Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Homeschooling vs. Public School

Never in my life have the benefits of homeschooling been so clear to me. Unfortunately, due to many state rules and regulations, we cannot homeschool our foster son, DS2. So I am back straddling two worlds: our two biological children are homeschooled, DS2 is in public school. It is as if someone has sucked the air right out of my lungs. The schedule alone is enough to overwhelm someone. On the positive side, they did read and respond to the studies about students needing more sleep and school therefore doesn't start until 9:00; but a schedule is a schedule and it seems like the day is gone by the time he gets home at 3:45 with homework to do. I don't have to worry about too much tv on his part because who has time to watch it. Also, I have seriously questioned the schools connection to the world around them, when DS2 knows nothing of the historic election next Tuesday to fill Ted Kennedy's senate seat. "Ted who?" was the response I received. I forgot how disconnected some public schools can be from the world arround them.

I must say that the school has been very accommodating to DS2's issues and I appreciate that they have been working to strengthen the home / school connection, but I still feel very disconnected. Especially with a child with so many issues, it would be helpful to have a mother hen overlooking him more. I can understand the state's desire to use the public school: to maintain their own system, to maintain consistency in case of another move, to provide another set of eyes to ensure the safety of the child; but with so many other "eyes" available (therapists, social workers, court appointed observers) and other ways to asses progress, you would think that perhaps there would be ways around this rule. Although I do appreciate the break right now to regroup myself and have time with my two biological kids, I think if any children were to benefit from homeschooling it would be DS2 and the many other foster children in the system who would thrive in a 1 on 1 (or 2 or 3) setting.

On the positive side, this foray back into public schooling has reminded my children, my husband, and myself what we have to be thankful for.

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