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    Topic Options
    #11514 - 03/14/08 03:26 PM Input on a decision?
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Okay, I've been dithering about this for over a week now--which is totally not like me!--and I feel like I need to get some input from the chorus about what to do about DS6's education next year.

    We have two reasonably good options available to us, and I'm trying to decide between them:

    #1 Part-time home school and part-time at the private GT school
    Pros:
    • I will not be solely responsible for DS6's education anymore, and can return to a more usual mom-son relationship
    • DS6 will get some social interaction without my having to be social
    • DS6 will have a more usual school experience, getting used to following directions from other adults, not just from me

    Cons:
    • Cost--even part-time, the school is very expensive
    • Driving time--the school is 30 minutes away one-way, and it's in the opposite direction from DS3's preschool; as both pickup times are at roughly the same time, this could satisfy the criteria for "logistical nightmare!"
    • Size--there are only 6 other kids in his class for next year, and that's a combined 2nd/3rd grade class; it's not like this would be a social bonanza for him...

    #2 Full-time Home Schooling
    Pros:
    • This is DS6's preference
    • Babysitting is a lot cheaper than the private GT school
    • No driving unless I want to drive
    • We've got a year under our belts, and I know what we're doing academically; I like being able to tailor the work to him and him alone
    • We've just started developing what could be lasting friendships with other HSers, and it would be nice to continue those
    • It's been nice to spend more time with DS6--he's fun!
    • DS3 is in preschool 5 afternoons per week, so I won't have to feel like I'm ignoring DS3 some days in order to teach DS6; we'll just have school when DS3 has school.
    • He may be getting used to the system enough that I can have him do more independent work while I get some writing done
    • We have plenty more babysitting help now and for next year (more than one sitter helps!), so I think I can get enough time alone to remain sane.

    Cons:
    • What if I can't get enough time alone to remain sane? eek I don't think I can survive another "by the skin of my teeth" year like this one!
    • The neighbor boy will be in full-time 1st grade next year, so it will be harder to get DS6 to go play and leave me alone if I need him to go play
    • I'll still have to be social when he is most of the time, since to get social time for him most of the time, we'll have to go to HSers' events.
    • I worry that DS6 is getting too much of my attention and DS3 isn't getting enough

    I think I'm leaning toward HSing full-time, but am I just letting the less-money-and-less-hassle sway me? There is also the fact that I would have greater control over DS6's education and can do exactly what he needs. I'm not 100% sure the school can do that...But the PT arrangement seems like such a good one! Am I nuts to reject what two months ago seemed like the perfect solution!?

    Okay, so whaddya think? Mouseketeer roll-call sound off now! wink
    _________________________
    Kriston
    Mom to DS13 and DS10

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    #11517 - 03/14/08 03:51 PM Re: Input on a decision? [Re: Kriston]
    EandCmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/09/07
    Posts: 516
    Kriston - I really don't have any great advice but I did notice that your pro list for full time HSing is the largest list and the pro list for the PT HSing/PT GT school is the smallest.
    The biggest thing I think would be getting enough alone time and time to work on your book. But if you considered how much you would be saving by not doing the GT school, maybe you could feel more justified in getting a babysitter more often? Maybe on a regular schedule? (maybe you already have a regular schedule, I don't know) Just to make sure you get enough time to yourself. Also, you could utilize the babysitter for DS6 and do something just with DS3.

    Just a few thoughts - hope they help a little at least! smile

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    #11518 - 03/14/08 03:55 PM Re: Input on a decision? [Re: Kriston]
    Lorel Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/22/07
    Posts: 970
    Loc: New England
    Kriston-

    While in theory the half and half is appealing, in practice, it is very difficult, at least for the (few) families I know who have tried it. Basically you end up feeling neither fish nor fowl, and missing out on some of the best parts of both experiences. Still, I think I might be tempted to try it, and know that if it didn't work out, full time homeschooling was always possible.

    Can you pay for just one month or one quarter?

    What does DS think about the school?

    Sorry, not sure any of this is helpful after all. I sound pretty waffley, don't I?

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    #11522 - 03/14/08 04:15 PM Re: Input on a decision? [Re: Lorel]
    Cathy A Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    I would give the school a try. I think that while you only listed three pros for the school, they are weighty pros.

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? And if it doesn't work out you can use full-time HS as a plan B.

    Cathy

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    #11525 - 03/14/08 04:56 PM Re: Input on a decision? [Re: Dottie]
    kimck Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/20/07
    Posts: 1134
    I think the only 6 kids in the class can be difficult? You know they will be highly GT, right? But depending on personalities and genders that could be wonderful or horrible. I have a friend who sent her daughter to a very high end private school for kindergarten, less than 10 kids in her class. She pulled her by mid-year because she didn't click with anyone socially and was miserable. But if he clicked with someone, it could be great.

    The logistics of it sound difficult too! I personally hate our drop off and pick up school routines, so I'm totally biased there. Also - how much time are you going to have after transporation for both the little guys and general errand running? And how much "extra stuff" goes on at school. It seems like our school is always having a festival or a sale that requires time and energy as well.

    Is there any way you could lay down the law on getting help to make homeschooling work? I know some people locally who've gotten university students who are art students, or fluent in a foreign language, etc that charge little more than a babysitter to work with their child. You should definitely be hard nosed about YOUR time if you do decide to stick with homeschooling.

    Are there any GT homeschooling groups around that might be good additional resources for activities and/or playdates?

    These ramblings sound totally homeschool biased. Sorry! I'm trying to be a neutral party here and failing.

    Originally Posted By: Kriston
    It's been nice to spend more time with DS6--he's fun!

    This is my favorite reason to homeschool and I totally feel the same way! My 1st grader is such a different kid on the weekends and it gives me warm fuzzies to think he could be that happy every day.

    Anyway - I do like the trial option if you can swing it! As long as you don't have to pay the full year upfront. It might be worth it to find out if there's any kind of penalty for dropping out at any point.

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    #11529 - 03/14/08 05:43 PM Re: Input on a decision? [Re: kimck]
    OHGrandma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/05/08
    Posts: 830
    Your cons jump out at me.

    You're not sure it's going to be socially advantageous to go to school, so that negates one of your 'pros'.

    Driving is going to really wear on you, taking away time you would like for yourself.

    You are worried you are not giving DS3 enough time, will sending DS6 to school give you more time with DS3, or will it just cut back on time with DS6 and relieve guilt for not being 'fair'?

    You enjoy homeschooling, your DS6 is doing well with it and wants to continue. I think your major concerns are getting enough time for yourself and with DS3. What about a home daycare provider for both boys half days, several days/week, so you can get free time, and DS3 continue preschool another year half days?

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    #11532 - 03/14/08 07:25 PM Re: Input on a decision? [Re: OHGrandma]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Kriston -
    I really have to know - do you have to pay for the whole year, us it or not? Lots of independent schools are like that.

    I like the idea of sending him for the specials 2 x/week and doing the academics at home, fewer days, less driving, and you don't have to worry about 'is the school doing it right' which is a major stressor - even schools for 'highly gifted' kids generally don't cut it for PG kids. Sorry, I forgot if the combined class would mean that he could do stuff with kids an extra grade above his official grade.


    (Does that make sense? Example: DS11 went to a gifted day camp after 2nd grade into a mixed group that contained kids who had just finished 2nd and 3rd grade, plus he's extra young because of the summer birthday, and had a great time. The next year wasn't nearly as much fun.

    Tell me about the money, and also when you would have to pay it - I'm thinking that if you can somehow put the babysitting money aside before the school year starts, that maybe you'll be better able to spend it.

    Best Wishes,
    Grinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #11534 - 03/14/08 08:00 PM Re: Input on a decision? [Re: OHGrandma]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Such good help! Thanks all! grin grin grin

    Originally Posted By: EandCmom
    But if you considered how much you would be saving by not doing the GT school, maybe you could feel more justified in getting a babysitter more often?


    Good point! Yes, I am already getting a sitter more often than I was a few weeks ago when I was stressed out, and I am MUCH happier. I even got time to work on the book this week, so I feel more together about the whole HSing thing. Why, oh why, didn't I think of having more than one sitter before? Now even if one is sick or busy, I get time with the other. SOOOOO sensible!

    This sitter arrangement would continue next year, and is the biggest reason why HSing full-time is seeming appealing now, where it did not seem like a great idea a couple of months ago.

    Originally Posted By: Lorel
    While in theory the half and half is appealing, in practice, it is very difficult, at least for the (few) families I know who have tried it.
    ...
    Can you pay for just one month or one quarter?

    What does DS think about the school?


    I worry about the "neither/nor" aspect of it. We'll miss out on a lot of fun HS stuff because DS6 is in school, but we won't be 100% part of the school.

    There is a 30-day pull-out clause, so if he's not happy in the first 30 days, we can part ways without further cost. But I'm not sure 30 days is really enough time for him to settle in and tell much. He's the sort of kid who adapts slowly. I don't think we can count on getting enough info in 30 days to make a good decision. And having started HSing late this year, I don't love semi-planning to start late next year, as well as potentially burning bridges at a school that might not be right for DS6 now, but may be his best option for 7th grade+.

    Oh, and DS6 doesn't love the school, though he seemed to have some fun while he was there. I wouldn't say it's ideal for him. My worry is that it would be close-enough-to-good that he would learn to underachieve, but not so bad a fit that he would act out and show us that he needed more.

    Originally Posted By: Cathy A
    Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? And if it doesn't work out you can use full-time HS as a plan B.


    Thanks for this, Cathy. I appreciate your perspective here, and it made me think hard, because it doesn't sit right for me, and I had to figure out why not. Imagining taking your advice and "trying it on" was a good exercise, because it felt wrong to me, though I'm not really sure I can articulate why. I think your comment hit me in my "rampant emotionalism" ( wink ), and got me past the overthinking. If it feels wrong, it might be wrong. Useful!

    Originally Posted By: kimck
    I think the only 6 kids in the class can be difficult? You know they will be highly GT, right?


    No. The IQ cut-off is 130, so it's not necessarily an HG+ group. I know one of the boys has some behavioral problems, and having seen him "in action," I doubt he's likely to be a good match for my rule-oriented DS6. 3 of the kids are girls, and while DS is not a girl-hater, they're not usually the best match friend-wise with his interest in Transformers and vehicles. That means that the pool for serious friendships in the school is probably down to 2 boys. Not great odds there...

    HSing has much more unlimited friendship potential, assuming I'm willing to put out the effort to get him with kids. I can name at least 4 boys off the top of my head whom I know he likes and who would be available for playdates, and there are lots of other potenials in the HS group that we haven't made the effort with yet...but he wouldn't see them as often as he'd get to see the kids at the school. So is once a week playdates with more choices for friends a better pick, or is 3 days a week with only 2 possibilities for friends better?

    I must admit, I'm leaning toward HSing there.

    Originally Posted By: kimck
    Is there any way you could lay down the law on getting help to make homeschooling work?
    ...
    Are there any GT homeschooling groups around that might be good additional resources for activities and/or playdates?


    I think that if I teach DS6 every afternoon when DS3 is in preschool, it will be pretty painless. This year, our easiest and most productive days are easily W-F, when DS3 is in preschool. If I get 3-4 mornings per week to myself next year to write and/or run errands, then I can be happy with that.

    Actually, the place I hope to double up is not the teaching, but the social time/babysitter time. If I can have the sitter take the kids to something social or keep an eye on a playdate (even if I stay in the house to write in order to enable this scenario), that would be great! Then the kids get to be social and I don't have to manage it.

    I don't know of any GT HS groups. He has two GT friends, with potential for another couple if we can arrange some driving to cultivate them. There's one GT group that's possibly forming, but if it happens it will be pretty far away. I'm not sure it's worth it. There are a number of GT kids in the HS group I'm a part of, but I don't know if they're vanilla GT or HG+ or what. To tell you the truth, I'm hoping that once I get access to the DYS website, maybe we'll find someone nearby! I hope, I hope...

    Originally Posted By: OHGrandma
    Your cons jump out at me.
    ...
    You are worried you are not giving DS3 enough time, will sending DS6 to school give you more time with DS3, or will it just cut back on time with DS6 and relieve guilt for not being 'fair'?


    OHG, your post rang a lot of bells with me! I think you're right that the cons are the key. The pros are too wishy-washy. The cons are a known quantity. Least-worst option, right?

    I think you are also right about the guilt factor re: DS3, though I hadn't realized that might be what was going on (and why school didn't seem to sit quite right with me) until I read your post. I had a bit of an "aha" moment, so I think you hit on something there. Hmmm... Nice head-shrinking! Is our time almost up? Do I pay you by the hour for that good work? laugh

    Originally Posted By: OHGrandma
    You enjoy homeschooling, your DS6 is doing well with it and wants to continue. I think your major concerns are getting enough time for yourself and with DS3. What about a home daycare provider for both boys half days, several days/week, so you can get free time, and DS3 continue preschool another year half days?


    This is pretty much the solution we've worked out with the sitters, and it does seem to make the most sense.

    DH and I just talked about our options, and between the conversation here and the talk with him, I think HSing full-time is seeming to be the logical choice. I'm still nervous, mainly because this was not an easy year for me, so choosing to try HSing again is a little scary. But I KNOW I have a much better idea about what our/his needs are and what our/my limits are than I had this year. I was utterly unprepared at the start of this year--it was truly emergency HSing!--but I won't be unprepared at the start of next year. I have lots of time to plan. We can arrange weekly standing playdates at the start of the year so that the friendship question is not so daunting.

    I'm babbling now, but basically I think we've made the decision to HS full-time, and I think it's the right choice.

    Thank you!!! laugh laugh laugh laugh

    Thanks for all the input and thought-provoking questions. The comments helped SO MUCH!
    _________________________
    Kriston
    Mom to DS13 and DS10

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    #11536 - 03/14/08 08:12 PM Re: Input on a decision? [Re: Kriston]
    Cathy A Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    laugh LOL! I'm just glad I could help with advice that feels wrong! wink

    Cathy

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    #11537 - 03/14/08 08:13 PM Re: Input on a decision? [Re: Kriston]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Grinity, my mega-post meant that we crossposted.

    Money is big. Let's just say that I can pay for roughly 700 hours of babysitting for both kids for the cost of the school 3X per week. That would be about 22 hours of babysitting per week (school year only), and I won't want that much! So I'd rather use the considerable cash for babysitting, I think.

    The 2x weekly extras are not very appealing to me because the school is so expensive. We have access to similar quality extras (art, music, foreign language, P.E.) for a whole lot less $$$ from other providers. The minimal social interaction he'd get at the school is only worth it to me if the academic stuff is taken care of, I think. Otherwise I think I'll do all the work and still pay them a bunch. :p

    We'd have to pay the school up front for a semester, though I think they pro-rate it if we only last 30 days or less.

    It is a mixed age class, but I don't know how many are in the grade above or how long that would last. He wouldn't be the youngest child in the class (there's one who started this year in K and "skipped" midyear, basically just so she could stay with the class and not get left back with new kids next year), but the work didn't seem like it would be a stretch for DS6 at all, even with the older kids in the class with him. We might still have to consider a grade skip at the GT school, and I think we could avoid that if we HS.

    Ugh.

    Anyway, thanks!
    _________________________
    Kriston
    Mom to DS13 and DS10

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