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Posts tagged with: public school

The Last Day of the Semester

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This is a more personal update versus financial. Please skip if that does not interest you.

Today is the last day of Princess and Gymnast first semester in public school. We made it.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve sat with each of them individually and had them look back at this semester and asked for their feedback and perspective. I thought I would share their thoughts with you.

I asked each of them:

  • How did going to public school differ or meet your expectations?
  • Looking back and comparing homeschooling in Virginia and public school here, which would you choose? (I didn’t ask them about homeschooling here as the challenges we faced were the main reason I chose to try public school.)

Princess’ Perspective

The stereotypes about high school are all wrong. First, I didn’t get bullied at all. And second, there is not a lot of homework at all.
Princess, age 14, 10th grade

She has had a really good semester. Gotten straight A’s across the board. Made the varsity volleyball team for the fall. Inducted into the Anchor Club. And made several new good friends.

Princess inducted into Anchor Club

Gymnast Perspective

I don’t like getting up, but I like feeling normal. And I’m learning things I hadn’t learned before, but maybe I wasn’t to that level. But there is not a lot of homework. I am glad I was homeschooled, but now I really like the social aspect.
Gymnast, age 12, 7th grade

He has struggled. Grades, fitting in, been assaulted three times and being so busy with training 4 nights a week. There were kids who told him they couldn’t be his friend “because he is brown.” But he has also grown and matured, and continued to be true to himself.  He is finishing the year with all As and Bs and squeaked through the standardized testing (where they tested for the full year of material and he was only there for a semester.)

He is ranked sixth overall in our eight state region in gymnastics. And has just committed to the next year of training and competition, moving up to Level 8. (Here he is modeling over 100 of the medals he has won over the last six years of competing.)

My Thoughts

I had no doubt that both of them would be successful. They are resilient and smart. I could not be more proud.

I think if we had done this back in Virginia it would have been a completely different experience. They would not have faced so much racism. The education is definitely better there. But then again, we had such a strong homeschool network there, I would never have considered it.

And we would have also had to deal with a great deal more bureaucracy. Whereas, here the schools have really worked with us to accommodate Gymnast’ training and competition schedule and Princess’ advanced status.

Next Year

There are some things we will change in the Fall. Riding the bus more is definitely one we will try. Getting more involved with volunteering at the schools. I’m going to apply to substitute teach.

But for now, we will continue with public schools…I will always regret that it came to this. But I know that at this time and at this place in our lives, it is the best choice for both of them.

Thank you for being part of our journey.

 


Public Schools Here They Come

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Beginning in January, both of my younger children will attend the local public schools. My heart breaks just thinking about it. It brings up all the sense of failure I have pushed away the last two years as we have struggled so much financially, with housing and then with this move to our new tiny town. And I am scared. But in the end, I want what is best for them, for all my kids, and right now with our current town, my work issues and the need for me to pick up a lot more work and continue to job hunt…this is what is best for right now.

We have visited to two schools they will be at, met with the counselors and Gymnast has completed the required testing.  (I also tested them independently to make sure I am very clear on where they are at.)

We will still have quite a few logistics to work out with gymnastics and volleyball training and competitions going on through April and us needing to on the road 15 minutes after school lets out. But we will take it as it comes, and figure it out.

Saving Money

I know this is a bad thing, in general, but it will save me some money…maybe.  The majority of the school Gymnast will attend qualifies for free breakfast and lunch, so they offer it for free to the entire school. My guess is he will not want to take his lunch, and he rarely eats breakfast, so that will save me some grocery money. That is not the case at Princess new school, so I don’t know if she will pack a lunch or purchase, I don’t even know the prices yet.

The Silver Lining

With my work situation, this will really free me up to search for jobs and work during the day. It will really be a new experience for me since the little kids have always been homeschooled.

I don’t know if it is the “rest of our lives” school option, but it is the “for right now” option we are going with. But I will be honest, I will most likely be like a mom of a kindergartner and come home to cry after I get them to school.