Monday is going to be a big day around here - the beginning of preschool! Or really, "pre-preschool," as I signed our 4y0 up for a 2x/week 45-minute class that falls within the boundaries of the city's preschool program but isn't their "real" preschool - that will start in September. But technically, it's still "preschool."
I am a nervous wreck.
Not so much about "starting preschool," because I'm pretty sure he'll hate it anyway. Or rather, not hate it, but hate being left - he is especially clingy at the moment. Right now I'm thinking along the lines of unrepentant bribery to make this thing work. No, what I'm nervous about is more about "Are we really doing the right thing?" You see, I have never come to a place of complete peace in the school v. homeschool debate. I simply can't feel 100% at peace with either decision (I've tried them both on for size). When I decide on school, my mind immediately goes into the "But we should be homeschooling!" mode, and when I decide on homeschool, I right away begin to think "But I don't want to homeschool!"
Being that I am a nervous wreck having any decision in my life open and unmade (I have an intense need for finalized decisions, even over issues that may never come up in our lives), this has made me extremely uptight for the past year. I have been praying intensely that whichever decision God truly wants us to make, he would make that abundantly clear to us so that I could (1) make a decision and move forward in it without doubt and fear, and (2) stop this eternal struggle in my heart about what is right.
So, as we start preschool, here are the things we will be watching for:
(1) Does our son enjoy it?
(2) Do we, as a family, enjoy being a "school" family?
(3) Are we dealing with continual rounds of illness?
(4) Is our son becoming, in the words of a friend, "peer dependent"? (My friend put her kids in preschool and eventually decided to homeschool because she saw her children transferring their allegiance, source of example, and source of beliefs to their peers rather than their family.)
(5) Do we see good results - socially, academically, morally?
If any of the above results in negative outcomes, I am open to reconsidering the homeschooling question. In the meantime, I'm trying to force it through my thick skull that we are just trying out this non-homeschool option, and that it won't be too late to re-make our decision after we start preschool if we decide that that is not for us. In other words, I'm not signing our names in blood just by signing him up for preschool!
Honestly, if I had a full time housekeeper I'd be much more open to homeschooling - I'm just so tired of living under the incredible strain (for the past 5 years) of having a home that is messier than I can handle emotionally - plus the "no free time" issue - as a former only-child, that has been beyond-stressful.
Of course, the school (for K-8) that we're considering, is a 60%-in-school, 40%-at-home program, so we will still be "homeschooling" to some extent. And a friend of mine, who is officially homeschooling, considers preschool with the city to be just an extracurricular that she adds onto her daughter's school program. So there are different ways of looking at it all around.
Being a stress-case type of person, I have entirely too many unmade decisions in my life for my liking! Let's see:
(1) School or homeschool?
(2) More children, or not? And if so, planned or unplanned?
(3) DH's job - he is not really satisfied where he is, so the possibility of move is a constant
(4) Birth community involvement - Right now I'm just a birth blogger, but I would eventually like to be more involved - and I have no idea how.
(5) Church home - We've been looking for 7 months now, and are no closer to finding a new church to call home (except in that we have crossed quite a few churches off the possibilities list)
When I think too much about these things, I just want to scream! As I've said, I do NOT do well with unmade decisions. All of these decisions are now on my prayer list, and I'm hoping to be able to cross at least some of them off at some point in the near future - i.e., the decision has been MADE and I don't have to think about it anymore!
Okay, enough venting! I need to go wake the kiddos up. As I just posted on Facebook, our youngest son has gotten into the habit over the past week or so of waking up in the wee hours of the morning fussing/crying for a good hour, then laying awake and cooing/thrashing/partying, then eventually falling asleep (oh-so-conveniently) just before our alarm goes off. So Yours Truly is not experiencing a lot of sleep! Hopefully that phase will be over soon.
And when I get another chance to blog, I'll write about all the positive things that are going on in my life! :)
Have an awesome weekend, all!