banana Boy should go to public school while the others do not.


Rose Bud asked, at the end of 5th grade, if she could try public school.  After MUCH discussion between Mr. GT and me we decided to let her try it.  Some of the deciding factors were:


She is a very responsible, motivated and bright student.  We were fairly sure she'd flourish academically.


She is a really good kid, grounded in her values.  Remaining so was a condition of her staying in PS.


We have an excellent school system.


She was entering 6th grade and Middle School.  We figured this was a good transition point for her.  All the students would be new to the school and she wouldn't feel so "new."


It turned out to be a good decision.  She has thrived under the structure of public school.  She has been entirely responsible for her work, getting it done and in on time.  She manages her time beautifully.  She loves to learn.  The 6th grade team has been beyond excellent!  They are all very compassionate, sensitive teachers and we think they've done a great job balancing the hand-holding vs. building independence as these kids enter middle school.  She joined band in April and has worked really hard learning to play her instrument.  The 6th graders don't have many opportunities for extracurriculars (which I appreciate)--they keep them on a pretty tight rein, focusing on academics.  But next year she will have to chance to try out some sports and a few other things.


Why she's going again?  It was what she asked for for Christmas!  And we let her know we were very pleased with how well she was doing her "job" which was to learn, get the best grades she could, maintain a good attitude at home and be a good friend in school.  As long as those things stay "up" she's in.  At this point, she has agreed to come home for 8th grade (that was part of the deal for going to 7th grade and it also hinged on the plan that we would be moved to our land by that point.  The latter is not happening now, at least not that soon, so we'll see where we are by 8th grade.


As for Banana Boy, he has his little issues, mainly with anger at home.  They have NEVER seen this at either preschool or Sunday School.  Really, they love him to bits and he has been a bit of a favorite.  Since I get the brunt of if and since he does so well in a structured class, we thought that having the really positive experience of that continue would be good for him.


Academically, he is probably at K level now, so I'm not worried about whether he gains anything at all next year.  I still plan to do a little work with him in the afternoons.


My thought is that if he and I butt heads all day, this is not a good thing.  But if he can go to kindergarten and have a delightful time all morning, then come home all happy and have a delightful time with me, then we're having a delightful day!


He also has been growing out of the dreadful stage and gaining control of his emotions at an astonishing pace (progress literally month by month), so we're expecting that by 1st grade, he'll be at home full time.


Both Daisy and Pepper want to be home, love to be together, and are thriving in homeschool, so home they shall remain.


Sunshine will be in preschool (the same one BB just graduated from) two mornings a week.


Methinks it will be mighty quiet around here those mornings!!!





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