Pros & Cons of school

Posted by: Mom0405

Pros & Cons of school - 04/28/09 01:52 PM

I am trying to decide on whether to send my DS4 (just turned) to a pv preschool next year. I am waiting (too patiently) for WPPSI scores - 2+wks now.

He loves being with other kids; but if they are mean, he will act out; and we may lose him for another 6 months, as he shuts down and regresses in everything. I just want him to find one good friend, and love to learn again.

At the school we are looking at, they do not split kids by ability; but most are supposedly fairly advanced. Again, he will be initially interested with the newness of the classroom, etc; but later on, when not challenged, I fear that he will roam. One of the teachers said that they let one girl sit and "write" in her journal when they do something she already knows. Hmmm.

They have great art, music, spanish and drama programs available for pre-k's. School is pre-k through hs, and has pretty much all sports as well (although DS may not be the athletic type - who knows though). He loves music and art.

My question is, if you have the choice to home school or not (I really do NOT want to), or could send your child to any school around you, what do you all feel are the most important parts of having your kids in school. I am probably looking for pros and cons that I haven't thought of to help us in our decision. My DS is an only child; and I am very protective of who he hangs out with, and the respect they have for others. The school fosters this as well, with character training by reading books about itand discussing it with the kids. I actually observed this in a K class.

Having said all of this, I really do want him in school. So, please give me additional criteria to help decide.

p.s. He was slow to speak; so being with very articulate kids REALLY helps him...almost instantly.


Posted by: no5no5

Re: Pros & Cons of school - 04/28/09 02:26 PM

I think you've answered your own question. If you don't want to homeschool, I think homeschooling will not be a positive experience. For our family, because I DO want to homeschool, homeschooling has many more positive qualities than public or private school. For you, it doesn't. I don't know why you are even considering it if it is not what you want for yourself or your child. I hope this does not come off as insensitive...but reading your post I get the impression that you are feeling guilty about sending him to school and I don't think you should feel that way at all. If homeschooling isn't what you want, it just isn't. Perhaps you will change your mind about it someday, or perhaps not. Right now, it sounds like your mind is made up.
Posted by: RJH

Re: Pros & Cons of school - 04/28/09 02:30 PM

My DS went to private preschool, PS k, and 1 month of PS 1st before we had him tested. I liked the idea of HSing, but never really considered it until I realized the school was not going to help/accommodate my son. So I pulled him out and have been HSing ever since. If we had the money, I would have put him in private school. This was 2 years ago....and I now feel very grateful that we didn't have the money. If we won the lottery tomorrow, I would still HS.

When DS entered K, I had this feeling of "what happened to my kid?" He was changing, and I felt like I was losing closeness with him. I don't like how public school can make kids become more peer dependent. (no flames please. just my opinion.) I want what I think to be more important to my son than what his peers think. I could go on and on about that, but a good book to read in Holding On To Your Kids by Gordon Neufeld.

Short answer: HSing has brought our family much closer. I am so grateful for that. Kids grow up so fast.
Posted by: RJH

Re: Pros & Cons of school - 04/28/09 02:35 PM

He was slow to speak; so being with very articulate kids REALLY helps him...almost instantly.

Being in a class with older children, or in a HS co-op with older children will be your best bet for this.

But like the previous poster said, if you truly don't want to HS, then you will have to look for other options.
Posted by: Mom0405

Re: Pros & Cons of school - 04/28/09 03:27 PM

I am worried about his well-being more than anything. I am looking for what those positive qualities are.

Please mention if the child is an only or not. Thank you!
Posted by: Mom0405

Re: Pros & Cons of school - 04/28/09 03:40 PM

Do you have more than one child as well? Would you have HS'd with just one?
Posted by: Mom0405

Re: Pros & Cons of school - 04/28/09 03:54 PM

I really just want to do what is best for DS. I honestly don't know what that is right now.:/
Posted by: no5no5

Re: Pros & Cons of school - 04/28/09 04:10 PM

DD3 is an only so far (and likely permanently). For us, homeschooling offers me benefits--I enjoy being with DD, talking & thinking about a wide variety of things, and I can only imagine it getting better & better when she is into more & more difficult topics. She is a challenging and sensitive child and I get her; I would hate to send her off to a teacher who might not get her. I want to stay connected to her and know what is going on in her life. For her, I want the incredible flexibility of education that homeschooling affords, which is totally lacking in most schools. I want her to learn new and interesting things, rather than be drilled in things she has known for years. We are in a relaxed homeschooling coop now, so DD does get to experience the class-with-peers thing, and we will likely continue that or even dual enroll with public school for non-academic topics (gym, art, music) when she is technically school-aged.

I don't see many benefits to most public or private schools for a HG+ kid other than as a babysitter. I guess this is mostly a reaction to my own experience being PG in public school. But I stick by what I said: If you aren't into it, homeschooling isn't the answer. An unhappy/overtired/disgruntled/frustrated/resentful mother will do more damage than good. Homeschooling really isn't for everyone. Oh, I guess I would say that public school (if not private school) can have the benefit of exposing a child to a wide variety of people, which is something that homeschooled kids do not always get.
Posted by: RJH

Re: Pros & Cons of school - 04/28/09 05:56 PM

I have 2 children. Ds8 and DD5. DD will go to PS K in the fall, but I am doing that just to satisfy her curiosity. I think she will get board very quick. I think though, that if DS hadn't gone to PS first, I wouldn't realize how wonderful HSing is. You just can't beat the flexibility of not being tied to a PS.

There are many options to get her with other children, if you chose to HS. Just google HS + your should find many HS groups. I always tell people to look on the yahoo groups. That's where my local group chats.
Posted by: st pauli girl

Re: Pros & Cons of school - 04/28/09 06:43 PM

DS5, our only child, is finishing his 2nd year of PT private preschool. We sent him starting at 3 because that's what everybody did around here. In retrospect, one year would have been plenty.

Because we have just the one child, we are fairly new in the town we live in, and DS was never in day care, one of the biggest benefits for DS was exposure to other kids. He is not really making any great friends at this point, and I don't know if it's age-related or personality-related. He is certainly friendly with all the kids, but I think he's just too young to be making good friends. Another benefit is that he learned how to listen to, behave for, and follow the rules of another adult (besides his parents/grandparents). The other benefit was that I could do some freelance work while DS was in school.

Next year we plan to send DS to public kindergarten, with differentiation. The benefits include my going back to work (hopefully!). With luck, other benefits will include DS learning how to write/spell, which he resists at home, and continuing to learn all kinds of new things. We hope that he likes school. We shall have to wait and see. The major "con" i can see so far is that there are not kids at DS's level in town, and so a lot of the time he will probably be the only one learning a particular topic. But that is how it would be if he were homeschooled too, so I guess it's not really a con if just comparing school to homeschool.

We know that we may have to make several adjustments to our school plan as time goes on, so our overall plan is just to remain flexible.
Posted by: Mia

Re: Pros & Cons of school - 04/28/09 07:24 PM

My ds6 is in private school. For us, the "babysitting" factor is definitely key; I need to work full time, and he needs to be somewhere during the day!

I'd love to homeschool, but not only is there the money factor, there's the energy factor. My kid is *very* energetic, and I honestly have a hard time keeping up with him! At his private school, he gets to go from teacher to teacher (they have homerooms but are only there for about an hour and a half a day) and his brain is constantly jumping. I just can't provide that level of stimulation for him at home; it's exhausting for me. I think I could homeschool some kids just fine; mine just doesn't happen to be one of them. smile

Another thing to consider that school provides extensive interaction with various people away from the all-seeing "parental eye." Not that homeschoolers don't spend time away from their kids -- I know you do! -- but there is, by definition, less time under direct supervision of a parent at school. This has been really good for my ds6 who, as an only child, gets a lot of parental attention and needs to learn he's not the center of the universe! OTOH, this assumes that you're happy with the teachers and the child has some respect for them -- it wasn't that way at my ds6's public K. His private school is much better in this respect.

Ds's school is pretty unusual in that they differentiate across grades for math and reading for all students (my ds6's math class, for example, is first-, second- and third-graders, just starting the fourth grade math book). His school last year didn't differentiate for him, though they promised to "next year" -- but K year was so bad that I *would* have homeschooled if it was my only option. So if the school isn't a good fit, there's no argument for it, IMO.

All in all, even though my ds6 would probably be able to learn more and faster at home, I think he really, really benefits from being in school. It would take an act of some unholy God to make us homeschool (like the evil financial aid gods, *and* the closing of all other private schools in our county). Not because I disagree with the philosophy -- quite the contrary. Just that a good school is *good* for our kid. smile
Posted by: inky

Re: Pros & Cons of school - 04/28/09 08:22 PM

Today DD7 was excited about the subject she chose for her research project. When her natural love of learning is enhanced at school and she comes home all fired up to create her vision, it's a really good day.

MAP testing. I have a pretty good sense of what DD7 is ready to learn next, but it's nice having independent confirmation on a regular basis when dealing with atypical growth.

Junie B. Jones books are like nails on a chalkboard to me. eek

Posted by: inky

Re: Pros & Cons of school - 04/29/09 07:50 AM

This thread reminded me of a book that helped me maximize the pros and minimize the cons:

Guerrilla Learning: How to Give Your Kids a Real Education With or Without School by Grace Llewellyn
Posted by: KAR120C

Re: Pros & Cons of school - 04/29/09 11:28 AM

I just can't resist throwing in my 2c that having happened to read this thread back-to-back with the kids having trouble with decision making thread just strikes me as funny... smile

It sounds like you have a good option there and I would definitely give it a try. And like the kids having trouble with decisions, this is one where I think it might help to remind yourself that even if it's not perfect it's not the end of the world. No school is perfect, homeschooling isn't perfect, none of this is perfect and most of us come out okay. Also, no two schools (or even two classes in the same school) will have the same pros and cons just as no two homeschools will work the same way... and no two kids need exactly the same things... I think you need to consider the specific school (or class) and your specific kid more than general pros and cons that can really only apply as generalizations.

But what would trump everything for me in your situation is that you don't want to homeschool. Unless you know for certain that your other options are just completely untenable, I wouldn't homeschool if it's not something you really want to do.
Posted by: lilswee

Re: Pros & Cons of school - 04/29/09 11:39 AM

I agree with all the comments above, I just was having trouble articulating all of them so I waited for someone else to answer. DD8,DD4 were in "school" because both DH and I work. First private and now DD8 is in public. Both kids are very happy. I'm disappointed in the challenge at public but that's some of our doing, DD8 doesn't mind it being easy more time to socialize (she is honest about how easy it is to me but doesn't tell her teachers).

One thing I would add is maybe he could do a private kinder (if it would be a better fit) if he's 4 vs preK. Depending on your district if you wait long enough you could enter them in public with an effective early entrance. For example, in our district once you attempt to enroll them in 2nd grade or above, they look at report cards, test scores not age. For K,1 they are strict on age limits. I only say this because our montessori is wanting to put DD4 (march bday) in Kinder next year. We will probably do it and deal with other decisions later.

Posted by: Mom0405

Re: Pros & Cons of school - 04/29/09 11:49 AM

Thank you for being so open and honest. I have the same feelings, in that others just don't get DS. It's one of my biggest fears in "losig him again." I really will not be resetnful, and I do realize that you weren't calling me that.:) I don't know if I have the energy. I believe that I am given all that I need; so I guess all I can do is see. He has his in-class interview tomorrow morning; and I have decided to take it as a sign depending on how he does and how they react to him.
Posted by: Mom0405

Re: Pros & Cons of school - 04/29/09 11:53 AM

remain flexible. got it.:) thank you.
Posted by: Mom0405

Re: Pros & Cons of school - 04/29/09 11:58 AM

I keep thinking that I will "lose" him again; but at least I know the early signs now, in retrospect. Depending on how it goes tomorrow, and if he gets in (which I think he will), we will probably try. It's just money, right? Once it's spent, it's spent. And either a new door will open, or it won't. thank you
Posted by: Mom0405

Re: Pros & Cons of school - 04/29/09 12:21 PM

He definitely needs to know that he is ot the center of the unviverse. Unfortunately, I have had to tell him that it isn't about him all the time.:( I am 43, and do have lots of energy; and my hubby owns a large business - so he can't help much. So, really it would be a matter of getting in better shape, finding a good babysitter when I need a break. Once a week or every two weeks would be fine.

Thanks to everyone for all the great comments.

As far as a pv K, DS is way too immature. He would be fine academically, but again, I don't believe that he would make any friends. And he hates being treated like a baby. Luckily he is tall; but he has quite an imagination on him, and tends to take on characters, character-sounds, etc, and most kids just don't get him. He does have some friends his age; but I don't like where they are going to school.

Our public school system is not good. In the local high school last year, 25 girls in the senior class alone became pregnant and drugs are extremely prevalent. The teachers don't speak proper English, which makes me crazy. I won't go on.
Posted by: BWBShari

Re: Pros & Cons of school - 04/29/09 01:15 PM

My DS6 started K at 5 and was very immature emotionally. School has helped him mature enormously, it's amazing how much he's grown up being out from under my thumb! He had a rough couple of weeks when he first started. It hadn't occurred to him that temper tantrums and meltdowns might not be appropriate. He learn very quickly that there are other ways of dealing with problems.