So, I'm starting to fill out the reams of paperwork that I will have to fill out for 4 out of my 5 kids to start new schools in the fall. Sure, it can get pretty monotonous to fill out the same info over and over and over again, (how many times do I need to write my address??) but mostly as I write, I'm just grateful.
The education system in America gets a bad rap, but my experiences with it thus far have been 95% positive. I do not regret the homeschooling that I have done, and there could be another year or two of it for this child or that one in the future; but it is an amazing thing to be able to enroll my child in a school. As a young homeschooling Mom, I was pretty sure that the public schools were on their way to becoming big brother, but I now I view them as a HUGE help to me in my job as the educator of my children.
Yes. I am still the educator of my children and I recognize that the responsibility of their education falls on my shoulders. Actually, that thought is part of what brought me to the place that I put my kids in school. I did an assessment of what I was offering them at home and realized that in some ways, they were missing out.
*Disclaimer* I know many of you who read my blog are homeschoolers. Please know that I completely respect and support your decision to homeschool and am sure that your kids are getting what they need. That was not a statement about homeschool in general, it was a statement about me.
I am just not that Mom. You know, the super creative one who has all kinds of great ideas about how to make learning fun. I enjoy being with my kids, but the added responsibility of being the only one to make sure they are getting the 3 R's is a bit much for me. I am all about helping with homework, as long as I'm not the one who assigned it in the first place.
Not to mention that schools teach so much more than the 3 R's these days. As we were touring McKinley's new school yesterday, the principal took us into the media center and proceeded to explain that they broadcast morning anouncements into each classroom on a t.v. screen every morning. The KIDS run the cameras, act as the anchors and broadcast the live anouncements. I was astounded. I can't wait for her to get to be a part of that.
As we did a visit of Carter's new class last week, we discovered that each year the kids in that particular class raise salmon. They also care for a guinea pig and a garden. They do math in such a way that each student works at their own level. And they took in excess of 20 field trips last year - one of which had them spending the night in a tall ship. My kid gets to do this? For free? Sign me up.
Then, there was the staggering list of offerings at the new middle and high school the older girls will be attending. I was so excited about all the opportunites that it almost made me cry. Education is a gift indeed.
So, I will fill out form after form after form after form...and I will be happy to do it. :)