Thursday, July 31, 2008

Public School or Home School??

I have been debating for months on what to do about Motor Mouth and school. Chicago's school system is very complicated. There are neighborhood schools, magnet schools, cluster schools, magnet cluster schools, montessori, private, and Catholic schools. For all except for your neighborhood school, you have to APPLY in the fall for the following school year. Some schools require testing to get in. We got here too late for any options other than our neighborhood school.

I have been debating as to whether I should send Motor Mouth to our neighborhood school or homeschool. 

Motor Mouth had such a horrible school experience in Tulsa last year at his private school, after a couple of months, we tried to get him into a public school but it was too late and there were no more spaces.  I don't want Motor Mouth to have another year like that, or he might hate school forever.

In Chicago, our neighborhood school gets mixed reviews. Some people say they would send their child there, others say they would keep him home for the year, or homeschool. Last evening, I was at Motor Mouth's karate class. One mother said she would not send her son to our school. She said her mother-in-law taught at the school - I'm thinking she would know. One father said he would send his son there for kindergarten but not grade 1. 

We met with the principal, vice principal and the 3 kindergarten teachers. The school seems fine. The kids seemed fine. The school gets okay/mediocre grades from the 50% of parents reporting. It's literally right in our backyard, so it is convenient. Our main concern is that the curriculum covers exactly what Motor Mouth learned in K4.

I've been talking to homeschool moms in Chicago and Tulsa. My friend from Tulsa told me about the K12 Virtual Learning program. I checked it out online. It's $1400 for the year!! Ha! And I thought $800 was pricey for the program my friend from Chicago wants me to do with her. 

After some more research, I found the exact same program offered through Chicago Public Schools. For FREE! AND they GIVE us a computer AND a printer AND the books for FREE!! No uniform required. All we pay for is print cartridges and paper.

The program is a 3-fold combination of virtual lessons, textbooks, and in-class. Motor Mouth would be required to go to a classroom one day each week. They have a few more Kindergarten spaces open. Motor Mouth is practically accepted. 

And, the facility where the in-class will be held is a newer facility (5 yrs-ish) and only about 2 miles from our home!

I am so excited about this!!


Shan said...

Wow! That sounds like a great opportunity for him. We're lucky our little school is such a great one. It's one less thing to have to worry about.

Shaina said...

I think you would be an awesome home-schooling-mom. You already do such wonderful and enriching activities with the kids.

Felicity said...

Homeschooling scares me when I think of myself as the CEO, but this version you are describing sounds like the best of all worlds! Jazz gets socialization with other kids but the bulk of his influence is YOU and the choices you make for him.

And music, you can NOT go wrong there! What a find.